In the space of 24 hours, two separate nefarious crimes were committed by Jewish extremists.
The first was an anti-LGBT attack perpetrated by an ultra-orthodox extremist where he stabbed 6 people at an LGBTQ rally. The second was ghastlier, an arson attack against a Palestinian family by illegal zionist settlers, an 18 month old child was killed and his family were seriously injured.
The first attack occurred in Jerusalem during an LGBTQ pride parade, the assailant has a history of violence towards the LGBTQ community, in 2005 he stabbed three people at a similar parade and said afterwards “I came to murder in the name of God. Such abomination cannot exist in Israel.” Taking this into account it’s clear there’s an element of negligence involved from the Israeli authorities in this attack. A 10 year prison sentence for a man who attempts to murder three people, expresses no remorse and has a strong conviction that he’s backed by Jewish theology is much too lenient. Even if the 10 year sentence was proportionate he should have never have been allowed near an LGBTQ event again considering his eagerness to inflict suffering on the LGBTQ community. The police allegedly claimed to have prepared meticulously for the event with a large presence present in case of an attack, but failing to recognise the attacker considering his past conviction is a clear dereliction of duty. It would be remiss to ignore the glaring difference in how an Israeli extremist is treated opposed to a Palestinian one, it is inconceivable that if a Palestinian stabbed three Israelis they’d be released in 10 years and very likely they would have been killed by either the police or military, none of this is hypothetical of course because Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians is well documented. Just over a week ago the IDF killed a Palestinian man in the West Bank because the soldiers allegedly had stones thrown at them. And how could we forget the shooting by the IDF of two 17 year old Palestinian boys who were participating in a demonstration in the West Bank, HRW concluded it was a war crime but there was never an indication that there would be a prosecution. These are just two examples of the innumerable crimes committed against Palestinians by both the Israeli military and illegal settlers. At the time of this piece the victims of the stabbing are in serious condition and we hope they have a fully recovery, we also send our solidarity to the Israeli LGBTQ community.
The second attack is more sinister for a host of reasons. The child who was killed Ali Saad Dawabsha was not even two years old, his mother and brother also sustained major burns and it’s not clear whether they will survive, it really doesn’t get much worse than attacking a defenceless child but depressingly this is not unprecedented either, in 2014 a Jewish settler killed a 5 year old Palestinian in a hit and run. An attack like this does not happen in a vacuum but is attributable to a culture where Palestinians have been dehumanised and demonised, anti-Arab racism is rife in Israel and in areas plagued by the settlements, it is one of the reasons 95 percent of Jewish Israelis supported the murderous war in Gaza last summer. Israel’s justice minister has made genocidal posts in the past and has labelled the entire Palestinians the enemy, it also received over 5000 likes. When you have someone with such prominence making such hateful statements, it emboldens people to commit violence and it normalises racism. It’s also hard to overlook the Israeli governments’ complicity in the crime. Some of course will disregard their role for obvious reasons, but it’s tantamount to disrespecting the victims. Israel for decades have been pursuing a policy of settlement expansion, which time after time has been condemned as a violation of international law, just this week when Israel announced a further 300 settlements they were denounced by the UK and the US; exactly what incentive does the Israeli regime have to abide by international law when there’s no consequences for breaking it? Settler violence is very prevalent but not a lot is being done to combat it, since the beginning of 2015 there have been at least 120 attacks in the occupied West Bank by Israeli settlers but most of the violence is committed with impunity. In 2014 an Israeli human rights group reported on the failure of Israeli forces to investigate the alleged crimes and concluded that 83 percent of cases weren’t probed.
Cecil the Lion was barbarically killed by poachers a few weeks ago, and people were aghast at the crime. Many celebrities voiced their outrage and the story received considerable coverage. There is a perception from Palestinians that their plight does not receive anywhere near enough attention compared to incidents like that, and it’s one that is accurate. Some may be reluctant to remark about a conflict they feel is divisive, but apathy contributes to the predicament of Palestinians. After the Iran deal, Netanyahu’s government along with the neocons in Washington expressed their disgust, to pacify Netanyahu, Obama promised more aid to Israel. To this day Obama’s unwavering support of this regime serves as a major indictment of his Nobel peace prize. Considering the role the West has played in facilitating the violence of the Israeli state, there is a responsibility to speak up and pressurise governments to alter their policy. There’s a reason extensive coverage isn’t devoted to the crimes of Israel by the Western media establishment, because once you see it, defending Israel’s actions becomes untenable. This is why the advent of social media and increased access to the internet is so important, because people aren’t isolated to a small selection of news coverage anymore. Now people can find different sources of news, and look at a range of perspectives.
Whether the terrorists involved in this instance will face justice remains to be seen, but the major terrorists who have been wreaking havoc on Gaza and The West Bank for decades will remain immune from punishment. Unless the root problem is addressed incidents like this will happen again and again. For many years, resistance to Israel’s malevolent policies was sorely lacking in the West, but the tide is turning, and there is a growing hostility towards the Israeli government.
Zionism, a great blight on humanity has killed thousands. The West’s appeasement of Israel since the end of the 2nd World War is one of its great crimes.
Update: One of the 6 victims of the stabbing at the LGBTQ parade has now died, she was 16 and her name was Shira Banki. We send our deepest condolences to her family.
The father of Ali Saad Dawabsha has succumbed to his injuries, his mother is still in critical condition while his brother is recovering.
Addendum: Israel has responded to the Jewish terrorism by employing the controversial method of administrative detention. Netanyahu’s security cabinet sanctioned the order and it marks the first time this dubious practice has been invoked for an Israeli citizen. For many years Israel has held Palestinians in detention without trial and subjected them to deplorable treatment. A parity in mistreatment is not something to be applauded and they will likely exploit this to rationalise their maltreatment of Palestinians.
While there’s an eagerness to see justice administered we must resist the temptation of glorifying an extension of an abandonment of due process and consider the long term implications. Recognising this as a legitimate response will only encourage Israel to continue their abuse of Palestinians. Still, there’s a strong probability that the killer of members of the Dawabsha family will escape punishment considering the history of impunity given to settler violence.