Soul-searching and crackdown on Jewish terrorism
Israel has indicted the primary suspects in the firebombing in the village of Duma which killed baby Ali Dawabsha and his parents, and badly burned his brother.
The Times of Israel reports:
Posecutors filed indictments Sunday against two Jewish suspects, 21-year old Amiram Ben-Uliel of Jerusalem and an unnamed minor, in a July terror attack that killed three members of a Palestinian family.
On July 31, a firebomb attack on the home of the Dawabsha family in the West Bank village of Duma led to the immediate death of toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha. Parents Riham and Saad succumbed to their wounds in the hospital within weeks of the attack. Five-year-old Ahmed, Ali’s brother, remains hospitalized in Israel and faces a long rehabilitation.
The indictments mark a key breakthrough in the case, which shocked Israelis and led to unprecedented measures against Jewish terror suspects, including a cabinet vote to extend to Israeli citizens counter-terrorism practices such as detention without trial.
The firebombing allegedly was in retaliation for an earlier Palestinian attack that killed an Israeli, according to The Times of Israel report:
Ben-Uliel is charged with murder in the Duma attack. The minor — who cannot be named under rules protecting minors suspected of criminal acts — faces charges of accessory to the murder.
According to investigators, Ben-Uliel, who is married with a baby girl, admitted to carrying out the Duma firebombing, and said he did it to avenge the killing of Malachy Rosenfeld by a Palestinian terrorist in June.
The Times of Israel also obtained this video reenactment:
Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, admitted his crime to Shin Bet investigators and reenacted parts of it on December 19, the agency said. That information, however, was kept from the public under a gag order until Sunday when the indictments were filed.
We covered the story at the time of the firebombing, In Memory of Ali Dawabsheh and Hadas Fogel:
These are indictments that anti-Israel activists claimed would never happen. That Israel never would prosecute Jewish terrorists.
Today was one of those terrible days I’m glad I was traveling for.
That seems to be a pattern for me; I was traveling on the day of the Newtown, CT school shooting, and other incidents that I don’t have time to dig out of the archives.
Very early, before 5 a.m. Eastern (when I left the house,) I saw tweets about a firebombing of a house near Nablus in which a very young child, Ali Dawabsheh (one and one-half) was murdered.
While the perpetrators have not been captured as of this writing, the Israeli government and IDF are calling it an act of “Jewish terrorism.” The word “revenge” was spray painted on the wall in Hebrew. Ali’s father Saad and mother Riham, and 4-year-old brother Ahmad, are in the hospital in very serious condition with life-threatening burns.
The attack was condemned by all facets of Israeli society including the Prime Minister and political leaders, as well as Jewish organizations around the world. There is a lot of soul searching going on.
By the time my travel ended mid-afternoon, the internet was behaving as the internet does, with political gain and exploitation being sought all around.
When I heard the news, I recalled the 2011 murder of the Fogel family, in which five of sevenfamily members were stabbed to death: Udi Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and three-month-old Hadas.
The indictments and the forceful Israeli crackdown on a fringe group is a measure of health of Israeli society, which has almost universally condemned Jewish terror.
By contrast, Palestinian society almost universally praises and honors killers of Israeli children, like the Samir Kuntar, and the many others suicide bombers and terrorists who get streets named after them and are glorified as martyrs.
After another Jewish terrorist revenge murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir following the kidnapping and presumed murders of three Israeli teens, I made the point Israeli reaction to murder of teen a sign of Israel’s moral strength:
Israel is undergoing intense soul searching, as a nation, for the actions of what are believed to be 6 Israeli Jews in murdering an Israeli Arab teen, Mohammed Abu Khedair, in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel.
Much of that criticism is internal. Members of Israel’s Knesset unanimously condemned the murder, as has every prominent Israeli leader.
The Editor in Chief of The Times of Israel writes that ” the killing of Muhammed Abu Khdeir must rid us of the illusion that we enjoy a distinctive moral superiority over our neighbors.” An Israeli Jewish group is organizing a visit to the family of the murdered teen.
Israeli President Shimon Peres termed the murder a crisis of morality…
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau personally called the family to express his disgust and to promise that the full force of the justice system will be brought to bear.
This reaction from Israeli society is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.
Where was there a similar Palestinian societal soul searching over the murders of the kidnapped teens? Where was the international hand wringing that Palestinian society has gone morally astray?
There will be no such soul searching not just over the murder of the kidnapped Israeli teens, but over the murder of Shelly Dadon ….
The murder victims are morally equivalent. None of the five were engaged in criminal conduct, and each was murdered out of religious hate. Their families grieve equally.
But just because the murder victims are morally equivalent, does not mean that the societies are equivalent in how they treat their murderers…. Every society has its murderers. How the societies react is the true test of morality.
(For more on Shelly Dadon, see my post, The ‘I Can’t Breathe’ case you never heard of.)
After the Abu Khdeir murder, pro-Israel bloggers (including me) signed an unequivocal joint statement condemning the murder, something we’ve never seen from anti-Israel bloggers and activists when Jews, including Jewish children, are murdered. See my post, Anti-Israel bloggers assume we hate like they hate — they are wrong.
The hand-wringing and soul-searching in Israel will continue as the case heads to trial. Which is a good thing.