Sunday, July 6, 2014

Compare and Contrast

The media has been filled in recent days by the response to the horrific murders of "our Boys" (Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal הי"ד) and the subsequent equally horrific murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.  The response to these two acts of barbarianism is a good opportunity to compare values in Jewish and Arab society.

So with flashbacks to 6th form English, here is my essay on "Compare and Contrast the response to murders in the Holy land"

Murder of Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali

What Happened: Three teenagers were kidnapped and murdered on their way home from school.

The Perpetrators: Members of Hamas.

Why were they killed: Because they were Jewish.

Response of the Palestinian Leadership:  Palestinian Authority issued a belated condemnation, Hamas denied responsibility but said that they supported the action.

Response of the Palestinian People: Wide spread celebration including handing out candies in the street and the infamous 3-fingered salute. Large number of rockets fired at civilian targets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Anti-Semitic cartoons in the PA-controlled Palestinian press.

Response of World Leaders: Mild commendation and calls on Israel for restraint.

Response of the Israeli Leadership: Condemnation of the act, and swift action to try to locate the kidnapped teenagers, which included a curfew on the areas where the perpetrators were believed to be hiding and the arrest of several hundred members of Hamas.

Response of the Israeli People: When the boys were reported missing: massive prayer rallies and calls to increase good deeds; When the boys were found dead: tears and massive attendance at the funerals. There were limited calls for revenge which were widely condemned by religious and political leaders. There were also demonstrations in favour of unity and peace with the Palestinian People.


Murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir

What Happened: A teenager was murdered on his way to morning prayers at a local mosque.

The Perpetrators: Unknown at this stage; one theory is that it is a revenge killing, other possibilities are that it was a family "honour-killing".

Why was he killed: Unknown at this stage

Response of the Palestinian Leadership: Immediate condemnation.

Response of the Palestinian People: Massive violent rioting across the country, including massive damage of property throughout Jerusalem, including attacks against people in Northern and Southern Jerusalem, the torching of a UN vehicle near Armon HaNatziv. Riots in the Galilee, and a large number of rockets fired at civilian targets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Anti-Semitic editorials in the PA-controlled Palestinian press, including Blood Libel (claims that the boy was murdered for use in Jewish religious ritual).

Response of World Leaders: Immediate strong commendation.

Response of the Israeli Leadership: Swift action to try to locate the perpetrators and strong condemnation of the murder. Public statements from political leaders across the spectrum condemning violence or calls for revenge.

Response of the Israeli People: Strong condemnation of the murder. and calls to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Public statements from religious leaders (including the Chief Rabbi) condemning violence or calls for revenge.



I'd also like to mention the murder of Omaima Jaradat


What Happened: A 16 year old Arab Girl was murdered by her uncle for "disgracing family honour".

The Perpetrators: The girl's uncle.

Why was she killed: "Disgracing family honour"

Response of the Palestinian Leadership: No public response - Arabs killing a female family member is not newsworthy.

Response of the Palestinian People: No public response - Arabs killing a female family member is not newsworthy.

Response of World Leaders: No public response - Arabs killing a female family member is not newsworthy.

Response of the Israeli Leadership: Police arrested the murderer, No public response.

Response of the Israeli People: Arabs killing a female family member is not newsworthy.


A Facebook friend of mine said that there is no difference between different types of killing, all mothers grieve the same. It may be true that all mothers grieve (although I'm not sure how mothers respond to an "honor-killing" of their children) - however there is a profound difference between how different cultures respond to grief (hint: massive destruction of public property and attacks against civilians is not supported or encouraged by all cultures).

Lets hope that Muhammad Abu Khdeir's murderer  is quickly brought to justice and we have a quieter week in this little country of ours.

3 comments:

Rabbi Sedley said...

Once again, an excellent post. Your sixth form clearly was not entirely wasted.

Michael Sedley said...

Quick update -

According to reports in the past couple of hours, it looks like Jewish extremists have been arrested in connection to the Murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, so it looks like he was murdered as a very mis-guided revenge killing.

I hope that the murders receive the strongest possible penalty available under the law, and anyone who assisted or supported them is arrested and prosecuted as an accessory to murder.

Cara Bereck Levy said...

Michael, the problem is that we are on a slippery slope. The murder of our three boys did bring mobs hunting through Jerusalem for Arabs. I cannot get my heart to accept that Muhammad Abu Khdeir may have been murdered by Jews, cannot accept the fact that apparently border police beat his cousin into unconsciousness....
We seem, for all our morality--and yes, we are moral as a whole--to have nurtured people who see Arabs as sub-human, in just the way that Jews were de-legitimatized into sub-human status throughout much of history.
What has happened to us?
and this: http://blogs.forward.com/jj-goldberg/201468/ex-shin-bet-chief-israeli-illusions-fueled-blowup/