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From Jewish Terrorist to Victim

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    How Israel s Jewish terrorist became a victim by Jonathan Cook Wednesday June 14 2006 http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/31394 ... Israel has
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2006
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      How Israel's Jewish terrorist became a victim
      by Jonathan Cook
      Wednesday June 14 2006


      "Israel has shown time and again that it selectively enforces law and
      order, depending on the ethnicity of killer and victim."


      Imagine the following scenario. A Palestinian gunman boards a bus
      inside Israel and rides it to the city of Netanya. Close to the end of
      the line, he walks over to the driver, levels his automatic rifle
      against the man's head and pumps him with bullets. He turns and
      empties the rest of the magazine -- one of 14 in his backpack -- into
      the passenger behind the driver and two young women sitting across the

      As bystanders in the street outside look on in horror, our gunman then
      reloads his weapon and sprays the bus with yet more fire, injuring 20
      people. He approaches a woman huddled beneath a seat, trying to hide
      from him, lowers the gun to her head and pulls the trigger. The
      magazine is empty. As he tries to load a third clip, she grabs the
      burning barrel of the gun while other passengers rush him.

      Seeing their chance, the onlookers storm the bus and fuelled by a
      mixture of passions -- fury, indignation and fear of further attack --
      they beat the gunman to death.

      As the news breaks, Israeli TV prefers to continue its coverage of a
      local football match rather report the killings. Later, when the
      channels do cover the deaths, they start by showing the picture of the
      gunman with the caption "God bless his soul" -- in the same manner as
      they would normally relate to the victim of a terror attack.

      Despite the Prime Minister denouncing the gunman as a terrorist to the
      world, domestically the media and police concentrate instead on the
      "lynch mob" who killed the gunman. The police launch a secretive
      investigation which after 10 months leads to the arrests of seven men
      on charges of murdering him, and the promise of more arrests to come.
      A police spokesman describes the men's act against the gunman as one
      of "cold-blooded murder".

      Fanciful? Ridiculous? Well, exactly these events have unfolded in
      Israel over the past year -- except that the location was not the
      Jewish city of Nentanya but the Arab town of Shafa'amr in the Galilee;
      the gunman was not a Palestinian but an Israeli soldier using his
      army-issue M-16; and the victims were not Israeli Jews but Israeli Arabs.

      See how it now starts to make sense.

      The killing of four Palestian citizens of Israel by the 19-year-old
      soldier Eden Natan Zada on 4 August last year, shortly before the
      disengagement from Gaza, has been quietly forgotten by the world.
      After the Arab victims were buried, the only question that concerned
      Israelis was who killed Zada. They appear now to have got their
      answer: seven men from Shafa'amr have been rounded up by Israeli
      police to stand trial for his "cold-blooded" murder.

      No one was interested in the official neglect of the families of
      Shafa'amr's dead, all of whom were denied the large compensation
      payments given to Israeli victims of Palestinian terror. A ministerial
      committee ruled that, because Zada was a serving soldier, his attack
      could not be considered a terrorist incident. Apparently only Arabs
      can be terrorists. To this day the state has not given the families a
      penny of the compensation automatically awarded to Jewish families.

      There was no investigation of why Zada, well-known for his extremist
      views, had been allowed to go AWOL for weeks from his unit without
      attempts to trace him. Or how his family's repeated warnings that he
      had threatened to do something "terrible" to stop the disengagement
      had been ignored by the authorities. No one questioned why, a few days
      before his attack, the police had sent Zada away after he tried to
      hand in his gun.

      Even more disturbing, no one discussed why Zada, who openly belonged
      to a racist and outlawed movement, Kach, which demands the expulsion,
      if not eradication, of Arabs from the Holy Land, had been allowed to
      serve in the army. How had he and thousands of other Kach supporters
      been left in peace to promote their obscene ideas? Why were these Kach
      activists, mostly young Israelis, demonstrating openly against the
      Gaza disengagement, assaulting policemen and soldiers, when the group
      was supposedly underground?

      And why did the authorities not round up and question Zada's Kach
      friends in his West Bank settlement of Tapuah after the attack? Why
      was their possible involvement in its planning never considered, nor
      their role in inciting him to his deed?

      The point was that the Israeli authorities wanted Zada to be dismissed
      as a lone, crazy gunman -- like Baruch Goldstein before him, the army
      doctor who in 1994 opened fire in the Palestinian city of Hebron,
      killing 29 Muslim worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and
      wounding 125 others.

      Although Yitzhak Rabin, the prime minister then, denounced Goldstein
      as an "errant weed", a shrine and park was built for him nearby, in
      the settlement of Kiryat Arba, venerating him as a "saint" and "a
      righteous and holy man". Far from being isolated, his shrine regularly
      attracts thousands of Israeli Jews who congregate deep in Palestinian
      territority to honour him.

      Instead of seeking out and eradicating this growing strain of Jewish
      fundamentalism in the wake of the Shafa'amr terror attack, Israel
      claimed that finding and punishing the men who killed Zada was the
      priority. It was a matter of law and order, said Dan Ronen, the police
      force's northern commander. He told the Hebrew media: "In a country
      with law and order, despite the sensitivity, people can't do whatever
      they see fit. I hope the Arab sector will display maturity and

      This sounds like an outrageous double standard to the citizens of
      Shafa'amr, and to the country's more than one million Palestinian
      citizens. Enforcing the law has never been a major consideration when
      the offenders are Jewish and the victims are Arabs, even when the
      killings occur inside Israel.

      Arab citizens have not forgotten the massacre of 49 men, women and
      children by a unit of soldiers who enforced a last-minute curfew on
      the Israeli village of Kfar Qassem in 1956, executing the villagers --
      Arabs, of course -- at the checkpoint one by one as they innocently
      returned home from a day's work in the fields.

      During their trial, the Haaretz newspaper reported that the soldiers
      received a 50 per cent pay increase and that it was obvious the men
      were "not treated as criminals but as heroes". Found guilty of an
      "administrative error", the commander was given a one penny fine.

      Nor was anyone held to account when six unarmed Arab citizens were
      shot dead by the security services in the Galilean town of Sakhnin in
      1976 as they protested against another wave of land confiscations that
      deprived rural Arab communities of their farm land. The prime minister
      of the day, Rabin again, refused even to launch an investigation.

      Some 25 years later, an inquiry was held into the killing by the
      police of 13 unarmed Arabs in the Galilee in October 2000 as they
      protested the deaths of Palestinians at the Noble Sanctuary in
      Jerusalem -- the trigger for the intifada. Six years on, however, not
      a single policeman has been charged over the deaths inside Israel.
      Even the commanders who illegally authorised the use of an anti-terror
      sniper unit against demonstrators armed only with stones have not been

      Israel's Arab citizens are also more than familiar with the story of
      the "Bus 300 affair" of 1984, when two Palestinian gunmen from the
      occupied territories were captured after hijacking a bus inside
      Israel. Led away in handcuffs by the Shin Bet security service, the
      two men were later reported dead.

      No one was ever charged over the killings, even though it was widely
      known at the time who had killed the men and later one senior Shin Bet
      operative, Ehud Yatom, admitted breaking the men's skulls with a rock.
      In 1986, to forestall the threat of any indictments, the president of
      the day, Chaim Herzog, gave all the Shin Bet agents involved an
      amnesty from prosecution.

      If it is shown in court that Zada was in fact beaten to death after
      the crowd knew he had been restrained, then this history -- of the
      state's repeated denial of justice to the Arab victims of its violence
      -- must be taken into account. No one can reasonably have expected the
      onlookers to stay calm knowing that Zada, like other Jewish emissaries
      of the state before him, would receive either no punishment or a few
      years of jail and a pardon because he killed Arabs rather than Jews.

      Israel has shown time and again that it selectively enforces law and
      order, depending on the ethnicity of killer and victim.

      Commander Ronen observed at a press conference after the Shafa'amr
      arrests: "Since October 2000 we have come a long way in our relations
      with the Arab sector." If that is true, which is doubtful, the
      authorites have again made every effort to tear apart what little is
      left of that trust.



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