Op-Ed: Terrorist Release? What About the "Jewish Terrorists"?
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.
Israel, release the Baruch Goldsteins"
If Israel releases the sadistic Arab terrorists who took the lives of so many Jews, the decent Israeli public opinion should set up a campaign on behalf of the so-called "Jewish terrorists". These are the Jews who defended themselves or took revenge over the murder of relatives and friends. They have been jailed for "security reasons".
We don't have to agree with what they did. But if Israel release all these pre-Oslo Palestinian terror monsters, why should it show no mercy to these Jews in jail? They have been defended by Honenu, the organization founded by Shmuel Meidad which assists Jews in legal difficulties connected to the Israeli-Arab conflict..
Ofir Avraham was a soldier who stormed a terrorist who smashed through an army barrier. The terrorist died on the way to the hospital. After eight years, apparently after pressure from international and leftist organizations, Avraham has being charged with manslaughter.
"S", a female combat soldier, inspected the bag of an Arab woman and discovered a Coca Cola bottle containing a suspicious liquid. She asked the woman what was in it, and was told: “Water”. “So drink it”, she said. The Arab woman suffered from food poisoning. After pressure from Amnesty International, "S" was put in jail.
"A", a resident of the Shilo bloc, accompanied a group of students as a security guard. Near Shilo their bus was stoned by the Arabs, and he got out and fired. As a result an Arab was injured. "A" was kept in custody for six months during the course of the trial, when he was found guilty of minor offenses and released. A civil action was subsequently brought against him and he was forced to pay to $2000.
"S", a kibbutznik, was employed during the first Intifada as a guard. After worki hours, a group of Arabs approached the outermost houses of the settlement. "S" claimed that one of the Arabs was holding a gun. He fired and killed the Arab, and subsequently received a prison sentence.
"I" is a resident of one of the Eli hilltops. An Arab who got too close to the hilltop claims that "I" attacked him with a stick. He was charged with assault.
"A" is a resident of Kiryat Arba employed by Civil Intelligence Ltd. as a security guard. When an Arab attempted to break into the branch of Bank Hapoalim that he was guarding in East Jerusalem, he fired at and killed him. He was put on trial.
"B", a resident of Tekoa, fired at and injured an Arab throwing stones. After plea-bargaining he was found guilty. Subsequently a civil action was brought against him.
Yitzhak Rubinstein, the security officer of Beit Hagai, was charged with assault when he used “excessive force” to drive off two Arabs who penetrated his community.
"H" is a farmer who owns fruit orchards in the southern Hevron hills. One Shabbat he visited his orchard. In a pre-planned provocation, an Arab shepherd arrived with his flock and crossed an agreed limiting boundary. "H" turned back the flock, and at that moment the shepherd called out and group of leftists and Arabs arrived in order to advance the flock further over the boundary. "H" is charged with firing in the air and has been placed under house arrest.
Shahar and Yanai fought together with their comrades in the famous ambush near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, in which their comrades and the Brigade Commander, Dror Weinberg, father of young children, were killed. They were accused a few days later of beating up several Arabs and killing an Arab in revenge for their comrades.
David Sharvit, married with 5 children, a building contractor who employs only Jewish labor, lives in Har Bracha. He fired at and wounded an Arab who had thrown stones at him, and was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.
Rabbi Yehoshua Shani, married with 7 children, principal of a high school, a resident of Kiryat Arba and a member of the city council. He visited an outpost set up after the murder of teacher Rina Didovsky and cab driver Eliyahu Ben Ami, and encountered a wild attack by Arabs. He was forced to fire in the air in order to drive them off. He was kept in custody for two weeks and subsequently forced to leave his family and go to live in Kiryat Shmona for another two months.
Danny Morali is a businessman. His brother was murdered by Arabs in an accident that later turned out to have been staged. Danny found no peace for his soul, and a year later drove to the place of the murder and killed an Arab truck driver. He then gave himself up to the police, and explained his motives. Danny was awarded a medal for bravery in the Yom Kippur War when as an Ordnance officer he saved his battalion. Danny was sentenced to life imprisonment with no mitigating circumstances.
Natan Engelsman worked as a technician for Coca Cola and traveled throughout Yesha to repair equipment. When stones were thrown at him in the village of El-Jib he attempted to defend himself by firing in the air. By accident he hit an Arab woman. He was found guilty of causing death by negligence and was also sued for damages by the woman’s family.
Uriel Davidi, a resident of Shilo, after two of his friends from the military academy in Eli were murdered, shot an Arab near Eli, was arrested, and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.
Gur Hammel, a resident of Itamar, after two of his friends were murdered (Harel Bin-Nun and Shlomo Liebman), and after an Israel Electric employee, Danny Vergas, was murdered in Kiryat Arba, killed an Arab on the same day near Itamar. Gur was born on Kibbutz Sa’ad and is the brother-in-law of Meir Lixenberg, who was recently murdered in Itamar. He was sentenced to life imprisonment (as though there were no mitigating circumstances).
All these Israelis have been jailed or morally destroyed because the IDF chose to appease Arab terrorism and because of what they call "the peace process" - which is, in fact, a process of blood-letting that is bringing the Israelis to the state of Lebanon and Sarajevo.
It is the meaning of the story of Dr. Baruch Goldstein. The city of Hevron endured horrific trials in 1993. A girl raised there, Chava Waksberg, was murdered in February. The yeshiva student Erez Shmuel was murdered on his way to worship at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in May. The alley leading toward the tomb carries his name. Igor Gorgol was murdered in August. On December 6, Muslim terrorists gunned down Mordechai Lapid, one of Goldstein’s closest friends, as he was driving out thorugh the town gate. Dr. Goldstein rushed to his friend and tried to revive him for forty minutes, long after it was medically hopeless. Mordechai’s son Shalom also died of his wounds that day.
During the week before the Purim holiday in February 1994, American tourists praying in Machpelah heard the terrifying shouts from nearby Arabs, “Itbakh al-Yahud,” “Kill the Jews.” Reports of impending Arab violence circulated within local military circles. After their community had been obliterated in the 1929 pogrom and finally rebuilt, after dozens of their own had been killed and wounded, the Jews of Hevron did not take threats to their security and survival lightly.
More than forty Jews have been killed in Hevron since 1993. But only one incident, that of Baruch Goldstein, was considered worthy of attention by the international press.
Nine military officers reported information about “an imminent Arab attack,” expected to coincide with Purim. After so many attacks by Arabs already, Dr. Goldstein—a devout Jew from Brooklyn, a quiet family man who had treated all of the Hevron victims, Jew and Arab alike, who never hesitated to drive alone at any hour of the day or night to help someone in need of medical attention, who wore his beeper twenty-four hours a day, next to his pistol and the fringes of his prayer garment—on Purim morning, February 25, 1994, opened fire with an assault rifle on the Muslims praying in the Cave of Machpelah, killing twenty-nine of them. Goldstein had been told, as a physician, to prepare for mass casualties.
A note was found in Goldstein’s pocket: “With God’s help. Text of a confession from the bridge of life. I thank you, oh Lord, our Father and the Father of our fathers, in whose hands are my health and my death, for the life and life’s require- ments. . . . I beseech you, make me well.” It is the text of a religious prayer formulated centuries ago (attributed to Nahmanides) for use by terminally ill Jewish patients.
The Arabs who murdered Baruch Goldstein have never been brought to trial. The Shamgar Commission, a whitewash and coverup for Israeli government responsibility, in its investigation shows that Dr. Goldstein's act was not an unprovoked act of violence, but a pre-emptive strike against a looming Arab pogrom of the Jewish population of Hevron. More than forty Jews have been killed in Hevron since 1993. But only one incident, that of Baruch Goldstein, was considered worthy of attention by the international press.
If Israel releases the Palestinian Arab serial killers who have so much Jewish blood in their hands, it should also pardon the "Jewish terrorists". Otherwise Israel will find itself acting out the paradox of freeing the Arabs who decapitated Jewish children and jailing the Jews who sacrified themselves to protect Jewish lives.
It is a question of justice, decency and mercy.