David WegaThe writer is a freelancer who writes on democracy in Israel.
One may ask where Jews can walk safely in the Arab world.
Last year, there were international headlines when a 14-year old New Orleans-born Palestinian teen, Mohammad Khalek. was sentenced to two weeks in an Israeli prison for throwing rocks at cars on an Israeli highway. The young man had a history of throwing rocks, and he went before a democratic court where he was found guilty.
The United Nations issued a report around that time attacking the Israeli military for its abuses of the rights of Palestinian Arab children who are arrested for committing crimes by the Israeli military. At the time, Human Rights Watch’s Bill Van Esveld said, although this was not corroborated “There’s no justification for … shackling him for 12 hours and interrogating him while refusing to let him see his father or a lawyer.”
Earlier this month, Israel was accused of "torturing children" when they held apprehended Palestinian Arab minors in outdoor holding areas during the cold winter. Human rights groups condemned the action.
Meanwhile, this week in Judea and Samaria (which the media calls the “West Bank”), near and in the town of Kusra, a group of Jews – which included minors – was beaten during a hike. While there are differences in reports about what happened (see Rabbi Chaim Richman's article for details, ed.), it is agreed that the Jews were beaten after being detained outside the village.
It is also a fact that there has been absolute silence in the mainstream media and human rights organizations pertaining to the fact that Jews, including minors, were beaten. (Remarkable pictures on the page of Palestinian Photographer Ahmad T. Hasan.)
The Jewish group (including a 12-year old) was beaten with hammer, crowbars and clubs, and the villagers who beat the Jews were lauded by the Palestinian Authority government, as a statement released proclaimed "Citizens of Kusra village, who were subjected to numerous assaults by settlers during the past months, acted in self-defense."
If indeed, the Jews did something wrong, then they should stand trial and be subject to Israeli law. But Palestinian Arabs declare that those who capture and beat unarmed people are heroes. Quite a difference from the way Israel treats people – and the Israeli police arrested the Jews. Meanwhile, no Arabs have been arrested, and there are no human rights organizations condemning the fact that Arabs beat Jews. No commentary at all from human rights organizations on Jewish rights for trial before being beaten.
An alternate view than that which has thus far been presented by mainstream media can be seen in this video by a community spokesperson for Esh Kodesh.
One may ask where Jews can walk safely in the Arab world, while also remembering that Arabs walk freely throughout the State of Israel.
It is morally bankrupt to treat one religion differently than another – is that not the mantra of human rights organizations?
Surely one must agree that the Arabs who beat Jews this week in Kusra must be imprisoned.