Trauma, Terror or Torture?

In keeping with his trademark dictatorial style, Ariel Sharon was quick on the draw. Before the facts were in, he had already classified last Thursday's shooting in Shfaram as "the terrible act of a bloodthirsty terrorist."

Ellen W. Horowitz

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Arutz 7
In keeping with his trademark dictatorial style, Ariel Sharon was quick on the draw. Before the facts were in, hepe had already classified last Thursday's shooting in Shfaram as "the terrible act of a bloodthirsty terrorist."

Terrible act? For sure. Bloodthirsty terrorist? Best wait for an investigation. No terrorist group claimed responsibility and there was no dancing, celebratory firing in the air, or the passing-out of candies on the Israeli streets. There was only confusion and sorrow.

Yet, Prime Minister Sharon jumped the gun and leapt at the opportunity to brand, in bold letters, the terrorist label on Jewish soldier-gone-AWOL, Eden Natan-Zada.

A thoughtful and wise response from our leadership at such a sensitive time would have been a far more responsible approach. Condemning the act, expressing condolences, calling for calm and ordering an investigation would have sufficed, but Sharon couldn't help himself. It would have also been expected that a responsible leader would firmly and diplomatically denounce the lynching of Natan-Zada and call for an investigation into those circumstances as well. But wisdom went out of style when the keffiyah came into fashion on the White House lawn almost 13 years ago. Any half-intelligent utterings from Sharon after the incident were swept away, while "Jewish terrorist" stuck.

The Israeli media's proverbial crooked finger was only too happy to point at the national anti-Disengagement camp. While the international press and diplomats go to ridiculous lengths to avoid the terrorist term at all costs, the Israeli media and leadership have engaged in an almost obsessive effort and frenzied search to find a kippah-wearing Jew on whom to pin the label. It may have something to do with that sticky moral equivalency thing ("Look world, we have fanatics too and they're just as bad as you."), but could have more to do with a desperate attempt to demonize the anti-Disengagement camp while bolstering support for Sharon's ever-decreasingly popular plans and waning overall popularity. And I'm sure the Sharon clan was more than a bit relieved to have some of those pending corruption charges shoved to the back pages in order to make room for headlines about a Jewish terrorist.

While there remains a possibility that an investigation may reveal some wider plot by a small fringe group, any linkage to the vast numbers of individuals and groups opposing Sharon's Disengagement Plan or supporting settlement in Israel is simply, and blatantly, unfair and libelous.

Could it be that we are dealing with a criminal act perpetrated by a lone gunman who was a highly disturbed young man?

Is it also possible that a despondent and hot-blooded deserter committed cold-blooded murder in the name of some deluded personal ideology?

Could it be that the army failed in its responsibility and duty to pick up a distressed, AWOL and armed soldier, despite the pleas from his parents?

Could it also be that the highly politicized General Security Services was, once again, up to their shenanigans, and their plans either succeeded or backfired (one never really knows)?

In keeping with the warped values of a very confused Israeli society, Natan-Zada's battered corpse has been deemed "untouchable". As of this writing, neither the army nor the mayor of Natan-Zada's hometown of Rishon Letzion have an interest in burying the body - lest they bestow honor on the murderer.

Okay. So bury him without honors - military or civilian - what does it matter? It would have been appropriate for the Jewish State to just do the Jewish thing and, without pomp and ceremony, bury his battered and desecrated body as soon as possible. That the arrested and handcuffed Jew was already lynched by an Arab mob is simply not enough to satisfy the insatiable bloodlust of the secular humanists among us. They wanted more.

But a lot of us have had enough.

Thinking, feeling and sensitive human beings are particularly vulnerable at this time. The government's continued callousness under the circumstances is nothing less than negligence, and gross exploitation of national trauma and confusion.

The writer is the author of The Oslo Years: A Mother's Journal. The book is available through retailers listed at