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Orbach: Media is Making Murder an Option

Minister criticizes media coverage of Be’er Sheva slayings. ‘Media is unintentionally encouraging more murder.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/22/2013, 10:45 AM

Murder Scene in Be'er Sheva
Murder Scene in Be'er Sheva
Flash 90

The Israeli media is unintentionally encouraging murder, Minister for Pensioners Affairs Uri Orbach (Bayit Yehudi) warned Wednesday.

In a post to his Facebook page, Orbach criticized media coverage of the murder of four people in a bank in Be’er Sheva on Monday. The murderer, a disgruntled customer, shot and killed four people and then himself. Some have since suggested that the murderer was motivated by financial distress.

“When citizens, politicians and journalists say that the murderer in Be’er Sheva did it because of the ‘financial situation’ in the country, they are flat-out encouraging more murders, albeit unintentionally,” he wrote.

Trying to explain murder “makes murder another option,” he wrote. “Maybe extreme, maybe ‘disproportionate,’ certainly forbidden – but an option.”

“Murder should arouse disgust and revulsion toward the murderer, and a sense of complete solidarity with the innocent victims and their families,” he continued. “The media should not broadcast all the quotes from citizens arguing, ‘The financial decrees led to this,’ ‘The way the banks treat people led to this.’”

“There is a murderer, there are victims. Reasonable people do not seek justifications for murder, and responsible journalists do not publicize this dangerous nonsense,” he wrote.

The mother of the murderer was interviewed for the first time Tuesday and expressed horror at her son’s actions. “My heart has been ripped apart. Four innocent families have been destroyed… I don’t know what happened to Itamar that he destroyed those families. It hurts so, so, so much. I cannot describe how much I hurt for those families.”