Condemnation, not Self-Flagellation, is What is Needed Here

Why is it that Obama can keep the State Department and media from using the words 'Islamic terror' about a fast-spreading scourge, but our leaders think 'Jewish terror' sounds just fine.

Larry Gordon,

OpEds Larry Gordon
Larry Gordon

It was the middle of a heat wave, not unlike any of the others during this long and penetratingly scorching summer in Israel. In the city of Beit El, just out of Jerusalem, bulldozers and riot police did their thing as the High Court of Justice ordered the immediate demotion of 24 unoccupied apartments on the outskirts of the community.  In the center of Jerusalem an obviously deranged man dressed as a hassid stabbed six people associated with or marching in a gay demonstration or parade of sorts.  On Sunday one of those victims - a 16 year old girl  - died.

In the meantime someone or perhaps a number of people set a home ablaze in a Palestinian town of Duma just outside of Jerusalem and near the key Arab town of Ramallah. A young child died in the fire and others were injured. There is something out of sync and incongruous, even though these acts are condemnable and repugnant, about the ease with which all sides seem to relish rushing to utter the words, "Jewish terrorists," when referring to the perpetrators of this awful attack.  So far as of this writing no one has been apprehended, so from a legal and proper perspective it is premature to talk about what happened in such definitive terms.

But even if it is Jews that will be apprehended and tried for this terrible act of murder, how can anyone be so certain that it was an act of terror?  The fact is that we do not know and will not know until someone is tried and convicted or confesses to the crime. In the meantime, whoever it is should also be considered innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around.

When a young man from Judea and Samaria is shot at point blank range in his face and killed by Arabs, it takes days for Israeli investigators to figure out whether the attack was criminal or nationalistic.
And in addition and just as importantly and as some have suggested, if this is indeed found to be an act of terror by Jews, that there are thousands of such acts perpetrated by Arabs against Jews is in no way to be used to justify or rationalize what occurred. There should, however, be a parity applied to the fashion in which these situations are perceived and represented to the media.  On Sunday Prime Minister Netanyahu reached out to President Abbas asking that together they fight all forms of terror. There was no reaction or response from the Palestinian Arab side. 

For example, when a young man from Judea and Samaria is shot at point blank range in his face and killed by Arabs, it takes days for Israeli investigators and authorities to figure out whether the attack was criminal or nationalistic. If the Arab attacker wants the victims  car or money then it's just a mugging or criminal attack. It is only if they are intent on murdering Jews because they feel they are taking or stealing their land or something like that, then and only then can we conclude that it is an act of terror.

In this case, even though at this point the perpetrators have not even been identified, all we hear from just about every direction are the words "Jewish Terror," or "settler terror."  This is at a time when despite it going legion, President Obama and others in his administration absolutely refuse to utter the word---Islamic Terror. The president's refusal to use those two words is based on his insistence that it disparages the great Islamic religion which is overwhelmingly peaceful.

The liberal media shares the presidents reluctance to attach the words radical or terror to the word Islam.  In Israel last week and absorbing all the breaking news, it struck me that there was no reluctance or hesitation whatsoever to refer to what took place in the Arab town of Duma as settler or Jewish terror.

What was particularly disheartening was the way in which Jewish leaders were quick to condemn Jewish terror. Considering that makes the Jews look violent and bad. It was Palestinian Autority Chairman Mohammad Abbas who threatened to sue Israel in the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Is he kidding? The man who has presided over hundreds if not thousands of violent attacks against Jews is incensed and bent on seeking justice? 

And it is important to keep in mind that as of this writing no one has yet been apprehended for the crime.

The whole situation is beginning to sound like an Eric Garner or Michael Brown type of situation where the essential objective is a payday.  It doesn't matter from whom. It can be israel the US, or the UN, it does not at all matter as long as somewhere down the line there is a payment coming to compensate in some fashion for the loss.  In our case the objective is for Israel to pay but not necessarily with money. Here the currency is to get israel to cower and retreat--- preferably from territory. That's the payday the world is so thirsty for.

The sense here in Jerusalem from the taxi drivers and others that I've randomly polled is that Israel would be able to withstand the intense pressure if it could also somehow resist collapsing from within. Somehow and for some bizarre reason as long as the Arabs are doing the killing and the Jews doing the dying everything seems okay and going according to plan.

When an Arab driver runs over and kills or injures Israeli civilians, or stabs a Jew near the Damascus Gate there is little comment or reaction except for the UN and the U.S., urging that both sides act with restraint. If some wild and out of control Jewish teenagers commit a dastardly crime---as might be the case here---it is cause for the entire Jewish nation and Jews the world over to be maneuvered into a position that warrants national introspection and soul searching.

President Obama who in reality has little more than a flimsy connection to Islam absolutely refuses to utter anything even remotely sounding like Radical Islam. Jewish leaders jumped on the opportunity with enthusiasm to condemn Jewish terror whether this is the case here or not.

Apparently to the Obama administration what people say either has little or a great deal of meaning depending on whom is proclaiming what. When Prime Minister Netanyahu said prior to the last Israel elections that there would be no Palestinian state as long he was in office, President Obama said that was it. As far as he was concerned Mr. Netanyahu could not change of withdraw those words. As far as Mr Obama was concerned Bibi was therefore opposed to the two state solution which meant he was opposed to peace. The President made it clear that he had little regard for someone like that.

When President Rouhani or Ayatollah Khameini lead thousands in a chant of "death to America," the administration's policy is to just turn the other cheek and look away.  When asked about this as he was testifying before Congress two weeks ago, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "We are going to judge the Iranians by what they do, not by what they say."

It seems that vicious terrorists get the benefit of the doubt, a lot of wiggle room and rhetorical maneuverability. Not so for the freely elected and sterling democracy that is the state of Israel. We need to stop being so comfortable and at ease with condemning and ridiculing ourselves.  That a hassidic-looking. seriously mentally incapacitated man did what he did in Jerusalem last week should not cast aspersions on on the hundreds of thousands of people in this country who may dress like and resemble him.

And if the perpetrators of the arson murder in Duma prove to be Jews or settlers. that is a far cry from qualifying or branding all people in that category as terrorists.

I wish I could write the same thing about radical Islam.