Dr. Dmitry Shumsky of Hebrew University published an article in Ha'aretz Monday in which he pointed out alleged differences between Arab terrorism against Jews and the attack on the Dawabshe family in the village of Duma, which Israeli security forces found to have been perpetrated by Jews.
Shumsky is a former director of the university's Bernard Cherrik Center for the Study of Zionism, the Yishuv and the State of Israel.
He said that, while Arab terrorism is "an extreme and illegitimate component" of the otherwise "legitimate" Arab "resistance" to Israeli "occupation" of Arab land, Jewish terrorism is "an extreme and illegitimate component" of the Israeli "occupation," which is ab initio illegitimate and unjust.
Another difference, he argued, is that the Arab attacks on Jews – including those against children and the elderly – are usually carried out by people who are "clearly willing to die on the spot and thus pay the price for their deeds." While Shumsky denied that he was encouraging this terror or expressing admiration for its perpetrators, he insisted that "no small degree of courage" is required for a person to attack armed soldiers with a knife, for instance.
The Duma attack, by contrast, is "a terror of cowards," Shumsky explained. "There is no other way to describe the deeds of those who sneak up in the middle of the night into a village of prisoners of the occupation, set alight a house whose inhabitants are asleep in their beds, and quickly run for their lives back to their occupation comrades," he said.
Writing on Facebook, pundit Yotam Zimri was quick to point out the article, which he termed "garbage," and to rhetorically ask: "Throwing a rock at Adelle Biton's head – is that courage? Shooting the Henkins in front of their children – is that courage? Abducting three youths, shooting them in their heads and escaping – is that courage? Burning Ayala Shapira – is that courage? Stopping to ask Danny Gonen z"l a question, and shooting him point blank when he stops to answer you – is that courage? Firing on the vehicle carrying Malachi Rosenfeld z"l – is that courage? Firing from afar at baby Shalhevet Pass – is that courage? Sending other people to explode in your name and destroying entire families, children included, like Barghouti did – is that courage? And knowing that you will then receive a book with a nice dedication from Amos Oz so that you have something to read in your spacious cell – is that courage?"
Zimri opined that throwing a firebomb into a home at night, as the arson-murderers at Duma did, is indeed cowardly, but "whoever turns the Palestinians into heroes because of the willingness of a few of them to unite with 72 virgins is mostly an idiot."