"An Excuse That Is Uglier Than A Sin": Palestinian Condemnations
11 October 2015
By Khalid Amayreh
Israeli ''Defense'' Minister Moshe Yaalon has admitted that
his country's domestic security apparatus knows the identities and
whereabouts of the Jewish terrorists who a few weeks ago burned a Palestinian
family to death at a village in the northern West Bank.
The still-unidentified terrorists set the Dawabsheh family home, at the
village of Doma, south of the City of Nablus, on fire, burning to death three
members of the Palestinian family, the father, Saad, aged 34, the mother
Reham, aged 27, and their 18-month-old toddler Ali.
The fourth and last member of the family, a male child, is fighting for his
life in hospital. His conditions have been described as stable.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Yaalon said the Israeli security
authorities were reluctant to arrest the suspected murderers in order to
protect the identity of their sources.
Yaalon refused to say why he thought the protection of the "security sources
identity" was more important than arresting the murderers of three innocent
human beings and the attempted murder of a fourth.
Yaalon's remarks drew furious reactions from Palestinians as well as some
Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, a renowned advocate of human rights,
described Yaalon's remarks "as very strange coming from a strange minister."
"These are strange statements coming from a strange minister," Levy said in a
telephone interview with this reporter Saturday.
Levy described Yaalon's remarks as ''beyond Chutzpah."
"I don't think he would behave this way if the suspects were Palestinians. He
would move to get them arrested immediately."
Levy described the murderers as "mentally sick people who have served time in
mental hospitals, adding that it was very dangerous to keep these people at
"They could embark at a new crime at any moment."
Another Israeli commentator, Danny Rubenstein, rejected Yaalon's rationale
for not arresting the suspected murderers of the Dawabsheh family.
"These are unacceptable excuses. This justification constitutes a real insult
to the most elementary principles of justice."
Rubenstein, who was speaking on the Aljazeera English channel, said the
suspected killers would have to be arrested and prosecuted in order to
prevent the recurrence of the heinous crime.
Palestinian spokespersons strongly condemned Yaalon's remarks as "a clarion
proof of the Israeli government's complicity in terrorist crimes committed by
Jewish terrorists against our people."
"What Yaalon is effectively saying is that Jewish terrorists are having an
open license to murder Palestinians and burning them to death," said Ahmed
Tamimi, a Hamas spokesman in al-Khalil (Hebron).
"I have no doubt that the Israeli army and intelligence connived and colluded
with the murderous terrorists in carrying out the horrible crime"
Tamimi described Yaalon's rationale for not arresting the suspected murderers
as "a cheap excuse."
"Just imagine how Yaalon would have behaved if Palestinians were the
perpetrators and Jews were the victims. Would he have waited any time before
arresting the suspects?"
Tamimi said Yaalon was behaving quite characteristically, given his "criminal
record" as Chief of Staff for the Israeli army.
"Yaalon believes deep in his heart that a Palestinian is guilty and ought to
be killed even if proven innocent, and that a Jewish murderer is innocent
even if proven guilty."
Muhammad Yousef, a Palestinian professor of science from Bethlehem, described
Ya'alon's statements as "an excuse that is uglier than a sin."
"Imagine how Israeli and Zionist circles would react if a European minister
of interior justified the failure to arrest a terrorist suspected of
murdering a Jew on the ground that arresting the suspect would have exposed
the identity of a police agent and compromised vital security information.
"I imagine Jewish circles everywhere would have left no stone unturned in
order to demonize and vilify the European minister. Israel would also ask the
government of that minister to immediately fire him for his anti-Semitic
Earlier, PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced Yaalon's remarks,
saying the remarks amounted to encouraging Jewish terrorists to carry out
hideous crimes and atrocities against innocent and unprotected Palestinians.
The settlers who perpetrated the shocking crime are believed to be messianic
Jews affiliated with an underground terrorist group that is devoted to
driving non-Jews away from Israel-Palestine in order to establish a Talmudic
Jewish kingdom ruled by Jewish religious rule, known as Halacha.
Some messianic Jews believe that the "age of redemption" and appearance of
the Redeemer, or Jewish Messiah, must be preceded by worldwide tribulations
and bloody violence in which numerous people would lose their lives.
Messianic Jews also believe that non-Jews living under Jewish law ought to be
treated as "water carriers" or "wood hewers."
In the past, leaders of the settler movement, known as Gush Emunim (Bloc of
the Faithful) wrote that non-Jews living in a ''truly Jewish state ruled by
Halacha'' would have to be enslaved, expelled or physically exterminated.
Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and political commentator
living in Occupied Palestine.