ISSN 2330-717X

World Needs To Hear More About Israel’s Serial Murders – OpEd

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In the rare instance that an Israeli Jew is brought to trial for committing an act of violence, the accused is given every benefit, including a defense lawyer, a public hearing and the benefit of any doubt. But when a Palestinian is accused of violence, they are usually shot dead first and then vilified by the Israeli government’s propaganda machine, which spins events to demonize the victim without trial, justice or a shred of honesty.

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Even if the murdered suspects are presumed guilty, convicted in the Israeli government’s court of public propaganda and demonization, the punishments do not stop with the suspects. Israel’s government not only condemns the suspects, dead or alive, but also condemns their relatives, as long as they are Christian or Muslim and not Jewish.
Collective punishment is a clear violation of the international rule of law, but Israel’s government rejects that assertion — offering further clear evidence of its apartheid.

Israel’s government asserts that it does not recognize the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the excessive punishment of civilians during conflict, and therefore claims that it is not subject to its articles. Meanwhile, Israel also asserts that it is a democracy.

Refusing to recognize the international rule of law is proof that Israel is not really a democracy. It is only pretending to be a democracy, which means that, when it wants to appeal for support from Western democracies, it can get support. A nation that embraces apartheid policies is neither a democracy nor a follower of the international rule of law.

Israel’s government this week announced that it would impose sanctions on Jenin to restrict movement in and out of the city, further decimating its already crippled economy. Its reasoning was that several Palestinian civilians who were recently murdered by the Israeli Defense Forces were from Jenin or nearby villages. The Palestinians were killed while protesting against Israel’s continued killing of other civilians.

Some were killed by the IDF, armed racist settlers and Israeli police because a Palestinian was accused of attacking and killing three Israelis at a bar in Tel Aviv last week. A dozen other Israeli civilians were wounded in the gun attack.

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Had the attack been carried out by a Jew against Christians or Muslims, the attacker would have been arrested, given a defense attorney and prosecuted publicly in a court of law, where people are, in a democracy, innocent until proven guilty. The family of the Jewish suspect would receive all kinds of legal and financial aid from supporters and no one would be talking about destroying the suspect’s mother’s home or putting his sisters and brothers out on the street.

But the Tel Aviv attack was by a Muslim Palestinian, who was shot dead on the spot, as is the practice of the Israeli military when responding to violence against Jews.

Immediately after the attack, the Israelis invaded the village where the alleged attacker hailed from and arrested, beat and shot several other Palestinians who had nothing to do with the attack. Israel stereotypes all Palestinians as being co-conspirators and accomplices in violence against Jews. So they destroyed the homes of his relatives. It is part of what Prime Minister Naftali Bennett describes as giving Israeli soldiers “no limits” in how they respond to such attacks.
If this did not involve death, destruction and civilian suffering, it might be funny because Israel already offers “no limits” to its forces when they target Christians and Muslims.

Last week, widowed mother-of-six Ghada Sabateen was walking down the street in Husan, a village near Bethlehem. Israeli soldiers ordered her to stop and shot her dead when she did not. This murder did not make headlines in mainstream American newspapers and, where it was reported, it was buried in wordy pro-Israel propaganda as part of stories that focused on the Tel Aviv killings, which are being used to justify every attack in which the victims are Palestinian.

The biggest problem, however, is that the Palestinians are dysfunctional when it comes to communicating and producing counter-propaganda. They cannot seem to document the names and identities of all the victims. Although, in fairness, the killings are happening too frequently.

Instead of pressuring the major news media to be fair, Palestinians in the US are more focused on extremist rhetoric against Israel. They have failed to orchestrate an effective campaign to raise the profile of these routine killings.
Palestinian deaths are wrapped in a fog of incomplete information, while the Israelis take every death and spin it like it was the end of the world, with the victim’s every detail widely distributed.

Something needs to be done to stop Israel’s serial murders. They need to be fully publicized and documented — quickly.

The Israeli propagandists spew a series of rapid responses through a network of communications, press releases, press conferences, choreographed statements and expertly created videos. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are head-locked by extremist voices that focus more on anger-driven hate than on justice.

Ray Hanania

*Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian-American former journalist and political columnist. Email him at [email protected]

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