Light sentence in brutal murder shows double standard for Jews, Palestinians

A Jerusalem teenager, identified only as “A,” was given a perplexingly short 8- year sentence after a plea bargain for the stabbing death of a Palestinian, Hussam Rawidi, following a brutal and apparently unprovoked attack.  The charge was reduced from “murder” to” killing, (manslaughter)” which enabled the court to impose the lenient sentence.   The crime occurred on February 11, 2011. Rawidi was 24-years-old when he was killed. 

The incident took place in the center of Jerusalem, on a Friday night.The defendant and three of his friends, residents of Jerusalem, Beit-El and Itamar, heard Rawidi talking with his friend Murad Jelani in Arabic. A friend of the defendant’s began voicing racist remarks toward the two. 

In its ruling, the court said that at the time, the defendant was not aware of the racist remarks made by his friend. However, he joined the quarrel after seeing his friend beating the two.

Judge Zvi Segal said that, ‘At some point, the young man pulled out a barber’s razor blade and assaulted the deceased, causing a deep cut in his face, from the ear to his cheek.’  It also states that while Rawidi was bleeding to death, two of the friends also began beating Rawidi.

Two friends of “A” were apprehended by police when they returned to the stabbing scene and attempted to remove evidence of the crime. (Hebrew report only.)

Two of the defendant’s friends were convicted of causing a severe injury, as part of a deal reached with the prosecution, and were sentenced to six months of community service. [Emphasis mine, IG]

It is not clear from the reports if these two were also the youths who attempted to conceal the crime or the disposition of the case of the third friend of “A.”  The perpetrators’ names did not appear in the report, but the names of both victims were given.

In addition to the prison term, the defendant was ordered to pay a sum of 5000 shekels (approx. 1200 US dollars) to the family of the victim.  This sum was described by Ha’aretz as minuscule (זעומים). (Hebrew report only).

The father of the victim, Hussain Rawidi, told the newspaper, “This is not worth anything, that he serves eight years for what he did….  Those are the courts, I can’t do anything.  He murdered my son just because he is an Arab.” (Hebrew only)

Yariv Oppenheimer, the director of Peace Now, said, “If the perpetrator was an Arab and the victim was Jewish, the sentence would have been life.  Only in Israeli courts, the life of an Arab is worth no more than 5000 shekels.  The prosecution must appeal the sentence.” (Hebrew only) 

Again in the Hebrew version only, the paper provides this instructive comparison. 

In similar cases the judgment was far harsher.  In 2009, Eric Karp was murdered on a Tel Aviv beach by Arab youths.  These attackers were also convicted of killing [as opposed to murder, IG] but they were sentenced to a 26-year prison term and forced to compensate the family in the amount of 300,000 shekels.

Sources

Hasson, Nir, “Jewish teen sentenced to 8 years in jail for killing Arab in Jerusalem,” July 12, 2012 (English)

Hasson, Nir, “5000 shekel compensation to the family of an Arab who was stabbed to death by a Jew,” July 12, 2012 (Hebrew)

About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 51 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. ColinWright says:

    This is a somewhat bizarre story. Proportionately, this is the most severe sentence I’ve ever heard handed down against a Jew for a crime in which the Arab was a victim.

    More usually, there’s no conviction at all.

  2. Mndwss says:

    “A”

    Anonymity for the killer?

    Did he have a Guy Fawkes mask in court too? (We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us).

    So that no one can find out that he is not in prison?

    Strange country…

    • OlegR says:

      He was underage at the time ,
      hence the anonymity.

      • Mndwss says:

        Ok. Now i understand.

        Or maybe not. (I do not trust you).

        The child in a deadly attack with a barber’s razor blade to the throat has to be anonymous because he was much younger than the 24 year old enemy?

        Well then maybe you should stop teaching your children to hate…..

        Is it Military use of children when you send your underage sicarii out with razors?

        link to en.wikipedia.org

    • ColinWright says:

      “…So that no one can find out that he is not in prison?

      Strange country…”

      Will you be surprised if he doesn’t actually spend much time in prison? Like that mass killer who managed to father two children and get arrested for drunk driving before he was finally released officially?

      • OlegR says:

        No i wouldn’t, the Israeli penal system is absolutely
        mild in comparison to yours.
        The idea is rehabilitation not vengeance or punishment per se.
        But this has nothing to do with ethnicity of the perpetrators or the victims.

        • Shingo says:

          No i wouldn’t, the Israeli penal system is absolutely
          mild in comparison to yours.

          When it comes to Jews murdering Palestinians? Yes indeed.

        • ColinWright says:

          “…The idea is rehabilitation not vengeance or punishment per se.
          But this has nothing to do with ethnicity of the perpetrators or the victims…”

          Good one, Oleg. That’s a hooter!

  3. ColinWright says:

    If there actually was any hope for Israel at all, then this case would mark a step forward, as when in 1838 (or something) British authorities arrested and charged some Australian settlers with murder for killing some aborigines.

    I suppose one could file the article under ‘balance’ — but as criticism of Israel? If only this were an outrage.

  4. RE: “The incident [stabbing death] took place in the center of Jerusalem, on a Friday night.”

    ALSO NOTE: “The First Word: A day in Jerusalem”, By Yehudah Mirsky, Jerusalem Post, 05/07/09 

    (excerpt) Nobody who has lived in Jerusalem in recent years needs any educating about the sword from without. A week ago Thursday I discovered the terror within. It coils through Jerusalem’s streets, and us. . .
    . . . As I came out of the plaza, right across the street from city hall, I saw four men jump, stomp and kick the daylights out of several others (Lord knows why) and run off.

    I called for the police and waited for them to arrive as people ran out of the surrounding pubs to help the crushed victims, whose blood ran down the sidewalk. 
    First ambulances came – some of the EMTs were haredim, and some were women. Then came the police, and I reported to them what I’d seen. After the police left, some young haredim came up to me, hungry for details: Did you see fists? Did you see a knife? 
    I told them how earlier in the day their comrades had nearly done the same to me.
    “There was action at the demo? We missed it?”. . .
    . . .When I finally got home, at about 2:30 in the morning, my wife was, luckily for me, awake. I told her something that I had been thinking and scared to say for a long while: that the Jerusalem of my dreams, the Jerusalem where heaven and earth kiss, the Jerusalem of my father’s childhood, is finally dead. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY- link to jpost.com

  5. benedict says:

    the cases are entirely diffrent. i dont understand why you considre them to be double standard. did you read the original ruling in both cases?

    • Avi_G. says:

      What is this drive-by-diversion?

      Explain how they are “entirely diffrent”[sic]!

      • benedict says:

        well , thats what the judges did in there ruling. look it up.

        what i dont get is on what bases ira thinks that there is double standard? is he just making this up?

        • Shingo says:

          what i dont get is on what bases ira thinks that there is double standard? is he just making this up?

          Are you eliberately pretending to be incoherent and in denial Benedict, or is this your normal state?

  6. ColinWright says:

    I wonder why the killer was convicted? Too many witnesses? Israel felt it had to crack down on hooliganism? The suspect simply wouldn’t play ball and agree to the right story? What?

  7. piotr says:

    It is perhaps American peculiarity to view 8 years to a minor as a small sentence. However this is a cruel joke:

    “Two of the defendant’s friends were convicted of causing a severe injury, as part of a deal reached with the prosecution, and were sentenced to six months of community service. ”

    Note also that it was the decision of the prosecution. There was no trial (noun), they were not tried (verb).

  8. Fredblogs says:

    The “youths” in the Karp case were 25, 21, and 17. They also attacked the family of the victim.

    You are an adult (as two of the three were), beat someone to death over a prolonged period, in front of his wife and kid, chase him down when he runs away, and show no remorse, and maybe the court is going to go harder on you than on a minor who gets into a street brawl and kills someone with one hit of a knife, then pleads guilty and shows remorse.

    Of course the real reason is that this guy took a plea with a reduced sentence and the killers of Mr. Karp rolled the dice in court. Happens all the time in America. A guilty plea gets a lighter sentence than a conviction.

  9. hophmi says:

    Total nonsense. It is not unusual at all for a teenage defendant to plea bargain down to manslaughter in a case like this. The facts of case suggest that proving intent to murder is difficult given that the defendant was apparently drunk and that there were several perpetrators. That plus the age of the defendant are the reasons for the plea bargain.

    • Cliff says:

      How did I know you and your partner-in-crazy, Fredo, would rush to defend skull bashing? Oh yeah, you also defended pedophilia in the Orthodox community!

      Seriously, a horde of Zionist canabals could be gnawing at your friends and family here in the States but you’d be right up to bat for them, saying something about Syria or China (whoops, they’re ZioCertified now aren’t they?).

      So why again do you believe that in this particular case, the prosecution had to go for a plea bargain?

      Oh right, you don’t ACTUALLY know. It’s just a broad lame generalization based wholly on your ideological slant.

      So why do Palestinians in the OT get sent to administrative detention for over a year for ‘incitement’ while Israeli Jews who murder Israeli Arabs get off virtually scott-free?

      This pattern of leniency based on race, ethnicity, nationalism, and religion is also evident in the way in which IDF oversight (or lack thereof vis a vis Yesh Din) is handled in the OT, as well as settler crimes (such as the recent riots at the IDF army base a few months back, which occurred right around the same time that Mustafa Tammimi was shot in the eye with a tear gas canister at point-blank for no f***in reason). Also check out Americans for Peace Now’s website feature on the Israeli settler short list of terrorist attacks. Note the leniency of the sentences.

      The same pattern applies in Israel proper – Israel has one set of rules for Jews and another for non-Jews that are unfair beyond the scope of Zionist memes/excuses such as ‘we live in a tough neighborhood,’ ‘it’s complicated,’ ‘sure we aren’t perfect,’ ‘the only democracy in the ME,’ ‘better off here than in X, Y, Z.’ (And no, these aren’t all Woody Allen and/or Larry David projects.)

      Take your ‘Palestinian chicken’ intellectualism, along with your Rolodex of lies and shove it hoppy.

  10. ColinWright says:

    Totally irrelevant that the accused in the Karp case were Arabs, huh?

    You misstate the facts. According to the Jerusalem Post(!), the accused chased Karp into the water. They did not ‘beat him to death.’ They were convicted of the offense which they committed, which was manslaughter.

    • Fredblogs says:

      They were convicted of manslaughter for beating him to death, supposedly without premeditation. They cracked his skull, among other injuries actually. And yes, totally irrelevant. Lack of remorse and choosing trial instead of plea bargaining made the difference.

      • ColinWright says:

        Okay Fred — so why does the Jerusalem Post only claim they chased him into the water?

        Maybe the Jerusalem Post is an organ of pro-Arab propaganda? How do you explain its denial?

        • Fredblogs says:

          Because they aren’t infallible, would be my guess. They beat the man to death. The authorities don’t know how his body ended up in the water.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Or because you are misreporting what they said.

          “Two years after they savagely beat and kicked him before chasing him into the water”

          “They later chased Karp into the water, all the time beating and kicking him savagely as he begged for mercy. ”

          “The victim was chosen at random. His only sin was that he met the rampaging gang on that night. The very possibility that someone could go innocently to the beach, which should be a safe place, and be brutally attacked and beaten to death, is intolerable and unacceptable,” the judges wrote.

          Note: “beaten to death” in the judge’s ruling.

          link to jpost.com

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “…trial instead of plea bargaining made the difference.”

        Did the israeli prosector offer a plea deal to these Arab defendants?

        Let’s play a game:

        There were 4 other people convicted in connection with the death of Mr. Karp, for “failure to prevent a crime.”

        Three of them were named Fouad Moussa, Fadi Jabar, and Mohammed Adas. They were, as you can imagine, Arabs. They each got four to six months of community service. The other of the four was named Or Levi. She is Jewish and an ex-I”D”F soldier.

        Here’s your question: Was her sentence higher or lower than those handed out to the Arab men?

        • Fredblogs says:

          Or Levi got a month less than one of the other defendants did. But unless you know their prior history of criminal activities, if any, I’d say your question is irrelevant to the point you are trying to make. For all we know she had no prior record and they did. Then too, she may not have been cheering on the killers while the other defendants were. We don’t have enough information to make blanket statements based on one example.

          As for plea deals, unless they are accepted, plea negotiations in the U.S. are confidential. I don’t know whether Israel is the same. Again as to America, most defendants are offered plea deals. I don’t know whether Israel is the same.

        • Fredblogs says:

          On further research, it turns out that she yelled at the killers to stop. Taking a month off her sentence for being the only one of the group to tell them to stop doesn’t seem unreasonable.

          link to liveleak.com

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Sure Fredo, it’s just another example of a Jew in israel — out of sheer coincidence, no doubt — getting better treatment than Arabs do. (what is the tally now: about a billion to zero?)

          So if plea negotiations are confidential in the US, and assuming the same is true in the zio shithole, then on what did you base your repeated statements that the Arabs deserve the harsh sentence while the Jew got the light sentence based on the claim that the Arabs choose to go to trial rather than take a plea deal???

          Surely you wouldn’t just be making up any ol’ crap just to defend a Jew and the state of israel, regardless of the facts, would you? I mean, you must have SOME evidence that a plea deal equal to what the Jew got for murdering the Arab was offered to these three Arabs and they rejected that deal, right?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “On further research, it turns out that she yelled at the killers to stop.”

          LMAO. No, Fredo, HER LAWYER said she yelled for them to stop. If that is the standard, then just about every defendant would have to be let free, because all of their lawyers will say that the defendants didn’t do it.

          Nothing in that story says that the court actually bought this story, but you aren’t looking for the truth, Fredo. You’re just looking for something — anything — to defend israel from the reality that it regularly practices the vilest of prejudice.

        • Fredblogs says:

          They were convicted at trial. That leads to harsher sentences in the U.S. (and probably in every country that has plea bargains, or why plea bargain at all) than plea bargains. That a conviction tends to result in harsher sentences than a plea bargain is true whether they were offered one or not.

          I didn’t say that the Jewish minor who plea bargained deserved a lighter sentence for being remorseful and pleading guilty, I’m saying that is the way the system works in the U.S. and everywhere else with plea bargains so condemning Israel for it or making it a racial thing is absurd.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Since the Arab accomplices’ lawyer isn’t claiming their clients yelled stop and no one is denying that she yelled stop, we’ll just have to assume she did and they didn’t.

        • Fredblogs says:

          If you want to complain about the injustice of him getting a plea deal and them not, you’d first have to demonstrate that they weren’t offered a plea. Which you haven’t done. But there is no evidence of racial injustice in sentencing when one group is convicted and the other pleads.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “That a conviction tends to result in harsher sentences than a plea bargain is true whether they were offered one or not.”

          So what? You stated: “Lack of remorse and choosing trial instead of plea bargaining made the difference” as explaining the difference in the sentencing for the Jew on the one hand and the Arabs on the other.

          Again, what evidence do you have to support that statement that they chose trial instead of plea bargaining? What evidence do you have that the Jewish State officials even offered a plea bargain?

          Or is this simply yet another example of you trying to come up with something, anything, to explain away a pattern of vile bigotry on behalf of israel and its people? Especially given the long history of Jews in that state getting light or no punishment for killing Arabs. (I remember a case back in the 1990s where a Jew who brutally murdered a child in cold blood got probation.)

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “If you want to complain about the injustice of him getting a plea deal and them not, you’d first have to demonstrate that they weren’t offered a plea. Which you haven’t done.”

          LMAO. Fredo, YOU said they chose trial instead of a plea deal. And I quote: “Lack of remorse and choosing trial instead of plea bargaining made the difference.”

          So what’s your evidence that they made this choice??? Or were you simply throwing anything and everythign against the wall because your country of israel needed your defending.

          “But there is no evidence of racial injustice in sentencing when one group is convicted and the other pleads.”

          There is if one group is permitted to plea bargain and the other is not.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Since the Arab accomplices’ lawyer isn’t claiming their clients yelled stop and no one is denying that she yelled stop, we’ll just have to assume she did and they didn’t.”

          No, the lawyer for the Arabs (calling them “accomplices” as you do is a slander, by the way) said that they never should have been charged in the first place and that the only reason they were charged was because they were from Jaljulya.

          So let’s follow your method of considering true everything that the lawyers say: On the one hand, the Jewish defendant was given a lesser sentence because she yelled “stop” and the Arabs should never have been charged to begin with and were only charged because they were from Jaljulya. Is that right?

          (But I’m sure you’ll have SOME reason to believe the Jew’s lawyer should be believed while the Arabs’ lawyer shouldn’t…)

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Woodrow
          I suppose that is a point. “Going to trial” then instead of “choosing a trial”. Since we don’t know for sure whether they were offered a plea, although almost all criminal defendants in systems with plea bargains are offered a plea deal, which wouldn’t be reported had they turned it down. It is hypothetically possible that they weren’t offered a deal. Happy now?

          I don’t see any pattern here. I see two cherry picked cases chosen to make Israel look as though there is a racial disparity in sentencing where none has to exist for the outcomes of these crimes to be the way they are.

          You’d have to be more specific about your 90s crime for me to comment on it.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Woodrow

          “There is if one group is permitted to plea bargain and the other is not.”

          No, that would be evidence of a disparity in plea deals, not evidence of a disparity in sentencing. Since plea deal offers are usually only reported when they are taken, there is no way to be sure whether they were offered one.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          @Fredo:
          “I suppose that is a point. ‘Going to trial’ then instead of ‘choosing a trial’. Since we don’t know for sure whether they were offered a plea, although almost all criminal defendants in systems with plea bargains are offered a plea deal, which wouldn’t be reported had they turned it down. It is hypothetically possible that they weren’t offered a deal. Happy now?”

          No, Fredo, because all you’re doing is backing up your speculation by more speculation. You don’t know what rate people in israel are offered plea deals, so you just assume that “most are” in order to concede a hypothetical, so as to…

          “I don’t see any pattern here.”

          …continue to deny the obvious: that your judeo-supremacist state is racist against Arabs.

          “You’d have to be more specific about your 90s crime for me to comment on it.”

          You can’t comment on the fact that a settler who committed a cold-blooded murder of a child was given probation?? You can’t express outrage??? If I said that an Arab killed a Jewish kid in cold blood but got probation, would you need more specifics to comment???

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “No, that would be evidence of a disparity in plea deals, not evidence of a disparity in sentencing. Since plea deal offers are usually only reported when they are taken, there is no way to be sure whether they were offered one.”

          It would be both, Fredo, because in almost every circumstance, plea deals, by their very nature, offer a defendant a lesser sentence. So if one ethnicty are offered fewer plea deals, they will suffer disproportionately longer sentences.

  11. ColinWright says:

    I love these solemn pretenses that Israel is a Western state in which suspects are arrested and brought to trial regardless of their ethnicity or the ethnicity of their victims and an impartial judiciary reaches just verdicts and imposes equitable sentences.

  12. ColinWright says:

    “Total nonsense. It is not unusual at all for a teenage defendant to plea bargain down to manslaughter in a case like this. The facts of case suggest that proving intent to murder is difficult given that the defendant was apparently drunk…”

    Given that he was Jewish and the victim Arab, that the killer was brought to trial at all is somewhat unusual, in my opinion.