Let’s agree on the facts. One Palestinian male got into a West Bank settlement and killed a 13-year-old Israeli girl in her room with a knife. Nothing more, nothing less. Before her body was cold, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed the same day to make a video for the English speaking world.
What is the purpose of this Netanyahu video? What more does the world need to know about this terrible event? Why is he showing us her gruesome bloodstained room? Why are we hearing about her teddy bear?
Is Israel under siege by child killers– so this is a call for Interpol or FBI help? No that’s not whats happening here.
Netanyahu is “interpreting” one isolated event for the world, talking about one Palestinian killing one girl, and deriving a political lesson. Let’s see what he has to say.
This morning a terrorist sneaked into the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl, Hallel-Yaffa Ariel.He murdered young Hallel in cold blood. A picture of her blood stained room is almost too hard to see. There’s a teddy bear still on her bed, a red beanbag chair, some pictures on the wall, shoes tightly packed in a bin next to her bunk bed.
Why would any person do this?
You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. You don’t slit a little girl’s throat to protest a policy you don’t like.
You do this because you’ve been brainwashed. You’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human.
Let me offer an alternative theory that doesn’t need much brainwashing. How about hate? How about revenge? I know that Israelis would like to tell the world that Palestinians should feel privileged to be occupied by Jews but– they don’t feel that way.
Revenge for what you ask? How how about we look at the last murderous Palestinian attack in Tel Aviv. These men lived in occupied territory and one had seen his house blown up by Israeli forces when he was a child. It is not a mystery to those not “blinded by their passions” what Palestinians have to avenge.
What about just last week: the murder of another child that the world will never hear about. A 15 year old Palestinian boy on his way back from a family outing was indiscriminately slaughtered on a highway in occupied territory by Israeli soldiers because they thought he might have been a stone thrower.
No pictures of the blood stained car. No interviews with all the injured survivors. No smooth talking Palestinian political ideologue talking about the “Jewish Jihadis” shooting up cars of Palestinians for no reason. In that video to the English speaking world that never happened, a Palestinian leader would say: “And what does that killing tell you about what it’s like to be occupied by these people”?
And he would then go on to other murders of a racial character: the Israeli medic who executed an incapacitated Palestinian on the street in Hebron in March and was embraced by his society. And another medic: Baruch Goldstein, who shot up the Ibrahimi mosque in 1994, killing 29.
“Think what it means that these medics murder Palestinians so easily,” the Palestinian would say in his video. “Why would any person do this? You do this because you’ve been brainwashed. You’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human.”
Can you imagine the charges of “incitement” hurled at this smooth-talking Palestinian leader or spokesman? How many anti-semitic blood libels, tropes and canards would he be accused of spreading?
And as far as Netanyahu’s reference to slitting a little girl’s throat somehow aking Palestinians less human than Israelis who kill with more impersonal weapons– this Palestinian leader’s video I am imagining might say: “burning a kid to death is less human than even using a knife.”
But this is the incitement that goes on in Israel 24/7. This incitement is turning Israeli kids into tribal murderers. In Netanyahu’s Israel people are not thinking about the Palestinian kid murdered by an Israeli soldier shooting up the car he was in for no reason last week. No, that was a “mistake.” Who is talking about what type of hate the Israeli soldier must have felt for Palestinians when he shot 15 bullets into a car of kids not threatening anyone. When Israeli soldiers and settlers encounter their Palestinian enemies in the territories, where they have almost absolute power, you don’t have to be Freud to know, that thinking of the Palestinians as thirsting for Jewish blood, as well as hardly being part of the human race anyway, will lead to terrible behavior on their part. This is the “incitement” that is causing murders in Israel/Palestine.
Back to the video from yesterday:
“We will not let barbarism defeat humanity.
“There’s no middle ground between beautiful Hallel and her unspeakably evil murderer.”
Hold on: What barbarism are you going to stop? Isn’t the killer dead? What middle ground are you talking about? Is anyone comparing the two dead people in the story here?
“Today, each of us is going to fight back.
“I ask you to walk into your child’s bedroom before they go to sleep. I ask you to hug them. I ask you to kiss them.”
There can’t be many people in the world more shameless than Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Teach them that the values that Hallel’s murderer most detested – freedom, diversity, pluralism – will never die; we’ll always hold them dear. Tell them that we will never let fear, evil and terror triumph; that we will always stand for justice.”
Words mean nothing to Mr Netanyahu. “We will always stand for justice” he writes. With all due respect to Mr Netanyahu and his great celebration of European enlightenment values that the Jewish state and that this girl represented– this girl’s family is breaking international law by living where they do. And while international law is a dirty word for Netanyahu and to Israel, it isn’t to almost all of the English speakers Netanyahu is trying to hoodwink here.
Is Netanyahu capable of wondering what these people might think of him and his state when he proclaims unselfconsciously “we will always stand for justice”?
And this is how we will fight back. We fight back first by fighting back, fighting the terrorists, fighting their backers, fighting those who incite for such murder, whether in Hebron or in Orlando, or in Berlin, or in Ankara, or in Belgium, anywhere.
Any sensible viewer must ask the Prime Minister: How many Palestinian kids just as innocent as Hallel-Yaffa Ariel are going to die in your “fight back?” I remind Mr Netanyahu: the killer is dead. Who in the world are you going to convince that a Palestinian killing Israeli settlers, even innocent girls, with a knife equals ISIS?
Here is the mayor of Tel Aviv in the wake of the Tel Aviv murders. You can’t even convince him.
Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Avi… in an interview with Army Radio pointed to what he saw was the underlying spark for terrorist violence: the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.“We, as a state, are the only ones in the world with another people living among us under our occupation, denying them any civil rights,” he said.
Back to Netanyahu:
“We fight back by making sure that our collective moral compass doesn’t waver even a millimeter.”
Mr Netanyahu can you keep a straight face when you write this? All this does is make more good people disdain Israel even more. And honestly who can blame them?
“Today we will cherish Hallel’s memory. We will defend and honor her dignity by redoubling our efforts around the world to defeat the scourge of radical Islamist terror.“May Hallel’s memory forever be a blessing.”
This video is not just about one murder in the occupied territories. It represents a tragic world view, a tragic misreading of reality by the Israeli leader. Mr Netanyahu where are you going with all this? You guys have won. The Jewish National movement has crushed the Palestinian national movement; and it wasn’t even close.
Now what? Why don’t you stop with your incitement against and dehumanization of the Palestines already? Why can’t you stop poisoning the minds and souls of your people?
I believe these very same questions are being discussed not without some panic by the whole defense establishment and even former allies of Netanyahu. They ask, Why the incessant “ideological wars” by Netanyahu? They don’t understand why it is so difficult for Netanyahu to realize that the relative calm Israel has in the West Bank right now and the cooperation the Israeli army has with Palestinian security forces is the best it’s gonna get. This is why I believe former PM Ehud Barak theorized that Netanyahu has “lost his mind,” and why the next election will seem like a national emergency.
Could it be that’s what this outrageous video is all about? The beginning of the next election campaign? And he knows that an “ideological war” helps his reelection prospects.
Or is it an attempted distraction before the imminent “anti Israel” Quartet report?
Or can it be as simple an explanation that Netanyahu has spouted so much Hasbara in his life he forgot it originally had a purpose? And now that Israel has won and settled as much as the occupied territory as they could possible get away with he just cant stop? And even though there is no need to dehumanize the Palestinians anymore, he just is unable to pass up the photo opportunity of a 13 year old dead girl’s room with blood all over the room and even a teddy bear to boot. Who is going to dare point out this happened in the occupied territories? This murdered girl with blood on the walls has to be worth at least a week’s worth of news cycles no matter what the crazy settlers do in the meantime.
But whatever Netanyahu was thinking with this video, it is sure to raise even more questions among the Israeli officials in and out of government who view Benjamin Netanyahu as the biggest threat to the whole Zionist project.
Finally: Netanyahu was speaking to the English-speaking world, to us. This video, this “narrative” must be fought tooth and nail. The “ideology” and the “story” Netanyahu is telling about Jews and their enemies in this video is the most toxic propaganda, not least to the Israeli public themselves.
As I will demonstrate in weeks to come: It has been toxic to our culture and politics here in the U.S. I believe it has poisoned our souls.