Many people now claim that they cannot believe that Jews commit such a crime: to kidnap and then to burn a 16 year old Palestinian, who was still alive, after having been beaten by his killers. Obviously, several Jewish Israeli have been involved in this crime, with three suspects already affirming their crime. I am wondering, why so many in the pro-Israel tent immediately responded with disbelief. As if Jews were not human beings like all others? The shocking truth is that human beings are capable of the worst crimes possible, everyone, everywhere.
Of course, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and many other Islamist groups are much more dangerous. We deal with them and their crimes and their threat to Jews, western civilization, to education, to Muslims, women and girls in Nigeria and many other places, to our western freedoms and many more related topics on a daily basis. But now is the time to at least for a certain time focus on our own, pro-western, pro-Israel tent. I dealt with these troubling aspects in the pro-Israel and anti-Islamism tent already in the past, but close to no one of my colleagues listened.
Now, I am shocked to still see people on the internet who deny that Jews could have been the killers. They say that burning is a typical method of Arabs to kill gay men. All these people are bordering to hardcore conspiracy circles and to anti-Arab racism of the worst kind. Others are very eager to detract attention from the killing of Muhammed Abu Khdeir. Some posted today the most ridiculous and shameful posters like the one made by Pamela Geller and her allies that portray Islam as such as much as evil as Hitler. This was a bus advertisement in May in New York, for example. As if Islamism is in the Quran and not in those heads of Islamists who use the Quran to fight the Jews. Both Islamists and those anti-Islam agitators ignore and fight the majority of Muslims that is moderate and not involved in antisemitic hatred. Still, Islamism is a huge threat. But by inciting to hatred of all of Islam the fight against Islamism is already lost. They posted this today to distract attention from Netanyahu’s excuse to the Palestinian family of Muhammed Abu Khdeir.
David Horovitz on 7 July, 2014, wrote a very powerful and tremendously important piece about the current situation and the killing of Muhammed Abu Khdeir.
We need to internalize, too, that while we rightly protest the constant incitement against Israel that is tolerated, often encouraged, by the Palestinian leadership, our own house is not in order. It’s heartening to hear politicians and rabbis reaching deep into their lexicons for words of condemnation, but they ring a little hollow against the backdrop of hostility to Arabs displayed so routinely by so many policy-makers and opinion-shapers. (…) We can try to comfort ourselves by claiming that our thugs and killers are aberrations, reviled by the mainstream, while their thugs and killers are widely exalted heroes. But our aberrations are multiplying — our killers and our thugs, our Jewish terror groups and our uniformed assailants. And unlike the Palestinians, we cannot claim the “occupation” in our defense — for we are masters of our own destiny, and we must urgently reassert our higher values.
Netanyahu called the parents of the killed Palestinian teenager and offered them his sympathies. There won’t be places named after the killers. Abbas did not call the Israeli parents so far and the PA did not find the Palestinian killers of the three Israeli teenagers.
But this has nothing to do with right-wing extremist views and actions in Israel and abroad. Too many people are reluctant to deal with troubling tendencies in Israel and the pro-Israel camp. I realized this at a conference in Jerusalem in May 2014, for example. Making fun of killed socialist anti-Zionists in Norway in 2011 by neo-Nazi Breivik did not result in criticism. Statements like “the Westbank is temporarily occupied by the Palestinians” went without any kind of outcry. The same holds for statements like “all Muslims will become antisemitic” sooner or later, as the Quran teaches them like this. Obviously too many people still have not learnt that not a single book (including the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Bible, the Quran) can be taken literally anymore. It always depends on interpretation. There are left-wing pious pro-Zionist Muslims, no doubt about this.
Much work is to be done in the pro-Israel tent. Taken my experiences with scholars and activists in Germany, the US, the UK, France, Israel and other countries, I fear that there won’t be much efforts to deal with right-wing ideology in our own tent.
The author, Dr. Clemens Heni, is the director of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (www.bicsa.org); he is the author of five books, including Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon (2013).