A few weeks ago, after Shabbat, I was sitting in my friend’s family’s living room, watching the news. We all agreed that the recent attack in Tel Aviv, and obviously all terror attacks that have occurred, are horrendous. We then saw an interview with MK Bezalel Smotrich. The interviewer brought up the attack in Duma, where two Jewish Israelis wanted to get their revenge on the murder of Malachi Rosenfeld. They prepared Molotov cocktails and threw them into a Palestinian family’s home, burning it to the ground and killing 3. But it doesn’t stop there: guests at a Jewish wedding were stabbing the picture of the baby girl murdered in the Duma attack and cheering. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
When asked if he considers the attack in Duma an act of terror, MK Smotrich said that only enemies of the state commit acts of terror. He even condemned the Shin Bet’s treatment of the Israeli teenagers who perpetrated the attack on Duma, even though they were treated the same way any terrorist is treated. They are Jews, therefore they are not enemies of the state. The interviewer then asked him if he then believes that there should be different consequences for Jews and for Palestinians, and he said yes! Why? Because Jews cannot be terrorists. Jews cannot commit an act of terror against their own state.
To my surprise, my friend and his mother agreed. I was shocked. I was enraged. I consider myself to be center-left on the Israeli political scale, generally agreeing with the Zionist Camp. They are far right. I tried to explain my point of view. That throwing a molotov cocktail into a house with innocent people to achieve a political agenda is an act of terror. Period. Terror is terror, whether Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, black, white, brown, or purple. I asked if an Arab had done the same thing, would it be terrorism? They said yes. I proceeded to tell them that the instant someone receives lesser treatment because of their ethnicity or religion, democracy has not prevailed.
In my eyes, that is terrorism. Many MK’s have said so, as well. Yet there are still MK’s, and plenty of citizens, who refuse to call these acts terrorism, such as MK Bezalel Smotrich, simply because they were perpetrated by Jews and not Palestinians.
How on earth can we as Israelis condemn the acts of terror perpetrated by Palestinians when we are seeing acts of terror perpetrated by Israeli citizens? Of course it’s not all Israelis. It’s a small number. Then again it’s not all Palestinians.