Barry Shaw

An eye for an eye leads to blindness.

Even as Israel sent its forces in a house-to-house search for the three missing teenagers, critical voices were heard condemning Israel for imposing “collective punishment” on Palestinian society. Was this criticism justified? Or was it part of a Palestinian narrative that picks on Israel, and attempts to gain global sympathy, even as they commit horrendous crimes on innocent Israelis, including youngsters and babies?

As IDF, police, and intelligence units probed Arab towns and villages in and around Hebron, acting on scant information, they were obstructed and hindered by the collective will and actions of local Palestinian residents. Collectively, they refused to offer any information that would help lead Israel to the kidnappers or to the location of the boys. Collectively, local Palestinians, and those in Gaza, celebrated the abduction and disappearance of the young boys, as if this was a cause for revelry.  Collectively, they complained about the efforts being made to find them, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Let’s be honest. This was a collective crime encouraged by instructions from Hamas, originated by the incitement and daily drip of hate and celebration of their terrorists by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in their official media outlets, official events, the naming of squares and streets honoring Palestinian murderers of Israelis, and by their official statements and exhortations. Hamas retains a creed to kill Jews. It openly calls for this, and for the destruction of Israel. But the Palestinian Authority has also been complicit. It glorifies the murderers of innocents. When caught and imprisoned by Israel, it pays its murderers salaries in excess of those paid to their own civil servants. They pump out the vision of a Palestinian world without the Jewish State. This narrative is confirmed regularly by Mahmoud Abbas with his utterances of a Palestinian state without Jews.

Top down, bottom up, or vice versa, Palestinian society is indoctrinated by Jew hatred. It is the reflection of a wider Arab phenomenon. Abbas has broad and popular support for deeds such as the teenage kidnapping. Even if he knew nothing about the plot the atmosphere had been laid by him for such grotesque incidents which were collectively supported by rank and file Palestinian Arabs, and could be excused by blaming Israel for such evil acts thereby deflecting their responsibility for such inhuman and unacceptable behavior.

To confirm. This was a collective Palestinian crime. The actual organizers and murderers may be few in number, but we witnessed an outpouring of collective support from the bulk of Palestinian society and the wider Palestinian supportive elite.

Bari Atwan, a regular anti-Israel BBC talking head, when asked by Jon Sopel if he would condemn the murders of the three Israeli teenagers by Hamas replied that it had not been proven to have been committed by Hamas, and Hamas had not admitted carrying out the incident. When pressed further by Sopel if Atwan would condemn the murders if it is proven that Hamas was responsible, this Hamas-apologist stubbornly said, “No!” before departing on a rant about “excessive crimes committed by Israel” to divert attention away from having to answer a very relevant question. This echoed a Palestinian blogger on Sky News who also filled his air time with the usual Palestinian narrative of “Israeli international crimes” and the “Israeli injustices” leaving no time to answer questions of Palestinian terror crimes against Israeli teenagers.

This is how individually, and collectively, Palestinians and their supporters condone the uncondoneable. They cannot bring themselves to express any reasonable remorse for the abduction and slaughter of three innocent Jewish boys, reasonable remorse for Palestinian terrorist crimes deliberately targeting civilians, including children and babies. Have we ever heard any such heartfelt condemnation from Palestinians or Arabs? None that I can recall.

This, in no way, justifies the murder of the east Jerusalem Arab youth. At the time of writing it is far from certain that his death was caused by Israeli hands. There is speculation that his death was a result on intra-clan violence, or the suspicion of a family ‘honor killing’ against a gay Palestinian teenager. However, the behavior by some loutish Israeli hooligans on the social media and in noisy demonstrations was immediately condemned by the Prime Minister and the President and by most stable-minded citizens, including the relatives of the three murdered Israeli boys.

This is how it should be. There is no room in Israel for the hot-headed passion of the mob. Steps can be taken to deter and prevent a repeat of awful acts like the murder of Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal.

Killing Muhammed is not one of them.


Barry Shaw was the Founder of the Netanya Terror Victims Organization. He is also the author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative” available on Amazon and from


About the Author
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,' '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel, 'BDS for IDIOTS,' and his latest work 'A Tale of Love and Destiny,' the dramatic life of a Jewish heroine.
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