One Morning at the Machaneh Ofer Military Courthouse…

Today, on the eve of Yom Hashoah, I found myself in a gated off section just outside the entrance of the Machaneh Ofer military prison courthouse, off route 443 near Ramallah. It was the Jewish side, where a sizable group of us were held at bay, prohibited from entering the courthouse to show support to a victim of Arab terror, − Michael Palmer who lost his son and grandson in a terrorist attack that occurred seven months ago. Arabs, who came to support their murderous brothers, however, walked through an adjacent area, flowing freely into the court, without much ado.

All the rest of us could do, was look on through the slats of the iron gate holding us back, as the terrorists’ supporters sauntered into the courthouse. What a pathetic feeling that was.

We Jews, ready with our teudot zehut, were barred entry on the flimsy reasoning that they did not have a list of our names in advance, even though it was a public hearing.

Last September, Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan HY’D were murdered in a terror attack on route 60 near Kiryat Arba. The terrorists hurled rocks at Asher’s car, from their own moving vehicle, causing Asher’s car to spin out of control and flip over. He and Yonatan, his baby son strapped in a car seat, were killed.

At first it was hastily considered a road accident, but after further investigation, it was determined that Arab terrorists threw rocks at Asher Palmer’s moving car, murdering him and his baby.

Now those responsible for the attack are on trial. According to Michael Palmer, at the first hearing those on trial had many supporters at the courthouse as if they were the victims. It was imperative therefore, that the Palmer family be surrounded by their own support system, not only to give them encouragement and moral support, but also to ensure that the court deal seriously with the severity of the crime.

Till now, no Arab terrorist has been convicted of stone throwing. But, stones do kill, and when they are thrown, it is done with the intent to kill. Still, the burden of proof is on the prosecution.

After about an hour and a half of waiting, watching, beckoning to be allowed in, we Jews still did not gain entry. I finally walked away, shaking my head in frustration, thinking “something is rotten in Denmark.” But…that, we already know.
Did they finally let the Jews in? Does it matter at this point? For certain, something was sure as hell wrong with this damn picture.

About the Author
Author of THE GILBOA IRIS (Gefen Publishing House) and SETTLING FOR MORE: FROM JERSEY TO JUDEA (Urim Publications).