Two wrongs don’t make a right

The murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir by a group of young Jewish terrorists is a despicable act. It is in no way consistent with Jewish tradition. I wish to place on record the shame this disgusting act has cast on me, on my people and on my country. I am confident the perpetrators will be brought to justice and that they will spend the rest of their lives behind bars where they belong. I expect no less from Israel’s judicial system. I am encouraged that this outrageous act has been so vigorously condemned by all sections of the Israeli public.

The recent kidnapping and murder of the three young Yeshiva students has had a profound impact on the people of Israel. Tens of thousands of Israelis attended their funerals and mourned their cold blooded killing in a display of national unity seldom witnessed. The parents of these students set the example by appealing to the public to exercise restraint and not to seek revenge. These same parents hastened to condemn the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in no uncertain manner and without reservation.

At this time, the murderers of the Yeshiva students are still at large, shielded by a supportive environment. Their families continue to express pride in the children they raised. Given time, their political leadership will certainly name public squares in their honor as is their custom with those they consider to be their heroes. Their families will qualify for monthly annuities funded by the European Union and the Gulf States.

What example does Palestinian society set for its children? What regard are they taught to have for human life? How can we reconcile our differences and live in peace with neighbors like this?

In a nutshell, that is the difference between them and us.

The international community is not particularly concerned that the killers of the Yeshiva students have not yet been apprehended. They exert no pressure on the Palestinian Authority to bring them to justice. Their only concern is that innocent people should not have their lives inconvenienced in any way by the Israel Defense Forces as the search for the killers continues. It is worthy of note that the same innocent people the international community is so concerned about, continue to provide safe houses for these terrorists. The Security Council was not able to reach agreement on a resolution condemning the kidnapping and the murders of the students. True to form, they felt no resolution was complete without condemning Israel.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised by the impotence and hypocrisy of the Security Council. After all, they are still struggling to find the words to express their outrage for the Syrian bloodbath which has claimed more than 160,000 lives. Even the use of chemical warfare against civilians wasn’t disgusting and atrocious enough to provide the common ground for a unanimous resolution.

The last few days have seen a dramatic escalation of the number and the range of missiles being fired by Hamas Gaza at civilian targets in Israel. Each one of these missiles is intended to kill and maim Israelis. People’s lives are turned upside down. Their places of work have been burnt to the ground. Their children have been condemned to spending their summer holidays in shelters rather than being outdoors running free. Fortunately, Israel’s air defense system is sophisticated and, to date, there have been no fatalities on the Israel side.

After exercising extreme restraint for a number of days, the Israel Defense Forces retaliated against military targets including missile launchers and targeting terror operatives. True to form yet again, the international community has been remarkably efficient in condemning Israel for a disproportionate use of force in its attempts to protect its citizens.

As an Israeli, I am proud and honored to be held accountable for maintaining and upholding a higher set of values than the other nations of the world demand of themselves. It is in this spirit that I condemn without reservation the disgraceful murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.



About the Author
Harris Zvi Green was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He made Aliyah 53 years ago. An accountant by profession, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for a number of Israel based hi-tech companies. He is married to Phyllis. They have 3 married children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Harris Zvi Green is a founder member of Truth be Told, an organization engaged in public diplomacy on behalf of Israel.