Monday, August 08, 2005

Lynch of the Law

Sunday night's Channel 10 footage of the lynching of Eden Natan-Zada has re-confirmed what I had hoped would not be the case - the brutal murder of the Jewish terrorist who carried out the terror attack on Israeli Arabs last Thursday.

I have no reason to try to explain this Jew's horrific act of violence. He planned the attack and though I have sympathy for his family and him in regards the hate and brainwash that he was taught and fed, I reject and condemn such terror wholeheartedly.

At the same time, I will stand by him and his family in one sole respect - that is, that his human rights were taken away from him and that he was left to be pummeled and slaughtered to death by a crowd of angry people. He might well have deserved a death penalty or life imprisonment but where I come from and where I live now, this is not how honest, just people carry out justice.

Though I studied the subject at University as part of my law degree, I do not claim to be a human rights guru. But I do know that criminals have rights too. Yes, even rapists, even paedophiles, even murderers and yes, even terrorists - let's face it, the world and Israel civil rights groups remind the IDF and the Israeli government of that fact each and every day.

When the the car blew up in a West Bank settlement last month and the bomber survived, Israel rescued him and he is undergoing treatment in Israel. When the bomber sat at Kaffit (on Emek Refiam) and tried to set off a briefcase bomb, the waiter tackled him and he was arrested.
When the 16-year old arrived at a checkpoint wearing an explosive pack across his chest, IDF sappers sent a robot and scissors to assist the boy to cut his way out of explosives pack. Last week, an Australian friend working at Ein Karem Hospital told me about the Palestinian terrorist who has been in the burns unit there for months, as Israeli doctors treat him for horrific injuries. He blew himself up while building a bomb destined for Israel.
Whenever it can, Israel arrests and treats, even to the extent of endangering Israeli lives and adding great expenses to Israel's medical system.

My friends, he murdered innocents in cold blood, but Eden Natan-Zada had rights that demanded protection too. Israel failed to provide those, and our fellow Arab citizens of Shfaram brutally stripped him of those rights and of his life.

None of this excuses Eden's criminal and terror act. Nothing can justify it. But frankly, the Rule of Law, justice and morality requires that nothing be said or done to justify the actions of those Arab citizens of Israel who attacked and slaughtered him.

These Arabs are citizens of Israel. Israel (though its democracy struggles at times) does not and should not accept anarchy nor private, personal justice being laid out upon others. This is the kind of justice we witness and deplore in the Palestinian Authority, Iran and in other states, where suspects are placed in monkey court rooms, convicted and then shot, hung, dragged behind a car, decapitated or the like. We Israelis must reject any semblance of similarity to the Palestinian or Iranian 'justice' systems.

This AWOL IDF soldier come Jewish terrorist was handcuffed and under the supervision of two Israeli policemen on the bus. He was no further danger to anyone. The crowds attacked him and committed a grave crime.

These are Israeli citizens of Israel. I sympathize fully with their distress and anguish and I can imagine their frustration at seeing two policemen protecting the guilty person - all this in light of an Arab sector that still sees itself as the victim of Israeli discrimination.

But that is where my understanding ceases. As Israeli citizens who receive much (and much more than Palestinians receive from the PA), these Arabs must obey Israeli police orders and reject such violence and cruelty. I expect the same restraint from anti-Disengagement supporters and expect strong justice to be handed out to those who turn to violence during their orange battle.

It's not easy to defend a terrorist - and therefore I am not. I simply deplore the fact that his human rights were overlooked and destroyed - along with him.


Elizabeth NZ said...

A very thought provoking article on a terrible thing thing to have happened.
Would this be the first incidence of an Israeli terrorist and if not, how many others are known to have occurred?
Another difference to Palestinian terrorists and this Israeli, is that no Jew or Israeli is going to think the killer is now in heaven with 17 virgins and neither will his family be paid a large sum, as would happen if he had been a Palestinian suicide bomber, and the latter being the reason why Israel began bulldozing the homes of Palestinian bombers.

Also, I feel deeply for the injustice of Jews having to leave Gaza, but I think they should obey the authorities in Israel and allow themselves to be relocated at this time. The Torah says that God will restore the Jewish people to their homeland. (I do not know how I would react if it were me being asked to leave my home though)

Marc said...

Why would anybody waste their time on this guy? Was he a terrorist? Maybe. Maybe not. Did he deserve to be killed? Maybe. Maybe not. But, is he worth one ounce of sypathy? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

With all due respect to Elizabeth, there have been other Jews who have done horrible things that have been praised by their peers. Both Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir were praised for their murderous acts by those who gave way to their evil impulses. The fact that you would so immediately and callously spin this incident into an opportunity to score political points by talking about Palestinian terrorism demonstrates a lack of adequate compassion.

In the wake of the terrorist bombings on 7/7 in London, Ariel Sharon's office issued instructions to his cabinet not to publically equate the situations in the UK and Israel. He was aware that any attempt to do so too soon after the tragedy would smack of opportunism.

The correct response to this incident of violent Jewish extremism is to condemn it without any caveats, ifs, ands, or buts. It is to be abhored. Period. No amount of "yeah, that was bad, but the Palestinians are worse" is appropriate.

Michael Lawrence said...

Elizabeth - while we can all probably make comparisons between Jewish and Arab terrorism as regards local public support for such acts, it is important that we recognize that there are some Jews (small in number) that support Jewish terror. As a responsible people, we need to "nip this in the butt" as soon as possible and to show no tolerance for it.

Marc - while I agree with you that comparisons with Palestinian terror are not very helpful, there is no harm pointing out that support for terror among Israelis is tiny in comparison to the support it receives in Palestinian society. Such recognition doesn't excuse, justify or otherwise minimize the horrific acts carried out by Eden Natan-Zada, Yigal Amir or Baruch Goldstein.


Judd said...

Your post shows a lot of compassion for this Jewish terrorist's family - which
I think is the right thing - but I'm still left with a sense that you think
that all the good lies on the Israeli side of of this conflict and that all the
bad lies on the other. I think, to be balanced, your discussion needs to
include reference to the destruction of the homes of the families of
Palestinian terrorists by Israelis, which surely is just a calculated and State
sanctioned form of revenge.

The lynching in this case was a spontaneous act of revenge by an incited mob.
If I recall correctly, Baruch Goldstein was also murdered by a mob? Whatever
the case, the perpetrators should be arrested and brought to justice.

You see this as an aberrant act of violence committed by a lunatic, but are not
these murders a reflection of a segment of Israeli society, and if so surely
this is a major cause for concern.

Michael Lawrence said...

Judd thanks for your comments. I certainly do not feel that all good lies on the Israeli side and bad on the Palestinian side. But let's keep in mind that the lynch was carried out by citizens of Israel and that was the main point of my post. These are not Palestinians, but Israeli Arabs and they must obey Israeli law. (Similarly, the Israelis who attacked a Palestinian in Gaza recently were arrested).

House demolitions are controversial and I recognize this. Yet, it is in fact a non-deadly means of deterrence in a war on terror. (The policy's success is debatable that's for sure). The security fence is also non-deadly. Another main difference is that house demolitions and the security fence are given the OK by a majority of a democratic Knesset. They might be controversial and cause pain but neither constitute murder.

Rabbi Zajac said...

Your comment is thougtfull and well-read, however, I fail to grasp your reference to house demolitions. What has that go to do with the latest blog?
Are you implying that acts taken by the Israeli Government to detter terrorists from commiting terrorism(which the demolition of houses has proven to be effective), is intself terrorism?
Perhaps you can tell us what your definition of terrorism is.

jon said...


I do really appreciate your point that the brutal killing of Eden Natan-Zada
was atrocious and a violation of the rules of law. Perhaps more pertinent is
the fact that there has been little outcry about the brutality of his Arab
killers and even less focus on the actions of Israelis to save the lives of
Arab terrorists.

However, I can no longer bite my tongue on the issue of calling Eden a

Murder isn't always terrorism.....even in the Middle East.

I need to make this very clear first and formemost. In my opinion Eden was a
cold-blooded, hate-filled murderer who chose to take out his feelings of
enmity towards a population of people who have been killing his friends and
family since before he was born by gunning them down. Obviously this was
wrong, immoral and criminal.

However, the world has been blinded by a strange moral calculus between
Arabs and Jews to believe that everytime an Arab kills a Jew it is
terrorism, THEREFORE when a Jew kills an Arab it too is terrorism. This
simply is not true and each incident must be looked at on a case by case

This may sound pedantic, but here is how Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law
defines terror.

"the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in
order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in
nature; this is done through intimindation or coercion or instilling fear"

Essentially a terroirst attack is perpetrated against civilians in order to
attain ideological/political goals by instilling fear in the population.

What political goal exactly did Eden try to attain here? True, he HAD a
political viewpoint (ie. anti-disengagement), but does it seem like he was
TRYING TO ATTAIN that goal by killing a bunch of Arabs?

What's the difference? When Hamas says "we're going to kill your civilians
until you leave 'Palestine'" and proceeds to send suicide bombers to
terrorize Israeli civilians, that is terrorism because they're "terrorizing"
a civilian population in order to attain a political/ideological objective.

If Eden had been part of a group that was coercing the Arab leadership or
Israeli government to stop the disengagement by threatening to attack Arabs
to perpetuate that goal, THAT would have been terrorism.

But let's be honest here. This was just a lone radical who was angry,
probably indoctrinated by hate (both from extremist Jewish groups and by the
reality of constant Arab attacks on his friends and family) and who
committed a terrible attrocity out of that hatred.

Murder isn't always terrorism.....even in the Middle East.

>From Jerusalem,

- Jon

Michael Lawrence said...

Thanks for your comments Jon.
In essence, Eden's actions fit your dictionary description in that it was
"in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in
nature". His hope and potentially that of others, is to spark riots and
another Intifada so as to require IDF forces to be transferred from Gush
Katif etc and therefore to delay Disengagement.

You're right that everyone loves the word 'terrorist' today but in fact Kach
is such a movement and Eden had been a follower of them. It might be that
Jewish terrorism is less well-known and they make their aims less public,
but just because Hamas makes their aim to destroy Israel so public does not
for one moment change the fact that Kach is teaching hatred and terror and
now carrying it out.

jon said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your feedback, but you can't just chop up my definition and say
that Eden's actions fit it.

True, what he did may have been "in order to attain goals that are political
or religious or ideological in nature" however you're missing the critical
part of the definition. The whole point of "terrorism" is to achieve your
means by inspiring "terror" in a population to coerce a governmental
response. Since he is dead and not part of a group threatening to send more
attackers, how could this possibly make Arabs fear more attacks if his
so-called demands (what did he demand exactly?) aren't met?

Kach can certainly not be compared to Hamas. While Kach may preach transfer
of Arabs (while the Israeli left preaches transfer of Jews) and distain
towards Arabs (while the Israeli left preaches distain towards
Torah-observant Jews), it is not sending people on missions to kill Arabs to
coerce either the Israeli government to transfer them or the Arabs to leave.
That is simply rediculous. Unless you can show me that Kach plans to execute
attacks to instill "terror" in the Arab population to achieve their goals
then you certainly have to back-pedal on your accusation.

- Jon :o)

Anonymous said...

The lynching in this case is unfortunately secondary to the original terrorist act. Had it been an Arab lynched by other Arabs there would have been few complaints.The unprovoked Ramallah lynching was pure evil and hatred of Israelis.maintaining the Rule of Law in times of war and/or civil unrest is a real challenge for a democratic country.

Anonymous said...

that fucking guy deserved to be killed right there. he made a huge chilul hashem. i hope he burns in hell forever.

Peleg said...

I agree, without reservation, that what Natan-Zada did was wrong, whether you define it as terrorism or murder. However, no one seems to have made the observation that the Arab/Muslim reaction to it shows very clearly what kind of people the Israeli's (and the world, for that matter) have to deal with.

First, I want to state that I don't call Arabs living in Israel "Israeli" even if they have political and civil rights. To me they are just Arabs living in Israel.

The Arab/Muslim reaction to the killing shows yet again just how base, low, mean, uncivilized, amoral and just plain nasty these people are. Sure there may be individuals who are exceptions, but try to find them. And try to identify instances where they speak out against the barbarity and violence of their brothers. It hardly exists.

I like to say that if we "Bomb them back into the Middle Ages, we will be advancing their culture by about 500 years".

They are all just mad as hell that they are not a world superpower. They were, but that was 1000 years ago, and since then, they haven't made a positive contribution to mankind and they are sore about it.

They look at our Western culture, its ascendancy and success, and it just galls them to no end. So, rather than trying to learn how it is done, they are instead trying to force the world back into the Middle Ages when they were on top.

A sad and sorry people they are, and until the world admits to the reality, which is obvious to anyone with eyes, there will not be an end to the violence caused by Arabs and Muslims in the world.

Take a look around at all of the places in the world where there is some sort of armed conflict going on. Almost every one of them has Muslims on one side or the other. Isn't it time we started to shout the truth? These are sick people and compassion, understanding, and reason are not among their traits.

We have tried to negoiate with them, to cajole them, to bribe them, but nothing has worked. The only thing left for us to do, if we are to survive, it to utterly destroy them before they destroy us.

Marc said...

Peleg said...
Arab/Muslim reaction to it shows very clearly what kind of people the Israeli's...have to deal with.

Peleg, any idiot can see that the folks who beat this piece of crap to death were acting savagely. So, to push the point seems to me to be (please excuse the term) overkill. You just make yourself look bad and don't garner very much support.

Peleg said...
First, I want to state that I don't call Arabs living in Israel "Israeli" even if they have political and civil rights. To me they are just Arabs living in Israel.

Is a Jew living in Canada as a citizen a Canadian? Of course they are. Of course, I am. So, why wouldn't an Arab living in Israel, who is a citizen of the state, not be an Israeli? I hope you're not setting up a racist double standard. It certainly sounds like it. But, you deserve a chance to explain yourself if you feel this is an unfair characterization.

Peleg said...The Arab/Muslim reaction to the killing shows yet again just how base, low, mean, uncivilized, amoral and just plain nasty these people are. Sure there may be individuals who are exceptions, but try to find them. And try to identify instances where they speak out against the barbarity and violence of their brothers. It hardly exists.

OK, I take it back. You are clearly making racist statements. To speak as if violence is a genetically Arab trait is just as bad as stating that Jews are cheap or Blacks are stupid.

Peleg said...The only thing left for us to do, if we are to survive, it to utterly destroy them before they destroy us.

This last comment may very well violate hate speech legislation. The owner of this blog should seriously consider filtering the comments lest his pages become a type of hate site. That's all I have to say about this. I'm too disgusted by some of you folks.

David said...

I think the first thing that you need to realize is that there is no one definition of terrorism. The US government for examples uses over 3 different definitions depending on what department you are looking at. If there was one definition, We would be able to say if this was terrorism. However I offer you a more professional definition than that provided by a general dictionary; That of the FBI in the US.
the FBI defines a terrorist incident as “a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social goals.”

1) the act was violent. It caused the death of several Arab Israelis
2) Murder is illegal in Israel
3) He was trying to coerce the government to cancel or delay disengagement
4) He was trying to intimidate the Arab population to rebel against the state
5) His political goals were again to cancel or delay disengagement.

All murder is not terror and that goes both ways. However when you murder someone because of a political belief that is terrorism and Eden is a terrorist. We should not try to act like he did nothing wrong but recognize that Israelis are not all perfect. Im sorry to burst you ideological bubble.

Michael Lawrence said...

Marc (and others) - I do not feel comfortable deleting people's comments here. Any swearing or racist comments are a poor reflection on the author rather than on me and the KICblog (I would hope!).

At the same time, while I back everyone's right to have an opinion, I do not think we need to abuse each other nor promote the destruction of an entire nation. Neither represents Jewish or Israeli values.


jon said...

Thanks for the feedback, but you keep reiterating the same fragment of the
definition and you keep missing the context.

Eden was by no means trying to scare (ie. "terrorize") a population into
capitulating to his will which is the essense of "terorism". You really
can't leave the "terror" out of the definition of "terrorism" !

Yes, obviously he had a political goal in what he did, but that doesn't mean
that he was trying to terrorize the Palestinians to achieve it. What he was
trying to do was distract the Israeli police force. If his STATED GOAL was
to incite Arab RIOTS, that is extraordinarily different than inciting FEAR
(ie. "terror") in the Arabs. If the goal of an attack is NOT to inspire
terror, it is simply political capitulation and intellectual dishonesty to
call the attack "terrorism".

- Jon

Michael Lawrence said...

Jon - I can accept your argument that 'fear' wasn't the main goal of his attack on Israeli Arabs - though let's consider the expressions of the Arab pop"n who now say they are feeling very uncertain and fearful and have felt
at risk for a while.

Arguments about definitions are all well and good but frankly we have to face up to the fact that a Jewish man willingly murdered innocent people.
Whether it was to stop disengagement or not, there was a nationalistic motive and hatred of Arabs behind the motives. For me, it sounds a lot like terrorism.

jon said...

Hey Michael,

Please feel free to post all of my responses on your blog.

You seem to agree with me that Eden's actions weren't aiming to terrorize(ie. instill fear in) the Arab people. Hate and nationalism does not automatically make an attack "terrorism". Now it is time to relinquish the use of the word "terrorism" in this case. Not only is it misleading and
factually inaccurate, it also whitewashes true acts of terror.

No doubt that this was a terrible case of a Jew killling Arabs. However, just because we want the Arabs to call their acts of terrorism by that name,
doesn't mean we have to call every Jew on Arab crime terrorism !

Of course some Arabs now feel a sense of fear or that there may be another attack. But isn't that the case with every crime? Doesn't a liquor store clerk feel frightened after an armed robbery? Nobody would call that terror.

This is a case where intentions DO matter in the crime.

- Jon :o)

Malcolm Brule said...