All it took was 18 days and just under 30 attacks. In that brief time period, with under 30 casualties (victims and perpetrators included), we Israelis have lost our minds and seriously eroded our moral fiber. We have lost our minds because we have allowed a handful of stupid, psycho punks to keep us at home and in fear despite the statistically insignificant harm they have caused. Just as an example, so far in October, 121 Chicagoans have been shot – 103 have been wounded and 18 have died. Chicago’s population is just under three-million, Israel’s is just over 8 million – and yet, offer just about any cowering Israeli a free ticket to Chicago and they would jump at the opportunity to see the Cubs play the Mets in the National League Baseball finals at Wrigley Field, eat some famous Chicago deep dish pizza, listen to some Jazz at the Green Mill, shop at Target, hang out with Tanya, Sasha, Leah and Jenna etc. etc. This despite the fact that you are much more likely to get murdered in Chicago than in Israel.
We have lost our minds because some of us, consumed with bloodlust, are attacking innocent people. Last Thursday, Israeli citizen Abdel al-Kader Jamal, was beaten an chased by an angry mob of 30 men in Nahariyah, who were angry because he was an Arab. Luckily, a clear headed Jew, Mimon Himy, threw himself on Jamal to protect him from the mob – otherwise he would probably have been killed. Last Friday, a 17-year-old from Dimona stabbed four random Palestinians. His lawyer claims that his client has psychological problems and is not fit to stand trial. And then there’s Uri Rezken. He was stacking shelves in a Haifa suburb when he was stabbed 4 times by a Jew who thought he was an Arab. The attacker’s lawyer asked for his client to undergo a psychological assessment due to the suspicion that he was unfit to stand trial. Maybe we’re all a little unfit these days? Said Rezken from his hosp[ital bed where he was recovering from the results of all this insanity:
“We are all human beings, we are all equal,” the supermarket worker told Israeli TV. “It does not matter if an Arab stabbed me or a Jew stabbed me, a religious, orthodox or secular person. I have no words to describe this hate crime.”
And what of our religious leaders? Rabbi David Stav, prominent national-religious chairman of the Tzohar rabbinical association, stated that “In these days in which the blood is boiling… it is important to preserve our moral superiority; [we must] not harm those involved in murderous acts who have already been neutralized and do not represent a threat.” Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Well, not so much according to Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who in reacting to Stav’s comments, claimed that Jewish law demands that a terrorist who had committed murder should be killed.
“It is forbidden to leave a murderer alive… [Tzohar rabbis] forget Jewish law – they are only interested in looking good to non-Jews… Jewish law is clear… there are courts that can avenge blood and there are individuals who can avenge blood. This is Jewish law: If the court does not avenge the blood, then an individual can avenge the blood… We can’t be consumed all day with what others are thinking about us.”
Echoing these sentiments was Rabbi Ben-Tzion Mutzafi, a prominent haredi arbiter of Jewish law.
“According to the Srugim news website, Mutzafi was asked by his students whether, if a terrorist has been injured and incapacitated, it is permitted according to Jewish law to kill him… “It is commanded to take hold of his head and hit it against the ground until there is no longer any life in it,” Mutzafi responded… “Do not listen to Stav, for the one who is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful,” he added.
Chiming in with a note of sanity was prominent national-religious leader and Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel who supported Stav’s position, declaring that only when the terrorist still presents a danger is it permitted to kill him: “If the danger has passed and the terrorist is restrained or injured, [people] must act wisely, judiciously and not through spontaneous emotion.”
But why? Eliyahu seems to think that Stav’s position is based on looking good for the goyim. Mutzafi feels that it has something to do with misplaced sympathy. But maybe Stav and Ariel’s position is based on… not being idiots. Letting unqualified and emotionally distressed people take the law into their own hands leads to mistakes where innocent people get seriously hurt or killed. Never mind that it makes us look like savage brutes. It’s just plain stupid and appeals to those base instincts that the Torah tries so hard to help us suppress. Why suppress them in the face of a seemingly implacable foe? Weren’t you paying attention? Innocent people get hurt, stupid, and we end up doing the terrorists work.
The latest example happened last night in Be’er Sheva’s Central bus station. There, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a soldier and stole his firearm, then opened fire on the crowded bus terminal. The unidentified assailant was then shot and killed by security forces after ducking into a bathroom. During the attack, two officers — one from an anti-terrorism unit and another from the Border Police — mistook an Eritrean asylum seeker for a second gunman and shot him in the head. A Soldier, 19 year old Omri Levi and the Terrorist died. The Eritrean refugee also died after being beaten by locals – including an employee of Ezra’s Shwarma. Ezra’s for there part let their facebook friends and fans know that they remain unbowed and will be back at work at 7 am as usual (who eats shwarma at 7 am?). They did not however let us know how their brave employee – who smashed the already down and injured Eritrean refugee’s head with a metal bench – how he’s doing. You can see him and others attacking the wrong guy here in this amateur video while people yell “Break his head!” and only a few others intervening to protect him. What a horrible way to die, for no good reason at all.
That’s why we don’t kick somebody when they are already down. Only bullies and sadists do that and that’s why Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi Ben-Tzion Mutzafi and anyone else that agrees with them are stupid, wrong and dangerous. Of course, ultimately the terrorist was responsible for the death of the Eritrean. But we were his accomplices.
That’s why they have already won. We’re doing all their work for them. Every time you stay at home and don’t go out, the terrorists have won. Every can of mace purchased by frightened Israeli civilians is a victory for the terrorists. Every trip to Israel or visit to the Kotel cancelled is a victory for the terrorists. Every homicidal thought aimed at assailants who have already been subdued is a victory for the terrorists. Clearly the terrorists have scored a lot of victories and the Terrorists have found a great new weapon that costs them relatively few lives while causing the most turmoil. And we’re letting them win.