South Hebron Tragedy: Blogosphere Reactions

Two posts from today’s blogosphere offer spot-on responses to yesterday’s tragic killings in Hebron:

From Mitchell Plitnick’s “The Third Way:”

I very much appreciate President Obama condemning yesterday’s murders of four settlers in the South Hebron Hills.

But that condemnation would be an awful lot more meaningful, to myself and to many others I’m sure, if we saw similar outrage in Washington when Israel killed over 700 Palestinian non-combatants in Operation Cast Lead. Or when a border policeman killed Bassem Abu Rahmeh by firing a gas cannister directly and intentionally at him. Or for any of the 100 Palestinians killed since the end of Operation Cast Lead (many of whom were killed as combatants, to be sure, but 32 of whom were not taking part in hostilities nor were counted as “targeted assassinations”).

From Paul Woodward’s “War in Context:”

Whether or not Hamas had a role in yesterday’s attack it is too soon to tell. And even if some or all of the gunmen turn out to belong to the movement does not necessarily reveal a great deal about the level of command and control or political motives for the attack.

Whatever the motives, the outcome itself has opened political opportunities to each constituency that now portrays itself as a victim.

Given that the attack took place in an area controlled by the IDF, President Abbas could have taken the opportunity to point out that the attack underlines the fact that there can ultimately be no security solution to the political conflict. Instead, Palestinian security services have been quick to launch what is being described as one of the largest arrest waves of all time in the West Bank.

At the funerals of the four Israelis killed, settler leaders took the opportunity to push for settlement expansion, call for vengeance (a call which has already been acted upon), deny the existence of the Palestinian people and made a thinly-veiled appeal for ethnic cleansing…

When President Obama tries to press Benjamin Netanyahu to extend the so-called settlement freeze, the Israeli prime minister will no doubt tell him solemnly that in light of recent events, his hands are well and truly tied.

They shoot and we build has become the settlers’ slogan — one that is almost certainly to Netanyahu’s liking.

8 thoughts on “South Hebron Tragedy: Blogosphere Reactions

  1. Ruth Wenger

    So sad. I heard that the pregnant mother killed was a special ed teacher for preschoolers on her way home from a party for the special ed kids.

    1. Shirin

      It IS very sad, and very unacceptable, I agree.

      How much do we ever hear about the lives of the hundreds of Palestinians who are murdered by Israeli colonists, police, and military every year? Why are the details of the lives of murdered Israeli colonists so much more worthy of interest than those of the lives of murdered Palestinians?

  2. Y. Ben-David

    Your statement that “hundreds of Paletinians are murdered by politce, settlers, etc,” is totally untrue, and you know it. But these “urban legends” seem to have become part of the “progressive” mythology.

    1. Richard Kahn

      Whatever the truth value of Shirin’s statement, it’s very disgusting. When people are murdered, your first line is all that should be said. I think using it as a steppingstone to complain that your loss don’t get enough attention demonstrates that you don’t really care about the four settlers who died.

      I once heard the deputy mayor of Bethlehem speak. He also is/was the president of the Bereaved Families’ Forum. He complained about the child from Bat Ayin who was murdered with an ax because when his daughter was shot and killed in crossfire, there was no media attention. I was horrified. How can someone who’s organization is dedicated to providing comfort to bereaved parents not offer any condolences to a murdered child? Would he ever go up to the parents and say, “I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m even more sorry that my loss didn’t get enough attention”?

      1. Shirin

        What is disgusting, Richard Kahn, is the blatant double standard that affords Jews rights over land and property that Israel has stolen from Palestinians, and that values Jewish lives over Palestinian lives.

      2. Richard Kahn

        I fail to see how that is relevant. You’re digging yourself deeper in. My point was that when someone dies, the only appropriate response is “That is so sad.” Four people were murdered. Maybe you disagree with where they chose to live. Does that justify their being murdered? Your latest comment just further cements my perception that you are less than upset about the murder of four settlers. After all, they are following the “disgusting . . . double standard that affords Jews rights over land and property that Israel has stolen from Palestinians,” so does it follow that they deserve to die?

        I will judge you favorably and assume that you do not believe that they deserve to die and believe that their murder is a tragedy. However, your words anger bring this into doubt.

    2. Shirin

      “hundreds of Paletinians are murdered by politce, settlers, etc,” is totally untrue, and you know it.

      You are quite the jokester, Ben-David.

      B’tselem reports that between November, 2000 and August 2010 alone Israeli “security forces” killed 2,982 confirmed non-combatants inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and five inside Israel. During that period they killed 1,312 Palestinian children as young as inside the OPT, and three inside Israel. I do believe that qualifies as “hundreds”, don’t you?

      Throughout the decades of occupation and illegal colonization of the OPT Israeli colonists have daily harassed, vandalized the property of, injured, and murdered Palestinian civilians, including children, with virtual impunity. This behavior is particularly egregious and constant in Hebron.

      I am very surprised that you can deny any of this given that it has been well documented by a number of Palestinian, international, and Israeli organizations. Evidence includes photographs, and in recent years audio and video records (many of which have, of course, been “confiscated” by Israeli “security forces”, and colonists in an effort to conceal evidence.

  3. Rabbi Brant Rosen Post author


    In fairness, to Shirin, she did write that the murder of the Hebron settlers was “sad and unacceptable.” I think that makes it pretty clear how she feels about this tragedy.

    For my part, I don’t agree with you that this is “all that should be said.” Shirin was placing this event into a larger context and whether you agree with her or not, this is certainly justifiable. Calling her comment “very disgusting” is not particularly helpful.

    There is nothing in Shirin’s comment that even implies that the settlers “deserved to die.” It is not out of bounds to ask why Israeli deaths garner more attention from the press and the US government than Palestinian deaths. I can certainly understand Palestinian frustration and anger over this double-standard – anger that in no should negate the “unacceptability” of the tragic deaths in S. Hebron.


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