Israel now has its very own Jewish Hamas
Jewish terror fills me with horror, revulsion, and fear — fear for the future of Israel, fear for her image and standing in the world, and fear for the blow that has been dealt to the values of Torah and Zionism that I hold dear.
Suspected Jewish terrorists — in particular, those involved in the killings of the Dawabsheh family in Duma — are now being defended by those who claim that the civil rights of the suspects are being violated by Israel’s security services. As a left of center American Jew, I would like to say plainly: There are times when human rights and civil liberties are not the most important thing for a democratic country that is fighting for her very survival. For Israel, now is such a time.
The question is not: Is Israel violating the human rights of the Jewish terrorists and their supporters who exult in the murder of babies? The question is: Why have the security services not already put an end to this network of murderers and monsters who threaten the very foundations of Zionism?
If rules need to be bent or if strict interpretations of human rights need to be adjusted in order to get the information required to convict the Duma murderers, then so be it. Instructions to the security services should be simple and straightforward: Do what you have to do. Do it quickly. Do it now. The terrorists must be apprehended and their networks destroyed. They must be convicted in court and sent to prison for the rest of their lives. They must be discredited—and yes, their homes must be demolished. (If the rule is a single standard for Jewish and Arab terrorists, then it applies here as well.)
Why is this so important?
This is important because Israel now has its very own Jewish Hamas. Hamas is made up of fanatics motivated by extremist religious ideology who kill and maim and then justify the mayhem they have committed by blaming their enemies. They have religious leaders who encourage them in their extremist actions. And rather than take responsibility for the death of children and other innocents, Hamas chieftains change the subject: Their victims are the oppressors, they say, indifferent to justice and to God’s will. And if this sounds familiar, it is; Jewish terrorists do and say exactly the same thing, with the same fervor, cruelty, and conspiratorial cunning.
This is also important because the damage being done to Israel’s cause is simply incalculable. The murder in Duma was a heinous crime that, inevitably, drew the attention of the international community. When the crime was not promptly solved, it provided a pretext for Israel’s many enemies to tarnish the moral character of an entire state. And even among Israel’s friends, the failure of the Shin Bet security services to find the killers raised troubling questions about whether Israel’s authorities treat the murder of Jews and the murder of Arabs with equal seriousness. Of course, the “hate video” – showing guests at a Jewish wedding ecstatically celebrating terror – has now compounded the harm that the despicable Duma killings have caused; I have no doubt that it is already a YouTube hit, exploited by every conceivable enemy of Israel to blacken the name of the Jewish state.
This is, of course, unfair and outrageous. But the only way to contain the harm is to find the killers and to decimate the ranks of those who give them aid and cover. This is not, from all reports, a large number of people, but neither is it, apparently, a mere handful. It is a group of extremists that is modest in size but still large enough to mortally wound a great movement of national liberation. This movement, Zionism, has created a state that fights every day to protect its citizens from enemy rockets, knife-wielding terrorists, and threats from neighboring countries. It must now fight internal, Jewish enemies with equal dedication and efficiency.
I am not saying that absolutely anything goes in gathering information and evidence against Jewish fanatics. Oversight should be provided. Israel’s Supreme Court has set out procedures, and they should be followed. And again, exactly the same rules that apply to Jewish terrorists should apply to Palestinian terrorists. When Palestinian extremists present an immediate threat to the security and well-being of Israel’s citizens, appropriate measures must be taken there as well, without hesitation or delay.
I count myself among those who have confidence in Israel’s security services to maintain, most of the time, the necessary balance between human rights and public welfare that democracies at war must maintain. But the key now is for Israel’s elected leaders to give the security forces the backing and the resources they require. When the apologists for Jewish killers mount their counterattack, blackening the name of Israel’s protectors in the process, the key is not to blink for a single second.
Jews everywhere have nodded their heads approvingly as Israel’s leaders across the political spectrum have condemned the actions of Jewish terrorists. Members of our family — the Jewish people — have committed an abomination, and the leaders of the Jewish state have been quick to call this abomination by its name. Still, the killers continue to walk free, and therefore we Jews remain uneasy. Condemning Jewish terror is not nearly enough. The Duma killers need to be found and punished, and none of us will rest easy until that is done.