Back in August unknown assailants infiltrated the Palestinian town of Duma and set fire to two houses. One of them was empty but one housed the Dawabshe family. Baby Ali Dawabshe was killed immediately, and his parents Riham and Saad died a horrible, slow painful death some days later.
From the beginning, despite some very serious questions, the Israeli authorities from the Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon to President Reuven Rivlin, to Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and on down have asserted that it was Jewish terrorists who were responsible for this terrible crime and have castigated Jewish extremists for this terrible crime.
Without any evidence being provided to the public, and with all-encompassing gag-orders in play, I had (and still have) a great deal of difficulty in accepting this position , and because of this doubt I have refrained from writing about the recent arrests of several Israeli suspects, accusations against the Shabak (aka the Shin bet or the Internal Security Service) that they tortured the suspects, and questionable methods of interrogations. My doubts increased as one after another, most of the suspects were released without any charge.
I also refrained from writing about the disgusting display of schadenfreude at an Israeli wedding where some of the celebrants danced around waving guns and knives and stabbing a photo of baby Ali Dawabshe. Doubts still remain whether this was the action of Jewish extremists or a Shabak agent provocateur (which has precedent, e.g. in the case of Avishai Raviv and the Rabin assassination).
The blogger Abu Yehuda covered the whole issue much more eloquently than me, and he reflected my hesitation and doubts very well, so I will direct you there for his analysis and comment.
Please note that I am not saying that Jews could not have done this. Every nation has its criminals, sometimes remarkably vicious ones. We have to face the fact that the murderers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Shira Banki were Jews.
I also do not think that the Jewish youth who are being held are innocent of all crimes. Some of them are probably guilty of vandalism and other infractions. They are unquestionably a great embarrassment to the nation if they are responsible for ‘price tag’ vandalism. These incidents, in addition to being morally indefensible, are extremely counterproductive at a time when the Jewish state and the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are being demonized in world media. The culprits should be punished.
The state must give the suspects their basic rights and must make a serious effort to properly solve the case and arrest the murderers, whether they be Jews or Arabs. And whoever is responsible for the disastrous way this incident has been handled needs to go, even if it turns out to be the otherwise competent and dedicated Minister of Defense.
It would be painful to confirm that Jewish terrorists have committed this ugly crime. It would be worse to know that our government and security services have made a false accusation of murder for political purposes.
Indeed, most of the suspects were in the end released.
I may be under-reacting, but the threat of a small group of extremists imposing a theocratic monarchy is not high on my list of scary scenarios. I don’t know a lot of Israelis who would sit still for a coronation. Although three innocent people were murdered at Duma in July, 25 Jews have been slaughtered in Israel since October 1 by Arab terrorists. This doesn’t make it acceptable, but it does put the magnitude of the danger in perspective. And I don’t see how they threaten the “foundations of Zionism” when 99.98% of Zionists (assuming 6 million Zionists and 1000 hilltop youth) reject their goals and their methods.
To those like Liebler who insist that the damage to Israel’s image done by “Jewish terrorists” is enormous, I can only say that far more damage is done by the massive anti-Zionist industry in every Muslim nation, in Europe and in universities everywhere, which is dedicated to besmirching Israel’s image. Here is where the limitations on foreign money feeding the anti-state NGOs that Yoffie opposes would do a lot more to improve Israel’s image than beating up extremists.
So why the hysteria? In my opinion, the cause is an atavistic Diaspora-Jewish reaction to extirpate the source of the shanda fur die goyim [disgrace before non-Jews]. But haven’t we learned yet that self-flagellation just provides more material for the anti-Zionists to use against us?
However, now that the evidence is beginning to emerge, – literally – it appears that indeed it was most likely Jewish extremists, or Jewish terrorists if you prefer the term, that committed this crime:
Investigators revealed Monday some of the evidence, including matching footprints and knowledge of information kept out of the press, that led to the indictments of the Jewish extremists allegedly responsible for the lethal Duma terror attack.
One of the first clues to the involvement of Ben-Uliel, 21, who had been living in Jerusalem at the time, was a footprint found leading away from the village of Duma, located south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.
Investigators visited Ben-Uliel’s residence to take his shoes in order to see if there was a match. The shoes not only confirmed law enforcement’s suspicion that Ben-Uliel was their man, but also informed Ben-Uliel that police were getting closer to solving the case, the officials said.
“And then it hit him,” one investigator was quoted as saying. “When we arrived at his home and took his shoes, he realized that we were closing in on him.”
In a Shin Bet lab, forensic scientists found that Ben-Uliel’s shoe matched the print left at the scene.
Following thee discoveries, two Israelis were indicted yesterday for the murder:
Prosecutors filed indictments Sunday against two Jewish suspects, 21-year old Amiram Ben-Uliel of Jerusalem and an unnamed minor, in a July terror attack that killed three members of a Palestinian family.
The indictments mark a key breakthrough in the case, which shocked Israelis and led to unprecedented measures against Jewish terror suspects, including a cabinet vote to extend to Israeli citizens counter-terrorism practices such as detention without trial.
A court-imposed gag order that has been in place for months was lifted Sunday, allowing for the first time the publication of the chief suspect’s name.
Ben-Uliel is charged with murder in the Duma attack. The minor — who cannot be named under rules protecting minors suspected of criminal acts — faces charges of accessory to the murder.
According to investigators, Ben-Uliel, who is married with a baby girl, admitted to carrying out the Duma firebombing, and said he did it to avenge the killing of Malachy Rosenfeld by a Palestinian terrorist in June.
The poor family of Malachy Rosenfeld are horrified that someone saw fit to avenge their son’s murder in this terrible way, calling it “a slap in the face”. Anyone who knows the Rosenfeld family knows that this is most definitely not their way:
After the suspected perpetrator of the Duma terror attack allegedly told investigators it was revenge for the murder of an Israeli in July 2015, Malachy Rosenfeld’s mother on Sunday lashed out saying any such connection was “a slap in the face” of her son’s memory and “goes against everything we believe in.”
By claiming such an amorphous excuse for the murder, Ben Uliel is no better than the Palestinian terrorists who hang their attacks on whatever is the “crime du jour” that they can think of. It is beneath contempt.
The ToI article on the indictment continues:
The minor, identified only as Aleph Aleph, confessed to helping to plan the firebombing, security officials said.
The Israel Police on Sunday released a statement revealing that the suspects not only confessed to the firebombing, among other “nationalistic” crimes, but that Ben Uliel reenacted the attack for investigators. Sources quoted on Israel TV Sunday night said he revealed details of the attack during the re-enactment that only the perpetrator could have known.
Five other suspected Jewish terrorists were charged Sunday over six other attacks against Arab persons or property.
Yinon Reuveni, Hanoch Ganiram and three unnamed minors were indicted for an arson attack against Jerusalem’s Dormition Abbey, the burning of a Palestinian taxi in the West Bank village of Yasuf, setting fire to a grain silo in the West Bank village of Akraba, two instances of tire-slashing in the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, and an assault on a Palestinian shepherd near the West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashahar.
The indictments of all five suspects were filed in the Lod District Court Sunday.
Further allaying any doubts about their guilt, the suspects re-enacted the arson attack for the investigators.
In the late hours of July 30, 2015, Ben-Uliel set out for the West Bank village of Duma, armed with a bag full of ingredients for Molotov cocktails, spray-paint cans and other supplies, in order to carry out a pre-dawn attack in revenge for the killing of Israeli Malachy Rosenfeld the month before, the Shin Bet revealed on Sunday morning.
He was a member in an organization called Givonim, a subset of the Hilltop youth, a group of extremist Jewish activists. The Givonim seek to accomplish their goal of anointing a king over Israel by carrying out a violent coup against the government, and murdering or expelling from Israel all non-Jews, the Shin Bet said in a statement following the indictment of Ben-Uliel and his accomplice on Sunday.
Ben-Uliel was supposed to meet another activist, a minor whose name has been withheld, at a cave near the village of Duma, located south of the city of Nablus and close to the Jewish settlements of Alon Moreh and Shilo.
The minor — referred to only by his Hebrew initials, Aleph Aleph — had assisted Ben-Uliel in collecting information about the layout of the village and had helped plan the firebombing attack, the indictment said. On the night, however, the minor did not make it to their meeting place in time, the Shin Bet said.
So at around midnight, Ben-Uliel went to Duma to carry out the attack by himself, the security service said, contradicting Palestinian claims made earlier in the investigation that two people were seen fleeing the village soon after the attack.
According to the Shin Bet account, Ben-Uliel arrived at the Palestinian village on foot and began searching for a house deep within it. He located two homes and allegedly sat down in the yard of one in order to craft the firebombs to be used in the attack.
Once his weapons were prepared, Ben-Uliel spray-painted the words “Revenge” and “Long live the Messiah king” on the walls of the house, the Israel Police said.
I feel both literally physically sick and emotionally heartsick at the thought that Jews could perpetrate such a terrible murder – and not just for sake of revenge as they claimed, but in the name of Judaism itself!
By making such claims, by wishing to overturn the State of Israel and replace it with a religious kingdom by means of violence, these people are no better than Daesh who wish to do the same in the name of Islam.
This is not the way of Judaism! This is not the way of Jews! This is not the way of Israel!
Besides committing a murder most foul, they have besmirched the name of Israel and the Jews, giving our enemies ample reason to delight in our fall, to increase antisemitism around the world, endangering the Jews everywhere, and finally, committing the worst possible Chilul Hashem – desecration of G-d’s name – that is possible to imagine.
Not in my name doesn’t begin to approach what I feel if these indictments turn out to be true.
I’m still hoping in a corner of my heart that it will turn out to be mistaken identity, but we will have to wait for the final verdicts to find out.