On Thursday a pair of teenage Arab girl-terrorists pulled a knife out of one of their schoolbags (!) and stabbed a security guard at the local bus station in Ramle, central Israel. Thankfully he was not badly injured, and the girls were arrested without being hurt.
In a very refreshing and encouraging turn of events, the Mother of one of the teen stabbers apologized and asked for forgiveness from the guard and the people of Israel:
The mother of one of two 13-year-old Israeli Arab girls who on Thursday stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard issued an impassioned apology on Friday for her daughter’s actions, praised the guard for not opening fire on the girls, and said she hoped all of Israel would soon find peace.
The woman, who works for the Ramle municipality, said she’d had no idea her daughter was planning a terror attack, and did not know where she and the other 13-year-old got the long kitchen knives they used. The two girls, 8th graders at a school in the mixed Jewish-Arab town of Ramle, approached the bus station’s entrance on Thursday morning, where the guard asked them to identify themselves. They pulled kitchen knives out of their clothing and stabbed him in the leg and hand. A soldier and an armed civilian quickly subdued them. They were detained and taken to Ramle Police headquarters for questioning, and held overnight. The guard was taken to the nearby Assaf Harofe Hospital with light injuries.
The teens told police the attack was “revenge for the situation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” and was in protest of Israel’s “killing of Palestinians.”
“We never thought we’d find ourselves in a situation like this,” the mother said Friday, in a Channel 2 interview in which she was not shown on screen or named. “I can’t believe it, honestly.”
The mother, who is raising six children by herself after her husband left for Gaza a few years ago, said that her daughter “told me a few weeks ago that she wanted to die,” because life was so hard and the family had no money. “I told her, ‘Don’t be depressed. Don’t take it to heart so.’”
She said her daughter never talked of hurting Jews — “heaven forbid” — and that her children had been raised to think of all Israelis as a “family” and that “there is no difference between Jews and Arabs.”
Talking of the guard who had subdued the girls without resorting to the use of his gun, she said, “May God grant him long life. I apologize to him… I’m sorry, to him, and to the mayor, and to all the people of Israel… May God grant all the people of Israel peace.”
Although I’m often sceptical about the apologies from terrorists’ families, in this case I believe the poor mother. She sounds genuinely shocked and apologetic. Indeed, another relative, an uncle of the girls, blames online incitement for persuading the girls into stabbing the guard:
After two 13-year-old girls were arrested Thursday after stabbing a security guard at a bus station in Ramle, those who knew the girls said that they were good students who were incited to violence by videos on social media.
The Al-Jawarish School in Ramle, which the girls attend school, “promotes living together,” a school source told Haaretz on Friday. “Every Tuesday, the students learn English together with the Jewish Reut School that’s next to us. The girls always attended the classes with the Jewish pupils and never had a problem with any of them. This past Tuesday, there was also a joint Jewish-Arab class. We are very angry because we are always talking to the pupils about the importance of coexistence and mutual respect, and what they did contravenes every value they learned in school.”
An uncle of one of the girls called the attack “totally unacceptable,” stressing that his family had good relations with their Jewish neighbors. Haaretz reported that the girls’ aunt “speculated that the girls had seen videos encouraging attacks on social media and had been influenced by them.”
In this respect, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has blood on his hands as the official PA News Agency WAFA cited his words justifying terrorism as “natural” to justify the murderous terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday which killed Hadar Cohen Hy’d. If Ban Ki Moon’s words are being used to justify terrorism, what chance do gullible 13 year-olds have?
UN Watch wrote an open letter to Ban Ki Moon slamming him on his benighted justification of terrorism:
Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
Tomorrow when you attend synagogue to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day—after two weeks when you singled out Israel at the Security Council and in the New York Times—I hope you will pay heed to the following verses of Exodus in the weekly Bible portion that will be read out before the congregation:
“Do not spread a false report… Do not follow the crowd to do evil; neither shall you testify in a dispute by siding with the multitude to pervert justice.” (Exodus XXIII).
No, Mr. Secretary General. It was not “human nature” for Palestinians, in the week preceding your UN remarks, to stab to death Dafna Meir, a mother of six children, outside her home; to stab Michal Froman, a pregnant woman; or to stab Shlomit Krigman, a 23-year-old university graduate, who died from her wounds on the day of your testimony.
The truth is that Palestinian youth are being incited day and night to murder Israelis. While you did say that “incitement has no place,” you deliberately refused to condemn the perpetrators, omitting any mention of the Palestinian Authority, its president Mahmoud Abbas, or Fatah, all of of whom have glorified the murderers of Israelis as “martyrs.”
Instead of making excuses for terrorists, you ought to learn courage from Muslims like Lucy Aharish, an Arab Israeli journalist, who, unlike you, has unequivocally condemned Arab leaders’ incitement to kill in the name of Islam, saying, “I refuse to accept excuses of frustration.”
As noted by Herb Keinon of the Jerusalem Post, none of your 85 op-eds of the past decade have gone after a specific country in this fashion. China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other regimes, all get a free pass.
It’s time for you to consider that Israel is not the problem in the Middle East, which is sinking into chaos because of ideologies of ignorance, medievalism and death; and that, on the contrary, having more Middle East societies like open-minded, innovative and democratic Israel is the solution.
Most importantly, you ought to consider your own organization’s role in all of this.
When was the last time that you spoke out against the demonization of Israelis that pervades the resolutions and debates of the U.N. General Assembly, UNESCO, and the Human Rights Council?
When last year the GA condemned Israel in 20 one-sided resolutions that gave a free pass to Hamas—with only three resolutions on the rest of the world combined—why were you silent?
When Hamas terrorists fired thousands of rockets at Israel in the summer of 2014, and the U.N.’s highest human rights body held an emergency session that condemned Israel 18 times and Hamas 0 times, why were you silent?
When that same body created a biased commission of inquiry headed by William Schabas, a life-long anti-Israel activist who did paid legal work for the PLO, why were you silent?
Read it all.
Incitement takes different forms, depending on who commits it and when. It can be online videos, as possibly watched by the Ramle attackers. It could be the justification of terrorism, as mentioned above by Ban Ki Moon.
And it could be the depraved behaviour of several Arab MKs who visited terrorists’ families, calling these killers of Israelis “martyrs”, has the same effect of inciting the Arab masses as a knife-wielding Imam preaching the murder of Jews. Their constituents watch their behaviour and learn from it.
Knesset member Jamal Zahalka of the Joint (Arab) List called terrorists who killed Israelis “victims of the occupation” on Friday, defending his meeting with their families along with MKs Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas earlier in the week. Ghattas, for his part, described them as “martyrs.”
The meeting, at which the relatives asked the MKs to help them pressure the government to release the terrorists’ bodies for burial, has drawn condemnation from across the Israeli political spectrum.
Zahalka told Channel 2 news that the visit had been misrepresented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Thursday said “Members of Knesset who go to comfort the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis do not deserve to be in the Israeli Knesset.”
The MKs met with the father of Baha Alian, a Palestinian who was part of a two-man team that killed Israelis Haim Haviv, Alon Govberg and Richard Lakin in Jerusalem in October, and with relatives of other terrorists.
Zahalka claimed the visit was not a show of support for the families. He said that he and the other MKs condemned the violence committed by the dead assailants. “We went to hear from the families about the issues of transferring the bodies. That’s it. There was nothing else in this visit.”
Asked why the MKs had observed a minute of silence at the meeting on Tuesday in memory of the dead killers, Zahalka said many meetings among Palestinians begin with a minute of silence “in memory of all Palestinian dead” and that the lawmakers were not honoring the terrorists themselves. “We stood in silence for a minute,” he said. He denied a report that the MKs had called the dead terrorists “martyrs.”
When pressed on how he would define Palestinians who had attacked and killed innocent Israeli civilians, Zahalka said that “they are victims of the occupation.”
Unsurprisingly these Arab MKs came under fire for giving support to terrorism as Netanyahu and Speaker Yuli Edelstein filed ethics complaints against them:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Thursday they plan to file personal complaints with the Knesset’s Ethics Committee against Balad MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas, who met with Palestinian terrorists’ families earlier this week.
Balad is one of the factions that comprise the Joint Arab List, alongside Ra’am-Ta’al and Hadash.
“Israeli MKs who visit the families of terrorists who murdered Jews are not worthy of their Knesset seat. I have asked the Knesset speaker to see what actions can be taken against them over this disgrace,” Netanyahu said Thursday.
This would be the first time Netanyahu files a grievance with the Ethics Committee against any lawmaker. The prime minister said he also plans to ask the Attorney General’s Office to recommend additional measures that could be taken against the three.
MKs from across the political spectrum strongly condemned the meeting, and urged both the Ethics Committee and the Attorney General’s Office to censure Zoabi, Zahalka and Ghattas.
Edelstein noted the meeting constituted “outright incitement and encouragement to commit murder. This meeting was a gross infringement against the Knesset and the State of Israel. I hope the High Court of Justice remembers this the next time it debates petitions seeking to disqualify potential MKs.”
Besides condemnation from the right-wing, the left and center of the Knesset also sharply condemned the behaviour of the Arab MKs:
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said that the visit was “a show of hatred and subversion against Israel. This is blatant support for murder.”
A statement by the Zionist Union denounced the visit as “encouraging terrorism and the murder of innocent people.”
Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli called the visit “sickening and reprehensible,” while fellow party member MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin said, “Arab MKs are severing the last of their ties with Israeli society.”
Should the Ethics Committee decide to take action against the Arab MKs, it has several courses of action, most prominently a suspension of up to six months from Knesset sessions, and a fine of up to 20,000 shekels ($5,200).
A suspension and a fine is absolutely pathetic in the face of such obscene, even treasonous behaviour. Sadly, with the benefit of hindsight in similar cases, I doubt the punishment will be even as “severe” as that suggested in the article. For example, Hanin Zoabi, that disgrace to the Knesset, has just been “punished” by a slap on the wrist for whipping up an Arab mob in July 2014, at the height of the Hamas war against Israel:
Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi received a suspended sentence of six months’ imprisonment Sunday morning and a fine of NIS 3,000, plus three years of probation.
The slap on the wrist was handed down after the Joint Arab List MK signed a plea bargain agreement with outgoing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein last December.
Zoabi was convicted on a charge of causing disgrace to a public servant, instead of being charged with racism and incitement to violence.
The indictment and conviction followed an July 2014 incident in which Zoabi was verbally whipping up a mob of Israeli Arabs outside a court house in Nazareth. She was encouraging the mob to spit in the faces of Israeli Arab police officers who were securing the site, taunting them, calling them “traitors” and telling the crowd “they should be scared of us.”
With this “fine example” to follow, I’m sure the new Attorney General will indict Zoabi and her fellow-travellers of embarrassing the Knesset or something similarly minor, rather than for incitement to murder which is what their behaviour amounts to.