Defending our own

Defending our own

The many articles on the Duma situation, referring to “hilltop youths” who have been held under coercive questioning and allegations of torture by the Shin Bet since July 31, take varying positions. Many are quick to condemn “Jewish terrorism,” eagerly recalling the cases of Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir. Some surprisingly blame Avishai Raviv, an undercover Shin Bet agent.

While Arab terrorists roam throughout the land of Israel, knifing and shooting and ramming their cars into Israeli victims, the Israeli public is asked to get incensed about “Jewish terrorists.” To add fuel to
the simmering flames, the “wedding video” appeared. Although the infamous wedding took place in early December and nobody thought anything about it, footage suddenly emerged showing  settlement” wedding guests gleefully dancing and waving a photo of the Arab baby who had died in the arson attack in Duma. Strangely, the people brandishing the photo, and stirring up the fervor, were not the wedding guests. They were dressed in black  and in masks, while the guests were all in white shirts. No matter, “Jewish terrorists” were rejoicing at the death of an Arab baby. Who took the video? How did it get into the hands of Defense Minister Ya’alon? No answers to those questions. Just a chorus of condemnations, especially from righteous Jews against other Jews.

Let us remember the biblical case of the spies who were sent into Israel to scope out the land. Only Joshua and Caleb came back with a glowing report of a land flowing with milk and honey. The other 10 spies saw only gloom and doom.

Today, we have very few Joshuas and Calebs. We have very few who are willing to stand up to the majority and speak the truth. The young people of Israel have been traumatized by the Gush Katif expulsion. They have been traumatized by seeing their own soldiers and Israeli police destroying Jewish homes and synagogues. Of course they should be confused and bitter. If there are some who have overstepped the bounds of justice, they must pay the price. But let us remember that people are innocent until proven guilty.

It’s time for the Jewish people to defend their own. Let us concentrate on stopping the Arab terrorism and following proper judicial procedures in determining guilt in the Duma case. To do otherwise is to imperil Israel.

Helen Freedman
New York

The writer is executive director of Americans for a Safe Israel.

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