Solving the Itamar case does not justify the means the army used on Palestinians

Posted: April 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Settlements | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

Now that Israel has in custody two people who admitted to committing the murder in Itamar a month ago, I received several comments demanding I “update” my post on Awarta, meaning retract on the allegations in its last few paragraphs. I really don’t see a reason why. Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested and interrogated without due process. Such “investigation” would have never taken place were the suspects Jews. The legal system in the West Bank is purely Apartheid: One law for Jews and another for Arabs. The fact that alleged killers of Palestinians from Itamar were never located is further proof to that matter – Itamar was never terrorized the way Awarta was. When Awara tactics will be used everywhere—or preferably, when Palestinians enjoy due process—will there be a need to retract.

6 Comments on “Solving the Itamar case does not justify the means the army used on Palestinians”

  1. 1 maayan said at 2:45 pm on April 17th, 2011:

    Right. If Israel had acted differently, then surely they would have captured these two. I’m sure their uncle who helped them hide the weapon and dispose of the bloody clothes would have come forward without the pressure placed on the entire community.

    There appear to be at least 3 and maybe more co-conspirators. A couple of months ago when they captured the group that killed that evangelical Christian near Beit Guvrin, they arrested 14 people who were part of that group.

    These murders and attacks are done within communities and with their knowledge. The attacks are not, as you would suggest, merely criminal and therefore deserving of merely criminal investigations. These attacks are political in nature and are part of an ongoing war against Israel. In a war, you use your army and you use your advantage. The reason you use them is that you can’t afford to lose a war.

    By the way, don’t be too distraught. It’s almost a certainty these two men will be released from prison in exchange for some kidnapped Israeli or some gesture to the Americans at some point in the future. Isn’t that what always happens?

  2. 2 noam said at 11:21 pm on April 17th, 2011:

    @Maayan: You might be right about solving the murder, but this argument applies to any unsolved crime, everywhere.

    More important, you are not denying the claim of Apartheid, but rather making the case for it.

  3. 3 maayan said at 12:26 am on April 18th, 2011:

    Do I have to deny the false apartheid accusation every time somebody makes it? How many times have I done so just on your site?

    As for your response, you are ignoring a key part of what I wrote. This approach would not work in every crime because not every crime is nationalistic and political in nature. Not every murder is part of a war. This murder is part of a war.

  4. 4 maayan said at 12:34 am on April 18th, 2011:

    This is like your “open Gaza and talk to Hamas” article. You want to give the Palestinians the benefit of the doubt in every instance. You want to permit them to act as if they are at war, but then you want to restrict Israel’s freedom to act against this behavior in a manner that protects its citizens.

    Two men walked into a neighborhood of people who are different than them. They slaughtered young children and their parents as if they were goats. Then they returned to their homes and were helped by family members to cover up their crimes. It seems they left tracks leading from the crime scene to their community, which is why the investigators here knew that they were from this community and that there was very likely additional information within the community to help identify them. Instead of confessing, their community helped to hide their tracks until the pressure helped break the case.

    What I’ve just described is “collective punishment” to you.

    If the IDF hadn’t done this, how do you know the killers would have been captured? How many more such killings would they have perpetrated? That gang near Beit Guvrin killed, stole, burned for years before being captured. Are Israel’s citizens cannon fodder to the ideals of Palestinian defenders?

  5. 5 noam said at 12:38 am on April 18th, 2011:

    It’s a long debate and I have to clean the house, but let me just say this: Israel treats the Palestinians as criminals or as “enemy combatants” according to its immediate needs. If all rules of war – and them only – would have been applied in the West Bank, things would have been very different.

    As for Apartheid – applying two sets of laws (civilian and military) in one territory on two separate populations is just it. no way around it.

  6. 6 maayan said at 5:04 pm on April 20th, 2011:

    Noam, I have no idea what you mean. In the first paragraph, you don’t want Israel to treat Palestinians as anything other than enemies at war and in the second paragraph you claim that such actions represent an apartheid paradigm.

    How about you stop making the Palestinians into infants or conveniently ignoring the history of this conflict. The Palestinians, as a people, with a leadership of which they approve, have been waging war on Israel for a century. The war has multiple and different facets, including diplomatic, propaganda and, of course, terrorism directed at Israeli civilians. These things didn’t happen accidentally, and as the current diplomatic round regarding unilateral declaration of statehood shows, the Palestinians are extremely sophisticated in their methods. If Israel finds that it has no choice but to act toward the Palestinian population differently than toward its Jewish population, it is because of the Palestinian war to destroy Israel and the existence of a Jewish state. It is a war and they have chosen to persist in this war, which is why they have rejected Israel’s peace offers and are now trying an end-run around 242 and Oslo. Israel doesn’t have the luxury of pretending that the Palestinians are just another civilian population group or that they should be treated the same as Israeli citizens who fight in the IDF and send their husbands and sons to do so as well.