After race riots swept Israel following the killing of three Israeli teens, Muhammed Abu Khudair, a Palestinian teenager who had nothing to do with the killings, was reportedly abducted by Israeli settlers and burned alive. The killing of Khudair had all the hallmarks of racial vengeance and has left many Israelis and supporters of Israel shocked and ashamed.
Meanwhile, Palestinian-American Tariq Abu Khudair, Muhammed’s cousin, was severely beaten by Israeli police while being taken into custody. Israeli security forces claim he was throwing rocks, something Tariq denies. The beating of the American teen was captured on video and pictures were taken by Tariq’s lawyer while Tariq was in custody. The video and pictures went world wide leading to countless condemnations of Israel’s conduct.
The US State Department refused to condemn Israel for beating an American nearly to death only saying they were “troubled” and that both sides should “restore calm.” The State Department’s total lack of commitment to speaking up for an American citizen being abused abroad speaks volumes about the dysfunctional political establishment in Washington.
But it was not just Israel’s critics who took the Jewish state to task. Israel’s paper of record, Haaretz, said that “Without a revolution based on humanist values, the Jewish tribe will not be worthy of its own state.”
Abu Khdeir’s murderers are not “Jewish extremists.” They are the descendants and builders of a culture of hate and vengeance that is nurtured and fertilized by the guides of “the Jewish state”: Those for whom every Arab is a bitter enemy, simply because they are Arab; those who were silent at the Beitar Jerusalem games when the team’s fans shouted “death to Arabs” at Arab players; those who call for cleansing the state of its Arab minority, or at least to drive them out of the homes and cities of the Jews.
No less responsible for the murder are those who did not halt, with an iron hand, violence by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian civilians, and who failed to investigate complaints “due to lack of public interest.” The term “Jewish extremists” actually seems more appropriate for the small Jewish minority that is still horrified by these acts of violence and murder. But they too recognize, unfortunately, that they belong to a vengeful, vindictive Jewish tribe whose license to perpetrate horrors is based on the horrors that were done to it.
Is a cultural revolution possible or will Israel slip further into the abyss?