It seems that Jerusalem is burning – and in more ways than one. It’s been incredibly hot these past few days with temperatures in the mid-30s Celsius. As a result – or possibly because of arson – there have been several major forest fires in and around the city.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, the city’s Arab population is rioting because of the brutal murder of a 16-year old Arab boy, Muhammed Abu-Khdeir, whose body was found in the Jerusalem Forest hours after the funeral of the three murdered Jewish teenagers, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gil-ad Shaar (see previous post).
The “Palestinian” population is convinced that this latest murder was the work of (Jewish) “religious settlers”, in revenge for the murders of Naftali, Eyal and Gil-ad. The US State Department, in a far more forthright – and speedy – statement than was forthcoming from them concerning the abduction and murder of the three Jewish teenagers (one of whom, Naftali Fraenkel, had dual Israeli-US citizenship, but whose name the US State Department spokeswoman, Jan Psaki, had difficulty remembering), took no more than a few hours to condemn the heinous murder of the “Palestinian” youth, whose name they had no difficulty at all in remembering, as well as implying that it was a revenge killing by extremist Israeli Jews (whilst, at the same time, refusing to say outright whether or not the State Department believes this to have been a revenge killing).
The Israel Police is investigating several different possibilities, including the possibility that this was an “honour killing” because the murdered youth may have been a homosexual, or that it was the result of a feud between clans. The boy’s father has denied that his son was gay – but then, he would, wouldn’t he? A homosexual son would be an indelible blight on the family’s honour. As for the possibility of a feud between clans – there are a few reports which might tend to support this theory. One story I heard on the radio was that some days before the murder, before the bodies of the murdered Israeli adolescents were found, an attempt was made to snatch Abu-Khdeir’s younger brother. According to this report, the boy’s mother claimed that two (or three) Jewish men tried to snatch her 9-year old son from her arms and force him into a car. She fought them off alone, until the boy’s father arrived and put the would-be kidnappers to flight. The boy’s father, however, told the police that the perpetrators were Arabs – but when asked to come down to the Police Station for further questioning, avoided doing so.
One fact which seems to me to be rather curious is that the police apparently found Abu-Khdeir’s body a mere 90 minutes after his abduction was reported, by tracking his mobile phone – by which time his abductors had had time, not only to murder him, but also to partially burn the body. This leads one to wonder whether there was some delay in reporting the abduction to the Police, and if so – why?
Another report has it that an attempt was made to kidnap a young “Palestinian” girl a few days before the murder of Abu-Khdeir. Of course, the two stories are not necessarily contradictory.
It is also not beyond the bounds of possibility, alas, that this was, indeed, a revenge killing by Jewish extremists. I would be appalled, should that turn out to be the case. As I mentioned in my previous post, a lot of harsh words were uttered in anger, following the discovery of the mutilated bodies of the Israeli teenagers. I doubt that most people calling for blood vengeance on the general Arab population really meant it, but there is no denying that there is a small minority who really do feel that way. One thing is for sure. You won’t see Israelis dancing in the street and handing out sweets to passersby in celebration of this despicable murder.
Actually, there is one other thing that is certain. I am sure I shall draw the fire of both the extreme right and the extreme left for what I have written here – from the extreme Left, for casting any doubt whatever on their conviction that this was a hate crime by Jews, in revenge for the murder of Naftali, Eyal and Gil-ad, and from the extreme Right, for saying, as I say now, unequivocally, that if it was a revenge killing, it was inexcusable and totally despicable.