Jerusalem Is Burning

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.



About Shimona from the Palace

Born in London, the UK, I came on Aliyah in my teens and now live in Jerusalem, where I practice law. I am a firm believer in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "There are two means of refuge from the sorrows of this world - Music and Cats." To that, you can add Literature. To curl up on the sofa with a good book, a cat at one's feet and another one on one's lap, with a classical symphony or concerto in the background - what more can a person ask for?
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14 Responses to Jerusalem Is Burning

  1. Carolyn says:

    I agree with you, Shimona! My heart is very heavy. Will the truth about the murder of the Arab boy ever be known? All I think we will get is smoke and mirrors! If it does turn out to be a murder carried out by his own, I doubt if the BBC will bother to broadcast the fact 😦

    • Even if the BBC – and the rest of the media – were to publish the fact, the damage has already been done. It will already be indelibly etched in the minds of many, that Jews are responsible for this boy’s death. It’s like the blood libels of the Middle Ages, when Christian children were found dead and it was instantly assumed that “the Jews killed him, to use his blood for making their unleavened bread”.
      What’s more, there are many others – not just the “Palestinians” but also haters of Israel, such as the obsessive anti-Zionist Richard Silverstein, or that antisemitic bitch (excuse my language!) Becky Dent whom I mentioned in my last blog – who will insist that the Israel Police can’t be trusted and that it’s all a cover-up. We just can’t win.

  2. Pati says:

    Que faire ??? reagir rapidement. De toutes les façons, quoi que nous fassions, nous n’aurons jamais l’opinion internationale avec nous.

  3. Pati says:

    Tsahal devrait réagir rapidement. Nous ne devons pas attendre de bonnes pensées de l’opinion internationale. Quoi que nous fassions d’ailleurs.

  4. aristosophos says:

    What is the source of the claims that the Arab youth was gay? Given that his father was honest about the would be kidnappers being Arab, would he then lie about something else? Of course it is possible that he is in denial in his own mind or that he really doesn’t know.

    • I don’t know what the source is. The reports didn’t say. That is, they said the police was investigating the possibility so it’s possible the source for the media was the police, but what the original source was, that I don’t know. For obvious reasons, the police don’t announce to the Press who their sources are. That could get someone killed!
      The boy’s father may well be in denial, if his son is gay – although, to my mind, a more likely motive, given the reported attempt to kidnap the younger boy, is a family feud.
      BTW – today, too, there have been claims from Arab residents in the northern quarters of the city, that “Jews” or “settlers” again attempted to kidnap children. I think these are lies. If it was a revenge killing, the effect has been already achieved. Why would they try again, with all the Police on high alert?

  5. David Allon says:

    A great blog. One of the best comments I have seen on the subject.

  6. anneinpt says:

    Very good post. Sadly it now appears it really was a revenge killing though until there is an actual indictment I’m still having a very hard time believing it. Perhaps I’m in denial, perhaps I’m biased, but the whole story just seems so fishy to me.

    Which of course doesn’t make it not true.

    These are such confusing terrifying times. And the governemnt sits and does nothing. They don’t even address the nation. Where is Bibi the Great Communicator? Why hasn’t he made a statement to the press? To the people? Do they have any kind of policy or strategy at all? No wonder we are descending into anarchy with people taking the law into their own hands.

    Add to that the latest police corruption scandal and you have a recipe for a revolution.

    • Don’t forget the rockets raining down on the south 😦

      As far as the latest police corruption scandal goes – I doubt if the public cares enough to rebel.

      As for the murder of that poor boy from Shuafat – as you say, until there’s an actual indictment, a lot can happen. It does sound fishy – but, alas, not impossible. I find it hard to comprehend how anyone, Arab or Jew, could commit such a satanic act.

  7. Kathryn Braithwaite says:

    According to the Jerusalem Post three young Jewish men have confessed.. one the grandson of a Rabbi and they are linked to a racist attack on a football team’s selecting 2 Muslims to play for the team.I saw comments on some blogs earlier saying all the Palestinians should be liquidated… more than one blog post.

    • I wonder if the police have any hard evidence other than confessions. I would be very wary of a conviction based only on confessions obtained while the suspects are in Shin Bet custody and denied the opportunity to meet with a lawyer.
      Yes, I too, saw comments on some blogs saying all the Palestinians should be liquidated. In fact, that was the subject of my previous blog post, which I suggest you read.
      Of course, you will no doubt also have seen condemnations of such comments from other Israelis, as well as massive condemnation of the murder of the Arab teenager. (Alas, I searched in vain for such mass condemnation by “Palestinians” of the murders of the three Israeli teenagers.)

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