Friday, March 03, 2006
Obligatory disclaimer: I don't know the full story yet, and it appears that, so far, neither does anybody else. We know that three Israelis -- two women, one man -- went into the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, disguised as pilgrims, and at some point started setting off firecrackers.
Not knowing much else about the incident, I have no idea if these were insane pranksters, violent demonstrators, or what. Of course, I do not in any way condone the incident -- setting off firecrackers inside a building is dangerous, no? -- and I want to see the perpetrators prosecuted.
It seems that this will not be a problem; the police were on the scene almost immediately. But other people were paying attention too:
A number of people were lightly injured in the incident, while others suffered from shock.Other reactions were, of course, quickly forthcoming:
Shortly thereafter hundreds of Nazareth residents arrived at the scene while chanting “death to Jews” and attacked the Jewish man, beating him severely and slamming his head in the ground.
One suspect was able to escape.
Arab MK Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash) said the throwing of detonators inside the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth is “an attack by a group of Jewish terrorists from the extreme Right.”Mr. Barakeh is an Arab Member of Knesset. I'll admit that I do not recall his denunciations of Israeli synagogues being burned to the ground, by jubilant Palestinian mobs, in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza... but perhaps I just don't read the correct newspapers.
“This act proves that terror groups of settlers and the extreme Right feel free to commit their crimes in the occupied territories and against the Arab population in Israel. The government and the police must capture these groups and stop treating them with kid gloves,” Barakeh said.
It goes without saying, mind you, that Mr. Barakeh is making up his details as he goes along; I can be confident that he knows no more about the motives of the three Israelis than I do. That's okay, we have demagogues here in the United States too.
What really raised my eyebrows, though, was a statement by one of Mr. Barakeh's colleagues:
Arab MK Azmi Bishara (National Democratic Assembly) called the attack on the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth a “vile act.”Oh, right... we must "capture these groups" and "stop treating them with kid gloves"... but the rioters that show up afterwards should be treated "with restraint"?
“This was a religious or nationalist attack, which in this country both are the same,” Bishara said.
“Such creatures (attackers) grow here due to the racist atmosphere and culture in Israeli society. We ask that police act with restraint in light of the demonstrations by the city’s residents.”
Just for perspective, folks -- the "racist atmosphere and culture in Israeli society" is one in which terror attacks are carried out, not with firecrackers, but with bombs, usually laced with shrapnel and rat poison... by Muslims, against Jews. Israeli Jews attacking Muslims or Christians in this fashion is extremely rare; I believe this is the second such incident in my lifetime.
Again, I don't condone this incident in any way; I deplore it, and I'm glad that no one (except for the perpetrators, apparently!) was seriously hurt. But it's an interesting situation, isn't it, when Israelis are subject to lethal terror attacks in their major cities almost daily... and the first-ever incident of Israelis using firecrackers inside a church is, somehow, an escalation.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, folks.
UPDATE: Solomonia has more, including a wealth of links. Powerline has some disturbing pictures. (Okay, I can understand a mob being upset about this. But to seal the perpetrators in the church, so that police couldn't get at them? And why on Earth did they find it necessary to set a police car on fire?)
As Sol says: "it's a little difficult to blame the incident on [Israeli] anti-minority discrimination when the wife's a Christian, isn't it?"
Indeed. Muslims and Arab Christians in Israel are claiming that they "refuse to accept any excuse for this criminal act". Muslim terror, on the other hand, that actually does kill people, is excused... by the perpetrators, by their neighbors, and always by the mainstream media and by the UN.
By setting low expectations for the accountability of Muslim terror, Muslim terror is guaranteed to continue. Why, exactly, should Muslim terrorists stop inflicting their evil on the world, when the world makes it clear that it doesn't expect any better from them?
Once again: I want these Israeli perpetrators prosecuted to the full extent of the law; I would have no problem at all with them getting life sentences without parole. (Israel has the death penalty, but has only used it once.) But why is it that much more than that is (apparently) expected of Israel, for "letting" this happen once... while hardly anything is expected from the Palestinians, for letting it happen day after day for decades on end?