Israel Sets Loose a Lynch Mob

by Alan Goodman | July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


People in this country and around the world are being told that the chain of events that led to the current situation in Gaza started on June 12 with the kidnapping, and later the deaths, of three Israeli teenagers. Here’s the story behind that:

On June 12, one of a group of three Israeli teenagers called a police emergency hotline from his cell phone. He left a message: “I’ve been kidnapped.” The message did not identify or describe the kidnappers. News accounts describe the tone of the message as calm. In fact, authorities initially took the call for a prank. According to police and media accounts, voices in Hebrew and Arabic and an Israeli radio station can be heard in the background of the phone call, and a sound authorities say is a gunshot is heard. On June 30, the bodies of the three were found buried near the West Bank town of Hebron.

The disappearance of these three Israeli teenagers, and the discovery of their bodies, was seized on by Israel to unleash a ferocious wave of terror and death, along with a campaign to turn reality upside down and portray Israelis as collective victims of Arab terror. And a lynch mob atmosphere in Israel led to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a Palestinian youth. That act set off fierce clashes between protesting Palestinian youths and Israeli forces of repression, with reports that Israeli troops used live ammunition against unarmed protesters.

There is, to date, no substantial public evidence as to who kidnapped and killed the three Israeli teenagers. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” (Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist group that controls the Gaza region of Palestine, which is separated from the West Bank by Israel.) Hamas generally takes public credit for operations it launches and has not done so in this case. The New York Times reported that “Israeli authorities acknowledge that [the suspects] might have been a rogue cell operating without orders from the Hamas leadership.” (July 1, 2014)

In the spirit of ‘who cares about evidence, they’re terrorists,’ U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared, “As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.” (U.S. Department of State press statement, June 15, 2014)

After the disappearance of the teenagers, the Israeli military imposed a total crackdown in the West Bank—kicking down doors, searching homes, provoking outrage and protest. Even before the bodies of the teenagers were found, Israeli troops had murdered five Palestinians in suppressing those protests. The murder of these Palestinian youths by Israeli troops hardly made it into news accounts in the West.

After the bodies of the three teenagers were found, Netanyahu declared the Israelis “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts.” On cue, Zionists rallied in Jerusalem chanting “death to the Arabs.” And on July 2, the body of 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was found burned and with signs that he had been burned alive—a particularly horrible form of torture. Mainstream media in Israel are quoting witnesses who say surveillance footage shows what appear to be Israelis forcing Abu Khdeir into their car in front of a supermarket before speeding off.

The Jerusalem police chief called on Palestinians to “exercise restraint, refrain from reaching conclusions and wait for new developments in the investigation.” Israel’s minister of internal security, Yitzhak Aharonovich, said, “There are many possibilities [for the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir], criminal and nationalistic, and everything is being examined in a responsible manner.”

Israeli media is reporting that police in East Jerusalem are refusing to release security camera footage that could shed light on the kidnapping, and that the victim’s father was held by police for a day.

After the discovery of the burned, tortured body of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, there was no massive military assault on Zionist communities by the Israeli military. No suspects in this killing had their homes blown up by the authorities before they were charged or convicted of any crime (as happened to the home of a suspect in the kidnapping of the Israeli teens). No Zionist organizations that might have influenced or been associated with the killers of this youth have been branded as terrorist organizations and subjected to threats to their leaders. No Israeli leaders have called those who murdered and apparently tortured this youth, and those who instigated and created the conditions that set them loose, “wild beasts.”

What is going on at this moment—with lynch mobs on the loose in Israel and the mass bombardment of Gaza—is the reality of an apartheid state, where the indigenous population, as a whole, is dehumanized and subject to constant terror to enforce the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

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