May the Righteous Be Remembered
Published on November 3, 2009 By Larry Kuperman In Current Events

Tomorrow is the 14th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He was murdered not by a Palestinian terrorist, not by a member of an Arab terrorist organization, but by Yigal Amir, a right-wing fanatic and Orthodox Jew. Amir opposed Israel's participtaion in the Oslo accords. Along with his brother, Hagai Amir, and their friend Dror Adani, he plotted and carried out an assassination as Rabin left a rally supporting the peace process.

May Rabin, a Righteous Man, be remembered forever.

I recently attended a presentation by Amos Guiora, a professor of law at the University of Utah and a well-known and well-respected authority on counter-terrorism. Professor Guiora lists among his other accomplishments his activities as a "Research Fellow at the International Institute on Counter-Terrorism, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzeliya, Israel, a Corresponding Member, The Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, University of Utrecht School of Law and has been awarded a Senior Specialist Fulbright Fellowship for The Netherlands in 2008." He is the author of an amazing paper on the dangers of religous extremism to modern society, which can be found at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1427998#

In the article, Professor Guiora notes that religious extremism can be distinguished by the lack of respect for secular authority. He offers that, as a short-term solution, governments must take extraordinary measures to suppress religous extremism and the terrorism that it begets. But, and this was a key point in his presentation, the mainstream members of the major religions must distance themselves, publicly and without equivocation, from the fanatics that menace our society. Amir's action contradict the spirit and the letter of the Torah, the Talmud and modern Judaism. Rabbis, priests, imams, et cetera must publicly denounce the murderers and suicide bombers. Oherwise, they will continue their terrorism.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel, often spoke against Rabin at rallies organized by the Likud party, where Rabin was portrayed in a Nazi uniform or shown in the cross-hairs of a gun. You need to know that Rabin was a member of the Israeli Palmach in the years before independence. He fough in the same mission wher Moshe Dayan lost his eye. Rabin served in the IDF. As Prime Minister, he was responsible for the airlift at Entebbe. This was not a man that deserved to be demonized by his opponents. By speaking at these rallies, Netanyahu lent credence to the fanatics. As far as I am concerned, he has the blood of an innocent on his hands.

In remembering Yitzhak Rabi, let me offer the words of Hannah Senesh, Jewish poet and freedom fighter:

 “There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind.”

 

 


Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 03, 2009

I had great respect for Rabin.  He's worthy of remembrance as a great man.

on Nov 04, 2009

Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel, often spoke against Rabin at rallies organized by the Likud party, where Rabin was portrayed in a Nazi uniform or shown in the cross-hairs of a gun. You need to know that Rabin was a member of the Israeli Palmach in the years before independence. He fough in the same mission wher Moshe Dayan lost his eye. Rabin served in the IDF. As Prime Minister, he was responsible for the airlift at Entebbe. This was not a man that deserved to be demonized by his opponents. By speaking at these rallies, Netanyahu lent credence to the fanatics. As far as I am concerned, he has the blood of an innocent on his hands.

you nailed it, kupe. 

 

on Nov 04, 2009

Every murder is an abominable act, but the act before us is more abominable sevenfold, because not only has the accused not expressed regret or sorrow, but he also seeks to show that he is at peace with himself over the act that he perpetrated. He who so calmly cuts short another's life, only proves the depth of wretchedness to which values have fallen, and thus he does not merit any regard whatsoever, except pity, because he has lost his humanity.

(From the judgement.)

Yigal Amir, the terrorist who murdered Rabin, deserves no mercy. He killed a hero of war and peace and a leader of the state of Israel. There is no excuse, especially not on religious grounds. No part of the Jewish religion says that Jews must not give up parts of Israel in exchange for peace which benefits everyone.

That said, I am sure that if Amir were an Arab terrorist convicted for the same crime, there would be protests world-wide against the "inhumane" conditions in his prison and for his release. As it it stands only a few right-wing nuts in Israel demand his release (on the grounds, apparently, that they don't want him to be in prison; apparently some people should be allowed to murder).

(I myself find it inconsequential, but the media seem very interested usually in inserting the word "refugee" into Israel-related stories for some reason, so here it goes: Yigal Amir was the son of refugees from Yemen.)

At least the murder gave Israel a chance to show what should be done with such criminals. May Yigal Amir rot in prison forever. He killed a Jew. He did exactly what the state of Israel was founded to prevent.

Yitzhak Rabin on the other hand will remain forever a hero of the format of Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, Chaim Weizmann, and Faisal al-Hashemi. May he remain a symbol of what we can try to achieve, but may we also remember what misery the decision to force terrorist rule unto the disputed territories brought to both Arabs and Jews.

I military man like Sadat, who fights for his people and country, can change. A terrorist who fights for himself cannot.

 

 

on Nov 04, 2009

One of my fellow membes in the Jewish Cultural Society (JCS) of Ann Arbor emailed me the following comment, which I thought that I would add:

"Larry, Rabin not only "served in the IDF" but as Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces commanded the IDF in its decisive victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, the war in which Israel gained control over East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and what became the Occupied Territories in the West Bank and Gaza, and captured the Sinai Peninsula all the way up to the Suez Canal..  In that war Moshe Dayan was the recently appointed Defense Minister under whom Rabin operated.  Rabin was thus perhaps one of the most successful military commanders in history.  It is this man that right wing Jewish extremists called a traitor and killed because he was negotiating with the Palestinians over territories that he himself had conquered."

 

 

on Nov 04, 2009

["]It is this man that right wing Jewish extremists called a traitor and killed because he was negotiating with the Palestinians over territories that he himself had conquered."

Yes.

As I said he was a war hero and a peace hero.

He saved Israel and with it a large number of the Jewish nation (as well as Bedouins and Druze and whoever else would have died if the Arab invasion had succeeded).

Yigal Amir and his dirty supporters are not better or "more extreme" or "more Zionist" than the man who saved Israel and conquered so much land for it. They claim to support Israel, when in reality they are not only doing less but are working towards Israel's destruction. Yigal Amir murdered one of the men who was instrumental in defending Israel. It is he who is to be blamed for Israel having lost one of her greatest generals.

Again, may he rot in prison forever.

(Although I wouldn't say "right-wing Jewish extremists" as if they were a large number of people. "some right-wing Jewish extremists" is perhaps more accurate. Most right-wing Jewish extremists do not support the murder of war heroes or any anti-Israel act like Amir's.)

on Nov 04, 2009

Another post-script, if you will. Please see http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1934024,00.html

Jack Teitel, born in Florida but now a settler in the West Bank, has targeted Palestinians, gays, Liberals and basically anyone who disagrees with him. Accused of the murder of two unarmed Arabs, one a taxi driver and one a shepherd, he also shot and wounded Professor Zev Sternhell of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, because he viewed the professor as too left-wing.

on Nov 04, 2009

Jack Teitel, born in Florida but now a settler in the West Bank, has targeted Palestinians, gays, Liberals and basically anyone who disagrees with him. Accused of the murder of two unarmed Arabs, one a taxi driver and one a shepherd, he also shot and wounded Professor Zev Sternhell of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, because he viewed the professor as too left-wing.

Another loonie and criminal.

Those people belong in prison and this is exactly where he will go.

I still reject the term "settler" though because it is only used for _Jewish_ residents of the West-Bank, not for Arabs in either Israel or the West-Bank who live in similarly old (as in the case of Hevron) or very new (as in some cases in the Negev and outside Hevron in the West-Bank) settlements.

There is no reason to infuse anti-Semitism (and using special terms for _Jewish_ anythings is anti-Semitism) into the description of the crime.

Jack Teitel belongs in prison, not because he is a Jew but because he is a murderer. And he was an _inhabitant_ of the West-Bank, not a "settler", regardless of his nationality or religion.

I have written before about my opinion that Bedouin "settlements" in the Negev should finally be recognised and fully supported by the Israeli government. I have not moved one inch from that position. I reject Israeli attempts to refer to Bedouin villages as "settlements" in order to deligitimise them and I reject international attempts to refer to Jewish villages as "settlements" for the same reason.

There can be no peace as long as the world keeps telling the Arabs that, yes, there is a difference between Jews and you, and, yes, it is legitimate for Jews to have fewer rights than Arabs. Just as there can be no peace as long as Israel tells itself that, yes, there is a difference between Jews and Arabs, and, yes, it is legitimate for Arabs (in this case Bedouins) to have fewer rights than Jews (and, in this case, other Arabs).

The reason I still support Israel even in this issue is simply that I am not alone among Israeli supporters in demanding that Bedouin "settlements" be recognised as legitimate villages and towns and that Israel is not practicing this little propaganda trick as much as the rest of the world.

If Jack Teitel had been a Bedouin, do you think anybody would mention that he lived in an unrecognised "settlement" in territory that some (but not many) think ought to be Arab-free? I sure hope not because it is incnosequential to the crime.

Anybody's opinion about Bedouin villages is inconsequential to a crime committed by a Bedouin and anybody's opinion about Jewish villages is inconsequential to a crime committed by a Jew. Jack Teitel murdered because he was a homophobic racist, not because he was a Jew living in the West-Bank. Similarly, while there are criminals among the Bedouin, their Bedouin identity and the place where they live have nothing to do with whether they are criminals or not.

I find it sad that the world even knows Teitel's name. Countless Arabs sit in Israeli prisons for the same types of crimes, and not only are they not condemned as murderers by everyone in the west and the Arab world, but many demand their release.

http://iraqimojo.blogspot.com/2008/07/lebanese-to-celebrate-release-of.html

Or celebrate their realase when they were successful. You think murdering a left-wing professor is bad? Meet the man who murdered a father in front of the child and then the child in front of her mother and who is being CELEBRATED for that heroic act in Lebanon.

(Incidentally, he now lives in a "settlement" in Iranian-occupied southern Lebanon. But you will find that those two facts are not regarded as very important by most who report on these issues.)

 

 

on Nov 04, 2009

One thing Jewish villages in the West-Bank are good for:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3796682,00.html

Recently, T.'s father, who lives in a West Bank village, fell ill, and his son wanted to go visit him. Because going to the village is life-threatening for him because residents there are not willing to accept his sexual orientation, a father-son meeting was held outside of the village.

About ten days ago, T. entered the West Bank via one of the checkpoints. His sick father, accompanied by his mother, waited for him a short distance from the checkpoint. It was an emotional meeting. The family members finally got to see one another and T. gave them a sum of money that he had been saving for them.

However, following the brief meeting, all started to go wrong. T. started making his way back to Israel, but was surprised to discover at the checkpoint that he was not allowed re-entry. Even though he is currently under consideration for family unification and despite the fact that a yearly temporary residence permit was authorized for him, it was decided not to allow him back into Israel for security considerations.

T. found himself in an impossible situation: he was not allowed to return to his home in Israel, but returning to his parents' home in the village would put his life in danger. Left with no other choice, he turned to the only person he knew in the area who could help him – a religious settler who has known him for some years. The man decided to give asylum to T. even though he knew it would not be looked upon favorably in the settlement. So, this is how it came to be that T., a gay Palestinian, has been hiding out in the home of a religious Jewish family in a settlement.


The usual way to straighten (pardon the expression) such situations is via the Palestinian Authority, which is the legitimate although corrupt government of T.. However, they take a dim view (in both senses) of homosexuals.

He couldn't get back into Israel to his partner (while Israel recognises gay marriages such marriages cannot be performed in Israel and certainly not in PA territory) and he couldn't live with his family in the West-Bank. So he found refuge in a Jewish village.

In this story the fact that the "settlers" are Jewish and living in the West-Bank is indeed relevant. Religious Jews are more tolerant towards homosexuality than secular Arabs. This is one of the many things overlooked by those who complain about "Jewish extremists" and their "religious fundamentalism".

So while it was found necessary to mention that Jack Teitel was a "Jewish settler" as if that were relevant when the story was about his homophobia and his crimes, I think it is more necessary to mention that someone is a "Jewish settler" in a story where the point is actually about Jewish settlers' ideology.

The whole things reminds me of the story of the Jewish university in the West-Bank whose students were barred from participating in a European competition because they were of the wrong nationality for the location of their university (which has both Jewish and Arab students).

 

on Nov 05, 2009

Yigal Amir murdered one of the men who was instrumental in defending Israel. It is he who is to be blamed for Israel having lost one of her greatest generals.

without presuming to speak for larry, you seem to be missing his point.

amir and his co-conspirators didn't act on a whim, a sudden impulse or in a vacuum.  they were enabled by others who wrecklessly and deliberately created a climate of hatred in which such outrages go from being unimaginable to inevitable.

recognizing they were pawns in the game doesn't mitigate their guilt.  there's more than enough to go around to all deserving parties.

on Nov 05, 2009

without presuming to speak for larry, you seem to be missing his point.

amir and his co-conspirators didn't act on a whim, a sudden impulse or in a vacuum.  they were enabled by others who wrecklessly and deliberately created a climate of hatred in which such outrages go from being unimaginable to inevitable.

recognizing they were pawns in the game doesn't mitigate their guilt.  there's more than enough to go around to all deserving parties.

I didn't say anything about him being a pawn or anything about mitigating his guilt. I also didn't claim that I thought that he acted on a whim. I also didn't doubt the climate of hatred. Can you tell me what exactly you are referring to? Did you quote the wrong person or paragraph?

The only defence I brought up was not for Yigal Amir but for right-wing extremist Jews, who Larry seemed to imply were all part of Yigal's crowd whereas I pointed out that the vast, very vast, majority of right-wing extremist Jews condemn Yigal's crime, and not just because it was a crime but because it goes against their beliefs and goals.

 

on Nov 05, 2009

Kingbee is right.

Simply put, if an Imam issues a fatwa against say a Dutch filmmaker for "insulting Islam" (see http://kleinverzet.blogspot.com/2008/02/al-qaeda-has-fatwa-for-wilders-and.html for an example) and a crime is then committed, the Imam bears responsibility for that crime and should be prosecuted.

If an Orthodox Rabbi tells his followers that Palestinians are "Amalekite" as Rabbi Israel Hess did, and a crazy Jew goes out and murders a cab driver, that Rabbi is no less guilty of a crime. (See the article previously referenced.)

I don't want condemnations after the fact, I want us, as civilized people, to condemn the actions BEFORE the fact. I want voices to cry out that we will not tolerate either the murders or the madmen that set the stage for the murders.

 

on Nov 05, 2009

Kingbee is right.

About what? I didn't say the things he addressed.

 

Simply put, if an Imam issues a fatwa against say a Dutch filmmaker for "insulting Islam" (see http://kleinverzet.blogspot.com/2008/02/al-qaeda-has-fatwa-for-wilders-and.html for an example) and a crime is then committed, the Imam bears responsibility for that crime and should be prosecuted.

Yes.

 

If an Orthodox Rabbi tells his followers that Palestinians are "Amalekite" as Rabbi Israel Hess did, and a crazy Jew goes out and murders a cab driver, that Rabbi is no less guilty of a crime. (See the article previously referenced.)

Yes. But what does that have to do with Kingbee being "right" and with what I said?

Anyway, "Rabbi" Israel Hess was an exception. Those imans are, unfortunately, the rule. It is still wrong to make a connection between the large majority of right-wing extremists among Jews and those few who actually follow nutters like Hess. The vast majority simply don't support Hess and his ilk.

"Rabbi" Israel Hess is the Jewish equivalent of the contemporary Arab leader of the 1950s and 1960s. I would say that he is the sort of person Israel has been fighting for 60 years. He just happened to have been born Jewish. But his ideology is rare among Jews and Zionists, although not exactly rare among Arabs and Arab nationalists.

 

I don't want condemnations after the fact, I want us, as civilized people, to condemn the actions BEFORE the fact. I want voices to cry out that we will not tolerate either the murders or the madmen that set the stage for the murders.

Your idea is excellent, if a bit obvious. And it is already illegal in Israel to call for the murder of anyone.There is no problem at all with condemning Jews who call for the murder of Arabs. It is also no problem to put such people in prison.

The problem is that nobody condemns Arabs who call for the murder of Jews (in fact they are just called "moderates" if they don't do it in English and "critical of the peace process" if they do), and Israel is condemned, regularly, for putting Arab murderers in prison (who are then referred to as "Palestinians in Israeli prisons" without any specificae added).

Speaking of the difficulty of condemning Jewish murderers publicly, do you even remember the name of the man who murdered Anwar Sadat? Did you know Iran named a street in Teheran after him? Do you think Israel would name a street after Yigal Amir?

 

 

 

 

 

on Nov 05, 2009

Maybe I wasn't clear enough...

My point is, Larry, that I think you are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

We (Jews and Zionists) already acknowledge that there are Jewish extremists as bad as Yigal Amir and that there are so-called "Rabbis" who spread hatred. We already condemn them and Israel's police and army are fighting them and their positions and actions are illegal in Israel.

You do not have to worry about their support among Jews or Zionists because they have very little and by only very few.

And it's not like the world would ever allow us to forget a Jewish murderer. I am sure Jack Teitel won't vanish as quickly from the news as most Arab terrorists (who quickly become victims as "Palestinian prison inmates" who need to be rescued).

The Jewish Week calls him a "terrorist", as does Ha'aretz. Ha'aretz rarely even uses the word for Arab terrosists where the paper constantly tries to find new words that do not sound as evil as "terrorist".

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c40_a17166/News/Israel.html

This is how the "settler" community reacted:

“I think the next couple I meet, that association will definitely come up,” said Bentzi Steinietsky, a member of the admissions committee. “I’ll be asking, ‘How can we identify the next Teitel?’”

And there is also no shortage of calling a terrorist a terrorist when he is Jewish:

Teitel is already being mentioned in the same breath with infamous Jewish terrorists like Baruch Goldstein, who killed dozens of Muslim worshippers in the Tomb of the Patriarchs mosque in 1994, and Natan Eden Zada, who went on a shooting spree on a bus in an Israeli Arab town weeks before Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

And guess what, the problem I addressed is real:

The arrest is also stirring tension between the political left and the nationalist religious public at the core of the settlement movement over whether they share any collective guilt for the action of an individual.

You were already going there: Jewish terrorist -> somebody must have inspired him -> the "settlers" are somebody -> hence the "settlers" are a community that inspires hatred.

It's called the "politician's fallacy" (something must be done, this is something, hence this must be done).

The first step is logically sound in inductive logic. But the rest is nonsense. The "settlers" as a group do not support those terrorists and neither does a majority or large minority of them support terrorism.

There is simply no problem with condemnation of terrorists who happen to be Jewish extremists, not in Israel and certainly not world-wide. And there is no support for their positions. Jews, Israelis and Zionists do not want an Arab-free Israel and have never wanted an Arab-free Israel.

If you like I can write a blog post in which I will confirm that I think that Yigal Amir and Jack Teitel are scum, that I don't want anything to do with them, that I don't support their positions, and that they belong in prison or executed and that I would find it appropriate to hunt them down and kill them if they "defend themselves".

 

on Nov 07, 2009

My point is, Larry, that I think you are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

We (Jews and Zionists) already acknowledge that there are Jewish extremists as bad as Yigal Amir and that there are so-called "Rabbis" who spread hatred. We already condemn them and Israel's police and army are fighting them and their positions and actions are illegal in Israel.

while this specific instance involves the tragic murder of an israeli by three other israelis whose hatred and fanaticism were fueled by still other israelis determined to further their own political agenda by any means, it's a universal problem that certainly does exist.

have you not seen obama portrayed in full nazi regalia on this site?  did you somehow miss reports of armed men showing up in the crowds when he speaks? 

you've totally missed the forest for the trees.

on Nov 07, 2009

have you not seen obama portrayed in full nazi regalia on this site?

You want us to believe you were sleeping in a forest from 2000 to 2008, kb?  I happen to know were right here at JU and that there's no way you could have missed 'bush portrayed in full nazi regalia on this site.'  Furthermore, most of those who portrayed him as such would have danced in the streets upon news of his assassination, were it not for the simple fact that Cheney was VP.  When it comes to protecting the President from physical harm, the only thing better than the Secret Service is a scary VP -  Obama apparently factored this into his VP choice, too, consciously or otherwise.

did you somehow miss reports of armed men showing up in the crowds when he speaks?

Do you mean to imply that the (singular) African American male who openly carried the (singular) unloaded weapon (legally, if foolishly) intended to shoot Obama?  Do you mean to imply that there was more than one?  That this happened multiple times in multiple locations?  Do tell.

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