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Tuesday
May132014

THE “DAVID NACHLAWI” EFFECT

Why is it that when a young Jewish woman is murdered in the heart of Eretz HaKodesh simply because she is Jewish, no one seems to care? Maybe we’ve just gotten used to it. Maybe we simply don’t have the strength to cry out anymore. One thing is certain: This situation cannot continue. Wake up, Yidden!

Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

1.

It all started like another popular protest expressing solidarity with an IDF soldier standing alone as he fulfills his duty. This time, however, it turned out to be something else entirely. Who hasn’t heard over the last two weeks about “David Nachlawi”? This Nachal fighter had been filmed cocking his weapon in response to Arab youth who were threatening them, and he has now become a symbol of the struggle against the ridiculous open-fire orders of the Israel Defense Forces.

“David Nachlawi” was essentially just “the straw that broke the camel’s back” - an unwilling hero. The film of the incident with him cocking his weapon spread like wildfire, representing the start of the battle that was destined to begin sooner or later. The state-run media had long since ignored the quiet intifada taking place throughout Yehuda and Shomron. Arab media outlets periodically broadcast films that supposedly prove the IDF’s growing helplessness. Once, they showed how Israeli soldiers were forced to flee from Arab rioters, while another film showed IDF troops facing rock-throwing terrorists and trying to stop the rocks with… their hands! Recently such films have become readily available for the Israeli public at-large. They speak for themselves.

Yet, the media chooses to ignore such incidents. We wouldn’t have known anything about them were it not for an organization established by the Arab authorities in Chevron, assigned with the task of documenting occurrences of this type. They publicized the film, and as a result, the soldier was sentenced to prison for taking measures to protect his life. He fired no shots nor did he strike anyone with his rifle butt; he merely cocked his weapon.

The IDF later came with their own account. They regretfully claimed that this soldier had actually been tried and convicted on another offense: insubordination to his commanding officer shortly before this incident took place. For whatever reason, this explanation didn’t seem to convince anyone familiar with Israeli army conduct. First of all, such incidents occur every day, and soldiers pay the price merely for protecting themselves as the situation required. Secondly, simple military logic would not allow a soldier charged with defying his superior to go out on a patrol mission as if nothing had happened.

And the media? They got into the act only after tens of thousands of Israeli citizens expressed their support for “David Nachlawi.” This time, it wasn’t an actual terrorist attack, such as spraying graffiti on a wall in an Arab village… This was a case of IDF soldiers sent on a security mission against real terrorists who use real violence, e.g., throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks. But the media isn’t interested in all this. Even when it does choose to speak about such film clips, they draw the conclusion that it’s due to the destructive occupation. Therefore, they declare that we must get out of Yehuda and Shomron to keep our soldiers from encountering fiery Arab mobs threatening their lives.

2.

Last week, the Israeli media’s sanctimonious posturing crossed the red line. In the face of more than 110,000 people joining in protest on behalf of “David Nachlawi” within a period of two days, the media remained virtually indifferent, despite the fact that the pictures prove that the soldier’s life was actually in danger. One of the Arabs threatening him from behind was holding a set of brass knuckles, a weapon of violence by any standard. But we’ve already become used to a near-total media blackout in such matters. What’s most amazing is that while the People of Israel are now calling upon the nation’s military chieftains to take determined action against Arab terror, the state-run media busies itself obsessively with only one issue: the graffiti terrorists in Arab villages.

The following post regarding the Israeli media’s one-sidedness appeared on the Internet last week: “Channel 2 broadcasts its morning program from its regular studio and also from a special studio set up in the Arab village of Fureidis as a sign of solidarity with the residents of Fureidis who suffer from incessant Jewish terrorism, which happened once and included black spray paint on a wall and blown out tires. This reminds me of the special studio set up in Ariel the day after four-year old Adele Bitton was hit in the head with a rock, remaining to this day in Levinstein Hospital. This also reminds me of the special studio they set up in Chevron the day following the murder of deputy police superintendent Baruch Mizrachi by terrorist gunfire, or the special studio set up in Yitzhar the day following the stabbing murder of local resident Avitar Borobsky. It also reminds me of the special studio set up in Itamar the day after the slaughter of the Fogel family. By the way, tell me, if black spray on a wall is terrorism, what do you call slitting the throat of a baby girl while she’s still sleeping?”

This is also what happened when the border police besieged the yeshiva building in Yitzhar. Apparently, they no longer understand Arabic in the IDF. That’s the only way to explain the distinction the army makes between the incitement to murder blaring from the mosques every Friday and a yeshiva of sixteen-year old boys. Even if some of these students did act in a disrespectful manner, that’s still no reason to assault an entire yeshiva.

This is the situation in Eretz Yisroel today: If you’re an Arab, it’s permissible for you to incite acts of murder, whereas if you’re a kippa-wearing Jewish settler, every time you spray graffiti, it’s considered terrorism - even if you’re only sixteen years old.

3.

We must emphasize in the clearest way possible that the “price tag” activities are the most un-Jewish exploits to have occurred in Eretz Yisroel in recent years. Whoever came up this atrocious idea is apparently living in a fantasy world, believing that puncturing tires and spraying graffiti would drive the Arabs out of Eretz Yisroel and bring the Redemption. The only explanation for this phenomenon is the hooliganism of a few youngsters looking for excitement. Someone decided to take advantage of their naiveté and poisoned their minds. This trend had started as the actions of a few minors seeking to exact a price from their Arab neighbors for IDF operations against the settlers. They also hoped that this would give headaches to the army, keeping them too busy to deal with anything else. Such escapades have long since ceased to be a mere distraction; this is now sheer vandalism that only causes unnecessary resentment.

The Rebbe never supported such actions. On the contrary, he explained that the answer to terrorism is actively encouraging the Arabs to fulfill the Seven Noachide Laws, which they too are obligated to observe. It’s a pity that these young people invest so much energy in entering Arab villages late at night merely to spray graffiti and puncture tires, instead of distributing informational brochures on the Seven Noachide Laws to village residents.

It appears that the greatest promoter of this conduct is the media. Every spraying of graffiti in some remote Arab village earns banner headlines in the news reports, while real terrorist attacks are largely ignored. The message is clear: Jewish blood is far less important than the wall of an Arab mosque. This is the reason why the phenomenon grew so intense. As a result of the anger caused by the media’s disproportionate exaggerations, things have only gotten worse.

4.

Most tragically, the worst event to occur in Eretz Yisroel during the past fortnight received very little media attention. Shelly Dadon, may G-d avenge her blood, a twenty-year old Jewish girl, was murdered by Arab terrorists. Not in Ofra, not even in Beit E-l – but in Migdal HaEmek.

This situation reminds me of a radio interview that Rabbi Yigal Kirschenzaft gave during the intifada. When he was asked about the “dangerous” life in Gush Katif, instead of defending himself, R’ Yigal asked the interviewer to bolster the residents along the “front lines,” e.g., those living in Tel Aviv, where anything lying on the ground is a potential bomb. 

The murder of Shelly Dadon Hy”d took up about a quarter of the time devoted to graffiti in Deir al-Balah. Not a single politician condemned the murder, nor did anyone rise to identify with the bereaved family. The prime minister did not open his weekly Cabinet meeting with a solemn expression of “profound shock” over the senseless slaughter of a young girl, stabbed to death simply because she was Jewish, and Channel 2 News didn’t set up a makeshift studio with the residents of Migdal HaEmek.

When such things happen outside of Eretz Yisroel, all the usual defenders of justice know how to issue signed declarations explaining how horrible it is when Jews are murdered in a blatantly anti-Semitic attack. What happened this time? Why is it that when a young Jewish woman is murdered in the heart of Eretz HaKodesh simply because she is Jewish, no one seems to care? 

Maybe we’ve just gotten used to it. Maybe we simply don’t have the strength to cry out anymore. One thing is certain: This situation cannot continue. Wake up, Yidden!

 

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