Tony Greenstein | 22 December 2015 | Post Views:

Elisha Odess, one of the suspected killers of Dawabshe family. Caption: “We only have the Lord Blessed be He. We only fear Him.”

The Times of Israel reports that those suspect of the firebombing of the Dawabshe family in the
West Bank village of Duma, three of whom died as a result, are being
‘Israeli detainees held in connection with an investigation into the fatal
firebombing of a Palestinian home have alleged torture and abuse at the hands
of their interrogators, as officials indicate they will move toward indictments
in the case in the coming weeks.

One detainee reportedly alleged that he had tried to slit
his wrists in despair over harsh interrogation methods, a claim swiftly denied
by the Shin Bet security service.’

Several Jewish terror suspects have been arrested and are being interrogated by
the Shin Bet on allegations of being involved with the July 31 firebombing of
the Dawabshe family home in the Palestinian village of Duma.’
Two of Dawabsheh murder suspects in court

It is difficult to keep a straight face. 
What torture?  The Israeli Police?  Surely not. 
Palestinians are regularly tortured and the Zionist right call this ‘anti-Semitism’ and proudly proclaim that Israel’s security state is the most moral in the
world.   Now, because of world pressure
and because of internal political pressure too, Shabak (the security police)
has been forced to move against those responsible.  Now there are cries of ‘torture’.
Right-wing Jewish extremists and police clash during a demonstration against the arrest of Jewish youth suspected of involvement in an arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma, December 20, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
I have no doubt that these youths have been badly treated and quite
likely tortured.  But the hypocrisy of
the settlers and the Zionist right beggars belief.  We should oppose the torture of settler youth in the same way as we should oppose the torture of Palestinians or indeed anyone.  But those who support torture of one section of the Palestinians cannot complain when their supporters are also tortured.  

Another Times of Israel article Right-wing activist arrested after attacking cops reported that 

About three hundred demonstrators blocked
traffic in the Chords Bridge area, near the main entrance to the capital, and
some hurled stones at police officers. Police in turn rushed the violent
protesters in a bid to disperse the rally, arresting six activists.

One of the suspects arrested in connection with the Dawabsha murder, December 3, 2015. Under a court-issued gag order, the identities of the suspects cannot be revealed. (Screen capture)
Six police officers were wounded by violence directed
at them by a small minority of the protesters, a police statement said.’
Amiram Benoliel, 21, one of key suspects in Dawabsheh arson-murders. His name and that of all the others I’ve published is under Shabak gag order.
Now this is very strange.  The Knesset
has passed legislation providing for 3 year minimum prison sentences for stone
throwers and up to 20 years imprisonment in certain cases.  In addition the Police and military usually
open fire on Palestinian stone throwers, either with rubber bullets or live ammunition.  Yet that didn’t happen here.  On the contrary the Police merely ‘rushed the
violent protesters’ in a bid to disperse them and arrested 6 of them.  No mention of prosecuting the stone
throwers.  Why?  Because they are Jewish of course.

Shabak Torture Interrogations Fail to Yield Murder Confessions

Dawabsheh arson murders and the investigation in their aftermath offer a lesson
in the abject failure of the Israeli security system in dealing with Jewish
terror.  It is a system built, not on the normal standards of policing in
the western world in which evidence is gathered, witnesses interviewed, scenes
reconstructed; rather, the emphasis is on extracting confessions, often by
brute force.  In the case of Palestinians this will often work because the
system is entirely stacked against them.  Even if they refuse to confess
to a crime for which they aren’t guilty, they know they will go before a judge
who will never reject the “evidence” offered by the Shabak and prosecution.
 So essentially, they have a choice: either they confess and accept a “deal”
(on the State’s terms); or they maintain silence and are convicted on much
heavier terms.
Netanel Porkovich, suspected of being an accessory to the Dawabsheh murders
it’s different with Jewish suspects.  Ironically, Justice is supposed to
be blind.  But in Israel it is judges who turn a blind eye to the ravages
inflicted on Palestinian prisoners.  But when it comes to Jews, they can
see 20-20.  They might disregard claims of torture by the defense if there
is a confession.  But without one, they will likely refuse to accept the
trumped-up dossiers normally offered in the cases of Palestinian suspects and
routinely accepted by judges as confirming guilt.
doesn’t work with the Jews.  Even the terrorists.  Because they’re
Jews, after all.  They have rights, even the bad ones.  So a judge
will not accept a manufactured body of evidence in the absence of some
other definitive admission or proof of guilt.  The Jewish accused, even
minors like some of those in this case, know this.  They know that if they
keep their mouths shut they can beat the system.
Shabak and the Israeli police were a competent force they would muster the
investigative skills necessary to prove this case.  But either they don’t
have the skills or they refuse to use them.  What have the arson experts
done at the scene of the crime?  Where are the police officers
interviewing potential witnesses?  I doubt much, if any of this is done in
such cases.  I know for a fact that Israeli police never question
Palestinian witnesses regarding such crimes.  Another quirk of Israel’s
racist legal and policing approach.
is why, according to news reports and claims by Defense Minister Bogie Yaalon,
the State’s case against the four murder suspects is foundering.  Yaalon
has, I thought with rather too much of a smirk, said that the State doesn’t
have sufficient evidence to prove its case.  This is, on its face,
preposterous.  When four terrorists burn a house down and kill three
people, there are reams of evidence.  If they can’t solve this case with
real evidence and policing techniques they’re either the worst police force in
the world, they’re just phoning it in, or they don’t want to solve the case (or
all three!).
is part of a powerful
campaign by the settler lobby
seeking to quash the investigation.
 This is a political movement which controls many levers of power in
Israeli society and reaches into the most senior ministerial offices.
 Yaalon is one of them, as are many, if not most other ministers in this
government.  They say the crime was heinous.  They say they have no
tolerance for it.  But out of the other side of their mouths they do all
in their power to sabotage the investigation.
I find especially odd about all crimes of Jewish terror is that the ideology
that underpins it is essentially rejection of the (secular) State.  The
attackers in this case have very publicly expressed their hate for both the
State and Zionism.  The ideological godfather of the latest iteration of
the “Jewish Revolt,” Meir
 (Meir Kahane’s grandson), believes (like many extremist
terrorists) that by mounting enough terror attacks against Palestinian targets,
it will prove the state to toothless and eventually lead to its downfall.
 The fall of the secular state, so this narrative goes, will lead to the
founding of a Torah-true theocratic State, a Davidic monarchy.
Benoliel, 21, one of key suspects in Dawabsheh arson-murders. His name and that
of all the others I’ve published is under Shabak gag order.  Shabak
released its own statement about their motives:
is an extremist anti-Zionist ideological group whose purpose to exploit
violence to destroy the established order, by means of terror attacks which
would advance their goals.
of the suspects, Amiram Benoliel, explicitly rejected the jurisdiction of the
Israeli court according to this
Facebook post
on the page of the Kahanist Jewish Voice (full Hebrew
statement here).
 He demanded to be tried by a halachic court (beyt din) knowing
full well that settler rabbis would never convict him.  In fact, he noted
that he wished to be tried before Rabbi
Yisrael Ariel
, who was recently quoted as saying it was permissible to kill
both Christians and Muslims if they rejected the seven Noahide Laws.
 Ariel leads the Temple Institute, seeking to destroy the Noble Sanctuary
and replace it with the Jewish Third Temple.
Benoliel’s supporters
are quoted as saying on his behalf during one of his earlier 2014
Shabak detentions:
only to which we are subject is the law of the Torah.  We are proud of him
for paying the price for remaining true to Torah.”
further claim that secular judges tasked with hearing his case are “criminals”
and “disqualified from hearing evidence according to the laws of the Torah.”

all other societies which are functional, when a terror network attacks the
State itself there is a fast and firm response.  The forces of the State
unite to attack terror and uproot it.  If they do not, they risk
undermining the very basis for the State’s existence.  That is why George
Washington reacted so strongly to Shays Rebellion and firmly put down this
farmers’ revolt in Pennsylvania at the outset of the American Republic.
 It’s also why Ben Gurion commanded Rabin to attack the Alta Lena, which
was bringing weapons meant to enable a Lehi militia that would be independent
of the Yishuv’s official military forces.  To survive, a State needs to
enforce discipline and allegiance.  Those who reject its sovereignty are,
or should be, enemies of the State.
strange case of the settlers is that they are essentially enemies of the State,
but the State embraces them anyway.  In effect, and this is the really
crazy part, the State turns on itself; eating itself from within.
will be interesting to watch who wins in this case.  Will the settlers
prevail and sabotage justice?  Is there anyone on the other side fighting
on behalf of justice?  I have, in fact, queried my usual Israeli sources
on this matter and heard silence in return.  Who speaks for the victims?
 In Israel when it comes to Palestinian victims, even murdered ones, it
appears no one.
Shabak is playing some role in resisting the settler narrative.  But in
this case it may be less because it seeks justice and truth and more because
it’s methods of torture are coming under such fierce attack by the supporters
of the terrorists.
astonishing for the terror lobby to shrey gevalt about torture.
 Since when have they ever raised a finger to defend the most widely
tortured group within the Israeli security system: Palestinians? Why
should anyone give a s*** for them in this their hour of need?  At least
Israeli Jewish human rights NGOs have denounced torture and other forms of
abuse both against Jews and Palestinians. 
But the terror lobby hates
Palestinians so much they can’t abide speaking even a single syllable on their
behalf, even when it would support their own cause in the long run.
just in case the hasbara brigade intends to raise this as an issue in the
comment threads, I pre-empt your argument: show me a member of the Jewish
terror lobby who’s ever articulated a 
principled, consistent position on
torture.  Then we can talk.
right-wing readers will also blanch at my use of terms like “criminal lobby
and “terror lobby.”  But take one look at the group defending virtually
all Jewish terrorists: Honenu.  Uri Blau, in his masterful
investigative series
, determined that American Jews sent nearly
$250-million over the last five years to support settlements and other illegal
and violent acts of insurrection.  Honenu has delivered nearly $40,000 to
convicted terrorists like Avi Popper and their families.  Can you imagine
a U.S. NGO raising funds to support convicted al Qaeda or white supremacist
murderers in U.S. jails and giving the funds directly to the convicted
criminals themselves?  What country in its right mind would countenance
such behavior?  But Israel does.
an addendum, I’ve e mailed the State Department press office asking for a
comment on the presence of American citizens among the circles of the most
rabid settler terrorists.  That includes Israel Keller, who is one of the
four suspected Dawabsheh murderers.  I asked also if State would comment
on the tax-deduction the U.S. government gives for those $250-million in donations
which directly subvert U.S. policy regarding settlements.  The message was
sent two days ago. Apparently, they’re not hurrying to reply.
should, of course, be a tumultuous clamor from the international community and
Diaspora Jewish groups against the looming failure of the Dawabsheh
prosecution.  They should, as they did when it appeared earlier that
Israel wouldn’t even bring charges, demand transparency and accountability.
 There should be demands in no uncertain terms that if Israel doesn’t
solve the case it will be immediately filed before the International Criminal
Court, just as the Mavi Marmara case has been.  That would stuff a sock in
the mouth of the criminal lobby otherwise known as settlers. Where are
those voices? 

Tzur Israel Bengusi, teenager suspected terror cell member

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Tony Greenstein

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