Tony Greenstein | 29 June 2018 | Post Views:

For Killing a Palestinian prisoner 9 months, for slapping an Israeli soldier 8 months – Israeli Justice at its finest

The Lynching of Hoftar Zarhum

When Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike to demand
better conditions, the standard Israeli retort was that of Avi
Dichter, the Public Security Minister and former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s
Barghouti Has Blood
on His Hands, Must Stay in Prison’

Of course if you are Jewish then having the blood of
Palestinians on your hands is no problem.  Indeed it can be a positive
boon.  Elor Azaria, an Israeli army medic no less, who fired at point
blank range at a Palestinian lying prone on the ground because he had allegedly
tried to stab a soldier with a knife, became a hero.  His charge was
reduced from murder, which it obviously was, to manslaughter. Why are Israelis lauding soldier Elor Azaria as a
Sentenced to a ludicrous 18 months imprisonment even this was
successively reduced to 9 months. As a final insult to his victim, Azaria was
let out of prison two days early in order to attend his brother’s wedding.
Ahed Tamimi
Indeed Azaria received just one month more for murdering a
Palestinian than Ahed
 did for slapping a heavily armed soldier who invaded the
grounds of her house.  Remember that originally Education Minister Naftali Bennett had said that
Ahed should spend the rest of her life in prison.
None of this should surprise people.  In 2009 Rabbis
Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur wrote a book, Torat HaMelech (the
King’s Torah).  This learned study explained how it was possible to
murder non-Jews, including children and infants, according to halacha (Jewish
law) without incurring a penalty.  As should be widely known,
the Talmud makes a distinction between the killing of a Jew and a non-Jew, only
the former of which is a capital offence. [see 
Murder and Genocide in Jewish
Religious Law
, Israel Shahak]
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein declared that
the authors would not be prosecuted.  In the case of the leader of
the Northern League, Sheikh Raed Salah, the Israeli state pulled out all the
stops to convict him  of incitement to hatred, even though the
evidence was so tenuous that the original decision to acquit him by the
Jerusalem Magistrates Court had to be overturned by the Jerusalem District
Court in a nakedly political decision.  

Raed Salah had allegedly invoked the Jewish blood libel myth in an
attack on the Israeli authorities for barring access to the Al Aqsa and Golden Dome mosques.  However Raed Salah denied making any such comparison.  As he exclaimed 
Show me one Jewish inciter who has been
That is why the horrific incident below when an
Eritrean refugee was lynched by Israeli vigilantes is so
outrageous.    Their punishment?  Not the 35
years for Marwan Barghouti or other Palestinians, but community service.  This
is yet another reason why Israel is an apartheid state.  Justice for
Palestinians is always different from that for Jews.
Tony Greenstein
In all the annals of miscarriage of justice, Israel-style, this
one is right up there.  Two years ago, during the Knife Intifada, an Israeli Bedouin attacked the
Beersheva bus station
.  One soldier
was killed and ten others wounded.  In all the confusion, Israeli
vigilante bystanders, who included both police personnel and prison guards, saw
an Eritrean refugee, Haftom Zarhum, who’d come to Beersheva to renew his work
Hoftar Zarhum, lynched by bloodthirsty Israeli vigilantes who get slap on the wrist for cold-blooded murder
Even though Eritrean refugees look nothing like Palestinians and
he had no weapon, they decided that Zarhum was the terrorist and began
assaulting him.  Eight shots were fired into his body from almost
point-blank range.  They kicked him in the head and beat him
senseless.  Then the “piece de la resistance” of
torture was the vigilante who ripped a row of metal chairs from the floor, ran
over to the victim and brought the entire apparatus down on his head with full
force.  Though the coroner said the bullets killed him, this was certainly
the coup de grâce (I don’t know French well enough to know
that the opposite of grace is in this case–the word is
certainly is inapt in this grisly case).
I posted about this case when it was first reported. 
Though there was tremendous soul-searching in some Israeli circles about the
savagery of this attack.  I apologize for the violence in the above
video–I usually eschew this approach to reporting, but this incident is so
egregious I want everyone who can stomach it to watch the horrific violence and
consider where it comes from and what it means).  Some Israelis were
horrified by the homicidal racism which spurred this lynching.
But I knew in my heart it would all be swept under the
rug.  That indeed is what the Israeli justice system proposes.  After
all the outrage, the overwhelming force of the national security state came to
bear.  The police and prison authority united to protect their own. 
As a result, the guy (referred to as “Moyal” in the passage below)
who smashed Zarhum with the chairs gets off scot-free (just after the killing
he told an interviewer: “what’s to apologize for?”).  The other seven defendants get off with
no jail time at all.  They will do community service and perhaps shed a
crocodile tear or two (or not) and return to their lives:
Under the plea bargain offered, Moyal, who had worked at a
shwarma sandwich shop at the bus station during the incident, will be convicted
of abusing a helpless person. The penalty under law is up to seven years in
prison. The original charge, of aggravated assault, carries up to 20 years
imprisonment. But if the plea bargain is approved, Moyal won’t do a day
behind bars, after the prosecution agreed to community service, the extent of
which will be determined by the court. Moyal’s defense lawyers will also be
able to demand that Moyal’s conviction be set aside…
In June 2016, a Prisons Service tribunal decided against
charging prison warden Hananiya Shabbat for involvement in the mob attack on
In some circles they’ll even be applauded as heroes of the
nation just as the IDF murderer of Abd al-Fatah
, Elor Azarya, was hailed as the
conquering hero after the IDF brought him up on relatively minor charges in the
aftermath of the cold-blooded execution.  They’ll say of the Beersheva
killers: “well you never know with these people. He could very well have
been a terrorist.  You did what you thought best to protect us.”
But make no mistake, this was an act of terrorism, cold-blooded
vigilante lynching like what Southern whites did to Blacks a century ago. 
It doesn’t matter what the killers thought they were doing or how confusing the
situation might have been.  This was blood vengeance.  And the
Israeli justice system’s whitewashing of the legal case with these pathetic sentences
is state sanctioning of such terrorism.
This is the fate of African refugees in Israel.  Viewed as
little more than infiltrators. A spreading cancer, toxic to the Jewish state
and its pure bloodlines.  Instead of, if not welcoming, them, at least
being cognizant of the Jewish people’s historic responsibility to treat
strangers with a minimum of dignity, they are hated, imprisoned, and expelled,
contrary to international humanitarian law.  This is but one of many
reasons I believe it’s a misnomer to call Israel a Jewish state.  It
ignores or even disdains some of the most cherished traditions of Judaism, in
favor of a truculent, violent, even homicidal version of the religion, which I
prefer to call Judeanism.  Personally, I find this distorted religion to
be little more than pagan idolatry, the worship of supposedly historical myths,
relics and ruins, in favor of real living people and ethical values.

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Tony Greenstein

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