The following is a translation from an article in the Makor Rishon newspaper (seen on right), with additions by Jameel.
The organization “Rabbis for Human Rights’ knows exactly how to condemn the State of Israel and its authorities for any action against a Palestinian. Yet, when it comes to a letter which condemns the actions of the Palestinian Authority, the Rabbis for Human Rights would prefer not to be in conflict with Palestinian activists.
In a terrifying broadcast on Palestinian Authority official TV, the family of the convicted terrorist Hakim Awwad [murdered of the 5 members of the Fogel family] was interviewed. One after another, the family members were interviewed, each one praising the “hero and the legend” for his barbaric acts.
Mother of Convicted Murderer: Mother of Hakim Awad, killer of 5 Fogel family members:
“My greetings to dear Hakim, the apple of my eye, who carried out the operation in Itamar, sentenced to 5 life sentences” (video and article/comments from Palestinian Media Watch)
The broadcast created a storm within the Israeli media. Even Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned this to Ireland’s Foreign Minister, Eamon Gilmore and said he hopes the Palestinian Authority will decide to restart the talks with Israel and abandon the path of terror and praising murderers.
Yariv Mohar, the spokesperson for Rabbis for Human Rights was outraged at the broadcast, and decided with other members of his organization to start a Facebook page which condemns the Palestinian Authority’s broadcast and the initiative started to gain popularity.
The activists wrote “To our dear friends, the Palestinians, we turn to you in pain because of the need to clearly announce that there are things which may never be part of a struggle.” Unfortunately, other “Human Rights” activists refused to join the initiative. For example, a member of the “GISHA” organization, Blogger Itamar Goldstein asked his organization to join the initiative, signing a petition which condemns the action of the Palestinian Authority, yet he received a negative reply that [joining the petition] was outside the mandate of the organization.
Yariv Mohar turned to the organization he is spokesman for, “Rabbis for Human Rights” — led by Rabbi Arik Asherman [pictured on right], and asked for them to join the initiative. It was explained that such an action [as joining the petition] could possible negatively impact the organization’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority, and Palestinian activists — and therefore the organization refused to cooperate.
In response, the “GISHA” organization announced that their organization does not sign any petition outside its mandate which encouraging “freedom of movement.” “Unfortunately, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict creates harsh statements on a daily basis which incite, and are in contradiction to basic moral ethics and human rights. We abhor them all, yet as an organization; we have chosen to focus all our energy — not in condemning statements, but in progressing commerce, education, and family life. In our opinion, this is the best way to a better, different future for everyone.”
Jameel adds: Arik did condemn the actual murderer when it happened:
We send our condolences and pray that God will send consolation to the surviving members of the Fogel family.
Life under the Israeli occupation may be difficult, but in no way can that justify the murder of a family including three children sleeping in their beds. (source)
Yet, he finds it ethically and morally challenging to condemn the Palestinian Authority which broadcasts programs which praise the same murderers. I guess educating Palestinians to hate is a good thing…despite his initial objection.
Not very rabbi-like.
Not very human-rights-like, either.