Can Mort Klein Doubt Veracity of Duma Village Arson Stories without Being Dubbed ‘Jewish Extremist?’Thursday, August 6th, 2015
(JNi.media) Israeli Right-wing Jews who also consider themselves sane, even liberal-minded, have been hit recently by three painful events that brought on a portrayal of faithful Jews as bloodthirsty, xenophobic and homophobic terrorists.
There was the mid-June burning of a portion of a Catholic Church near the Kineret, which, thank God, did not claim any lives, and then, last Thursday came the mad stabbing of six gay pride parade marchers in Jerusalem, which left a 16-year-old girl dead, and last Friday the burning of a house in the Arab village of Duma, that resulted in the death of an infant.
And while the case could be made that the crazed stabber, Ultra-Orthodox Yishai Schlissel does not represent anyone, the entire world is convinced at this point that “extremist Jews” were responsible for the criminal arson in Duma.
Except that, so far, Israel’s law enforcement agencies, which have focused enormous resources on the case, are unable to show any proof as to the identity of the suspect.
And so, is it possible the perpetrators were not Jewish? Moreover, is it possible for one to make such a suggestion and not be immediately cast aside as an apologist for Jewish extremism, or even of being a Jewish extremist himself?
The fact by itself that Jews have not been caught over the Duma case does not mean that it wasn’t committed by a “Jewish extremist,” because the loosely organized, mostly young Jews who are filed under this category are difficult, if not impossible to penetrate. This is the reason Israel’s government this week decided to apply to them its most anti-democratic legal means, administrative detention, which, essentially, punishes a person not for the crimes he committed, but for the crimes police know he wants to commit.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Netanyahu government—much like right-wing Jews everywhere—is under a fierce and relentless attack over the Duma case, which was a dream-come-true for those engaged in anti-Israeli propaganda.
The Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo agreed on Wednesday to call on the UN to protect the Palestinians from “terrorist crimes” by Israeli settlers.
Now, Israeli settlers face daily terrorist attacks on the highways, in bus stops, in their fields. Only two days ago a young Jewish woman was firebombed in her car in Jerusalem by an Arab and was rushed to hospital with severe burns on 20% of her body. The story didn’t make any of the world’s news outlets. It was barely covered in Israel.
As many have pointed out, the Duma baby death is a classic “Man bites dog” story.
And yet, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas insists that “the Arab Group (at the UN) must act to submit a draft resolution to the Security Council concerning terrorist crimes by Israeli settler groups against the Palestinian people.”
The question remains, though: is it possible to suggest that the arson in Duma village may not have been committed by Jews?
Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein on Tuesday cautioned against jumping to conclusions on the Duma arson.
“It is inappropriate to rush to cast blame on Jews for the fire at an Arab home in Duma in last week in view of the minimal, contradictory, and questionable evidence reported thus far – and in view of the numerous instances in which Arabs have fabricated attacks or blamed Jews for Arab violence against other Arabs,” Klein said, demanding that “a full investigation should be done to determine responsibility. And of course, whoever is responsible for this attack – whether Jew or Arab – should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
However, he added, the available evidence “raises strong suspicions that the fire last week was the continuation of an 18-year-old feud between two Arab clans in Duma.”
The Dawabsha family house stands in the middle of Duma, making it “extremely difficult for Israeli Jews to reach and then to depart from the center of a hostile Arab village without being detected,” Klein wrote.
And then there’s the matter of the Hebrew graffiti. Over the past few years, a similar “extremist” Jewish element has gained notoriety for their “Price Tag” operation, where they would graffiti intimidating messages on the walls of homes belonging to Israelis on the left, and cause damage to Arab property, also accompanied by nasty graffiti.
In several cases involving arson against mosques, monasteries and churches, the Hebrew graffiti looked suspicious, both in terms of vocabulary and handwriting analysis. One of the two graffiti slogans on the walls of the Duma house, stating “Long live the King Messiah,” with a little, slanted crown over the last word, is also questionable, as has been pointed out by some experts.
The choice of the slogan itself, which is decidedly related to the Chabad Chassidic movement, is curious, although it doesn’t rue out the possibility that an “extremist Jew” wrote it.
The handwriting has four suspicious features:
1. The letter Khaf at the end of Melech was clearly first written as a mid-word khaf, and then a line was added, to make it a final-khaf. It’s an afterthought, possibly by someone who is not well versed in writing Hebrew.
2. The two letters Heh in the beginning of the second and third words are completely different from one another.
3. Likewise the two letters Chet in the first and third words.
4. Likewise the two letters Mem in the second and third words. Again, not being well versed in handwritten Hebrew does not rule out a Jewish perpetrator, but it certainly raises the possibility that they weren’t Jewish.
Klein noted a case this week, in Lod, Israel, where a local Arab blamed three “settlers” for attacking him, describing them down to their knitted yarmulkes and fringes, only to admit eventually that he was actually beaten up by local Arabs.
“Palestinian Arab terrorists have repeatedly borrowed from [the] Nazi playbook, staging and fabricating incidents to blame on (non-existent) Jewish ‘extremists’ and Israel,” Klein wrote.
“If it turns out that Jewish individuals were responsible, those individuals should be arrested, prosecuted, and punished to the full extent of the law. However, if this incident turns out to be another ‘blame the Jews’ Arab hoax, the facts should be broadcast with the same fanfare that blame was precipitously cast on Israeli Jews,” Klein insisted.