Photo Credit: Arab media
The Halabis' new villa

Last October, Muhannad Halabi, 19, a student at Al-Quds University and member of the Islamic Jihad, stabbed two Israeli men to death and injured a woman and a baby in Jerusalem’s Old City, effectively starting the “knives intifada.” Stabber zero, if you will. Halabi was shot and killed by Israeli police and branded a terrorist, but the Arabs, beginning with his parents, see him as a hero. “I will always be proud that my son sacrificed his life for the liberation of his homeland,” his mother, Suhair Halabi, said at the time.

Muhannad Halabi’s family al-Bireh home was demolished in early January (on a Shabbat morning). The demolition order also prohibited the family from rebuilding. And so a campaign called Rebuilding the Homes of the Free, which collects donations directly from the Arab public specifically for the purpose of restoring the demolished homes of terrorists, came to the aid of the Halabis. And if this starts to sound like a distorted version of so many Jewish fundraising efforts, now would be a good time to dig up your sick bags:

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The fundraising campaign posted transparent collection boxes on main drags in Arab cities and villages, for the locals to stuff with their hard-earned shekels, which they did. In a few weeks, several million shekels have been collected, which financed, among other things, Tuesday’s purchase of a two-story villa, with an overall area of 3,875 sq. ft. on a 6,458 sq. ft. lot in the Al Basatin neighborhood of Abu Qash, a pastoral suburb of Ramallah. The villa, which cost $173,000, is now registered as belonging to Muhannad Halabi’s father, Shafiq.

If ever there were a living testimony about how ineffective the Israeli policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists has been, this one should close the book on the entire debate. There’s an urban legend that insists US General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing rid the Philippines of Islamic extremism in 1911 by executing a group of Muslim terrorists and burying them in a grave filled with pig’s blood and entrails. That’s one way to go. The other is the expulsion of terrorists’ families to Gaza, which the Israeli Supreme Court will oppose, at least in its current makeup. There are probably many crazy options out there, because Israel is faced with a crazy situation in which it must deal legally with an enemy that positioned itself outside the protective walls of the law.

Good luck to all of us.

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