The Double Standard for Terrorism in Israel
Moments before Yom Hazikaron, the district court of Jerusalem proved that terror victims in Israel are second class citizens. On May 7th, 2002, a suicide bomber entered a club in Rishon Leziyon and blew himself up. Fifteen Israeli citizens were murdered and eighty others were injured. The terror group responsible for the act was the Silwan cell, who appointed four Israeli Arabs from Silwan, in eastern Jerusalem, to commit the brutal crime.
The merciless terror cell consisted of individuals who possessed “blue” identity cards, meaning that they enjoyed the very same rights as any other Israeli citizen. These individuals perpetrated the murders of dozens of Israelis and brought injury to hundreds more, in a number of deadly attacks like the ones at Cafe Moment and at the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus campus.
In August of 2002, the cell was discovered by the Shabak (Israeli Intelligence) and all of its members were arrested. They stood trial on 35 counts of murder, committing terrorist activities, and conspiring with the enemy during wartime. The court imposed hefty life sentences on the accused and added “It is fitting that the defendants rot in prison until the end of their lives.”
The question is, why did the court not rule that the Arab terrorists pay damages to the grieving families, the many injured and those the terror cell intended to murder, when last week, the same district court decreed that Jewish militant Yaakov Teitel must compensate his victims’ families and those of the individuals he planned to murder? The court instructed Teitel to compensate the family members of his two victims in the amount of 180 thousand shekels per family and in addition, to compensate two men whom he tried to murder with 150 thousand shekels each.
I am not opposed or in favor of the decision of the Jerusalem district court. I believe that any person who has injured or murdered another is obligated to bear the harshest consequences and yes, pay damages to his victims, and their families, yet, it begs the question, who is fighting in the name and memory of Israeli terror victims? Why did the court not obligate the Silwan terror group to pay damages to the bereaved families and the injured?
Israeli society must face these difficult questions and examine how it has been allowed that in the State of Israel, double standards exist and justice is too often not upheld for victims of terror. I hope that one of the same members of the new Knesset who took part in last week’s ruling will take this matter into their own hands and set a fair and balanced precedent.
Jacob Kimchy lost his father, Rami Kimchy Z”TL in a suicide attack in Rishon L’Tzion, Israel. Kimchy heads the victims-of-terror organization, One Heart global www.oneheartglobal.org and is the founder of www.TLVfaces.com.