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May 23, 2016 5:40 am

‘Disproportionate’ Response to New York Stabber Highlights Hypocrisy Over Israel

avatar by Judith Bergman

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The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, in which two elderly women were injured. Photo: Twitter.

The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, in which two elderly women were injured. Photo: Twitter.

“Knife-wielding man shot dead in midtown Manhattan” was the headline making the rounds on the Internet last week. The man with the knife had not shouted “Allahu Akbar,” nor was he attempting to commit a terror attack. He was simply an apparently inebriated individual, identified as Gary Conrad, who went into a Food Emporium, where he allegedly became “aggressive and belligerent.”

According to NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill, “He was swearing at the people in the store, swearing at the workers in the store.” Swearing, imagine that. What a lethal menace!

A police officer called to the scene began struggling with Conrad, who pulled out a knife. Police officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he continued to approach them with the knife in his hand. At that point, O’Neill said, an officer and a sergeant opened fire on Conrad.

They did not shoot him once. They did not merely aim to neutralize him by shooting him in the legs or his arms. They shot him an incredible nine times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Conrad had displayed “aggressive and belligerent” behavior at a food store by “swearing” and he had threatened police with a knife. For that he was shot nine times. Could this incident possibly be characterized as “disproportionate”?

Had this taken place in Israel, and had this man not been called Gary Conrad, but Mohammed, and had he not been merely an inebriated loon but a terrorist out to slash Jews, international outrage would have poured forth in torrents from the front page of every single news outlet and the mouth of every opinion maker worth his salt. The “disproportionate force” claim would have been thrown about and every self-respecting journalist would have asked why Israel had to kill the man — shooting him no fewer than nine times — instead of simply neutralizing him by shooting him in the legs or the arms and then taking him to hospital.

So far, not a single news report has questioned the judgment of the NYPD. No American liberal has come forth in self-righteous indignation, asking whether killing this man, who, after all, was not threatening to blow up the Food Emporium or stab anyone, may have been slightly on the disproportionate side. But those same liberals lie awake at night and pen heartfelt, emotional diatribes against Israeli “brutality” when Israeli soldiers kill certified terrorists and would-be suicide bombers as a last resort, to protect themselves and Israeli civilians.

Somehow, however, these liberals’ hearts do not bleed for a fellow New Yorker like Gary Conrad. Why might that be? My guess is that liberals, much like everybody else, do not like it when knife-wielding men roam their neighborhoods. It is one thing to sit safely behind your screen thousands of miles away from the Middle East, but it is something else entirely to have someone waving a knife at your neighborhood store, whether that person is a terrorist or just a criminal. Apparently, threatening Israelis with stabbings or blowing them up on the streets of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem is acceptable, but acting “aggressively and belligerently” by swearing inside a Food Emporium warrants death.

I am pointing this out because a knife-wielding man poses the same threat whether he wields his knife in the name of Allah or because his beer was not served fast enough. A killing is a killing. If anything, the response should be far more mild to someone who is merely displaying drunken aggressiveness than the response to someone who is intent on deliberately stabbing as many people as possible. Predictably, however, the press has not made that connection.

CBS news has derived some of the most blatantly biased and incompetent reporting from the terror wave in Israel. Most famously, CBS graced us with the atrocious headline: “Three Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on,” after ‎three Arab terrorists armed with guns, knives and bombs attacked two border policewomen at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem in February. One of the police officers, 19-year-old Cpl. Hadar Cohen, ‎was killed in the attack.

So how did CBS news react to the killing of Gary Conrad? In the most matter-of-fact way possible. In fact, they even dramatized it by quoting the terrified witnesses, implicitly making it sound like a valiant rescue operation by the police, never questioning the legality of this “extra-judicial killing.”

According to some witnesses quoted in other news outlets, Conrad had blood pouring out of his head, which would strongly indicate that he had been shot there. Apparently, that is an appropriate response to someone being aggressive and belligerent and swearing in a Manhattan food store, disturbing busy New Yorkers. Real belligerence against Israelis? Now that is an entirely different matter.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom. 

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  • Yale

    I will,be sufficiently brash to point out that the real problem leading to the differing treatment of violence in Israel and violence in America is that the whole course of the Israel-Arab conflict has demonstrated that the beliefs and ideas of the Left are simply and demonstrably wrong. If, like many journalists, one happens to be a Leftist, the first inclination is to deny the evidence and denounce the source of one’s discomfort. A thinking person would realize that that means these leftists know their beliefs have been disproved. A serious person, even a journalist, would then change his/her beliefs to be consistent with the evidence.

  • BexarKat

    Police officers in most countries are taught to shoot center-mass until the threat is neutralized. People who attack officers whether it be with a gun (real or not – can you tell the difference before the “12-year old” can pull a trigger?), a knife, or an automobile as in the latest San Francisco case. Police officers, in the USA and Israel have a right to go home after their watch ends.

  • Karen LB

    Are you serious? So, because Israel is under grossly unfair scrutiny, you are doing the same to NYPD? Do you live in NY? No, you don’t. How dare you! The NYPD has zero support from the mayor or our president. The are under more scrutiny now more than ever. G-d forbid if a white officer shoots a non-white person.All hell breaks loose in this country. In the cases you cited, the drunk & the EDP, they had weapons. They didn’t put them down after being ordered to. A drunk or an EDP can do more damage than a “normal” person.
    My friends and I fight antiSemitism/antiIsrael bias everyday here. Now we have an Israeli bashing the officers who protect us during the rallies/protests & candlelight vigils from the antiIsrael mongrels. Shame on you!

    • Susan

      Karen LB – calm thyself; I think you missed his point. He was not bashing the NYPD, not at all. He was making a distinction between how the world media react to this killing (perfectly reasonable and justifiable) and a terrorist killing in Israel (disproportionate). Maybe a little sarcastic, but he hit the nail on the head.

    • Try reading the article again, before you go off half-cocked. It is the “journalists” who are being “bashed”, and rightfully so, for double standards in reporting the same actions by perpetrators and defenders in completely different ways.

  • Barry Goldberg

    Well written! Anti-Semitism rears is ugly head in hundreds of perceptible and imperceptive ways every day. This article hits the nail on the head!

  • About time one read an article like this – good on you!
    Stephen Segal
    London N3

  • Blaming Israel has become an Olympic sport. It has become the norm in Europe and the US media. Nothing has changed in anti-Judaism in a couple of thousand years. BUT WE ARE STILL HERE. There must be a good reason.

  • Gillian

    American police using excess force? Tut tut, they are well trained to use proportionate force so that when that disabled elderly dog wags his tail at them they know not to shoot. That unarmed white male not wearing a top and kneeling down. he is a dangerous person about to kill someone. Then there was a 12 year old boy waving what looked like a real gun and he was shot.

    Was that disproportionate? Wielding a weapon and refusing to obey an order is likely to get you killed even if it isn’t real because it is often impossible to tell them apart. The IDF is filled with young people who are well trained and restrained. But you cannot point this out or praise this because it is racist, Palestinians wielding weapons etc are allowed to attack and murder Israelis but perish the thought that Israel protect itself. Israeli and Jewish lives are not worth as much as Muslim/Palestinian lives and that has been made clear by the anti-Semitic behaviour of the UN which is run by Muslims. They list Gaza and the West Bank as occupied lands!! The actual truth and legality is ignored. Jews and Israelis can do no right. Instead of shooting Palestinians, they should be lining up to be killed!

    • June

      The article was written to show the double standard used to judge Israel’s response to knife wielding attackers and to those attackers here in the west as it happened in NYC.
      It was not written as a condemnation of police.

  • Iris

    While I usually agree with the opinions expressed in your reporting, I take acception to your notion that “liberals” are somewhat biased against Israel’s right to defend herself. ALL OF THE LIBERALS I know completely support Israel and her right to defend herself and its citizens, with whatever means necessary. I find it is the “conservatives ” who are not even aware of what Israel faces on a daily basis. It is the “liberals” that I know that home into their pockets and give to Israeli causes and some have children who have joined the IDF. None of my “conservative ” friends can boast that claim.

    • Susan

      Iris, wow, I wouldn’t say liberals are “somewhat” biased; I’d say they are wholeheartedly, consumedly biased (like the NY Times, for example). I’d like to know your liberal friends who completely support Israel. I don’t know any, including my own family.

  • nat cheiman

    The cops did the right thing. There are too many people like this globally, who need to be exterminated. Nine times perhaps is not enough. they should have emptied their magazines in to this waste of human rubbish

    • i salute your humanity. Is emptying your gun into what sounds like a psychotically ill man(following a previous head injury which led to altered personality )your answer to the under funding in psychiatric services? Hitler tried that solution 70 years ago. The other, unlauded victims of the Holocaust,remember ?

  • Rudy Zamora

    I agree it is completely disgusting that people question Israel’s response to threats to their very survival. I agree for the most part the mainstream media is rife with hypocrisy. I will however say that I have seen one news source question this shooting. I have also read countkess comments by liberals declaring the shooting to be a “murder” by police.

    Unfortunately, though not to the international extent that Israel deals with, police in the U.S. are accused of overreacting, excessive force and called murderers almost every single time they shoot a suspect with a knife. A good example of this type if absolute lunatic thinking is to look at the changes in use of force policy that many larger departments are either making or contemplating. I believe the most notable would be San Francisco P.D. I suggest you look at news coverage of some of their officer involved shootings where the suspect was armed with a knife or othrr edged weapon. The media coverage and backlash is driving a use of force policy change there. I believe it shows complete lack of value for the officers that face these armed people. Similarly but on an international basis, the far left has a complete disregard for tge safety and the lives of Israelis.

  • stevenl

    Mediatic in the EU & US is profoundly and unrestrainedly anti-Semitic.