Thursday, January 28, 2016

Shapiro's morally bankrupt comments on violence in Israel - Hagai Segal

by Hagai Segal

Translated by Sally Zahav from the Hebrew article entitled "תסמונת שטוקהולם" (“Stockholm Syndrome”) (Makor Rishon, Yoman section, 22-january-2016, pg. 2)

Even if Ambassador Shapiro is right and the police do go easy on violent settlers, his comparison is irrelevant because the amount of violence on the two sides is totally dissimilar. The only correct comparison here is the growing similarity between the US and Sweden.

The United States’ ambassador was recruited this week to aid in the tectonic convergence between America and Europe. Dan Shapiro’s speech at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), which, in the opinion of many commentators, was drawn up by the White House, was reminiscent of Federica Mogherini’s style. Without blinking, Shapiro said that “there are too many cases in which Israelis in the West Bank take the law into their own hands and are not investigated. There are no thorough investigations and sometimes it seems that Israel has two standards of law enforcement in the West Bank - one for Jews and another for Palestinians."
Just how much obtuseness and hostility does it take to make such a declaration on the day that a settler mother who was murdered in front of her children is buried and a pregnant settler is stabbed? Clearly, Shapiro knows full well that the Palestinians’ murderous violence is whitewashed during the present wave of terror.  They are the only ones who are unsheathing knives, shooting or ramming into people with cars. They totally own the bloodshed, and are totally responsible for the long series of funerals. So now he talks about “too many cases of violence against Palestinians”? What is his rationalization for the murder in Otniel worth, when in the same breath he condemns the imaginary discrimination that the murderer suffers from in his environment? 
Makor Rishon called the spokesman for the American embassy in Israel and requested the statistical evidence on which Shapiro’s statements were based. The spokesman did not respond. Having no alternative, we present our evidence: contrary to what Shapiro said, there are very few cases of Jewish violence against Palestinians, and they are indeed investigated. Where is this evidence from? From Yesh Din, a leftist monitoring organization, which surely makes no concessions for the settlers or for the state. Its new report states that for the ten past years, 2005-2015, there were 11 Palestinian complaints registered that the police did not address. That’s right, only 11. On average, we are talking about one complaint per year that was not investigated, that’s it. Is this crumb a reason for America to attack Israeli rule of law beyond the Green Line?
According to additional evidence of Yesh Din, which certainly welcomed Shapiro’s comments, of the 1,104 Palestinian complaints that were investigated by the police during the past decade, only 75 cases ended with an indictment. The organization sees this as proof of a policy of unbalanced treatment, but it is not logical that a senior American figure would adopt such a strange claim.
Normative police in a normative regime should investigate every complaint, and serve an indictment only if it is clear that there is something to it. Did Shapiro check the United States to see what percentage of complaints become indictments before he assaulted us? Does he really want every Palestinian complaint to end with a settler’s automatic conviction?
1,104 complaints for ten years is equivalent to about 110 complaints per year. We can assume that a significant part of them are false, since honesty is not out neighbors’ strong suit, so the result is a pretty scant number of cases involving Jewish violence against Palestinians. It is totally insignificant compared with Palestinian violence. In 2014 (there are not yet official data for 2015, the year of the knife intifada), according to the data of Shabak (the General Security Service), there were 1,793 Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. That is, about 18 times more than the scope of attacks, terror or otherwise, in the opposite direction, and this is even before we have counted the thousands of incidents of rock throwing. Therefore, even if Shapiro is right and the Israel Police lets violent settlers off easily, his comparison is irrelevant because there is no similarity between the number of violent incidents from both sides. Where there is a resemblance is the continually increasing similarity between America and Europe, between Washington and Stockholm.

Hagai Segal

Source: Makor Rishon, Yoman section, 22-january-2016, pg. 2

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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