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(photo credit: AP)
Right-wing bloggers have reacted with skepticism since the arrest of accused Jewish terrorist Ya'acov Teitel was revealed on Sunday.
Many right-wing writers expressed cynicism about the liberal media's rush to declare Teitel a criminal before he is proven guilty in court. Some writers noted the suspicious timing of the charges, as they came right after the memorial day for assassinated former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin - a time when much of the country turns an accusing eye on the religious right due to the affiliations of his killer, Yigal Amir. Many settlers therefore see this as just another attempt to place blame on the settler community.
Other writers railed against the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), accusing it of numerous past injustices and breaches of democracy.
On the blog Shiloh Musings, which describes itself as offering "original, personal, spiritual, and political musings about life in Shiloh," a blogger named Batya quoted Dr. Ahron Lerner of Independent Media Review and Analysis, writing, "No doubt that no matter what percentage of the alleged crimes, zero to a hundred, Teitel may be guilty of, he'll spend the rest of his life in jail. Israeli 'justice' is always different for right-wing Jews. The Israeli Left is overjoyed that they finally found a right-wing Jew who could be blamed for some unsolved murders. What a wonderful way for them to celebrate the Rabin Hate Fest."
In another blog, Life in the Shade of Yeshiva, blogger "Ami 10" questioned why the media insisted on focusing on Teitel's identity as a religious settler and American oleh. He claimed that, stripped of those social labels, Teitel was no different than any other murderer and didn't deserve the extra media attention he was getting.
Many writers called Israel an undemocratic country for the Shin Bet's treatment of Teitel and accused it of abusing the justice system. Commenting on an article entitled "Gag order removed: Suspect arrested for murders, bombings," posted on right-wing news Web site Arutz Sheva, "BMT" of the US expressed this frustration.
"Israel/American citizen held incommunicado! Where is writ of habeous [sic] corpus? Israel is as democratic as Cuba," he wrote.
Some writers tried to distance Teitel from the rest of the settler community, emphasizing that he had acted alone and did not represent the views of most settlers.
In the Arutz Sheva article, former Judea and Samaria spokeswoman Emily Arousi stressed that Teitel was a loner who was "hardly known by more than 40 people in Judea and Samaria."
According to Arutz Sheva, the Shvut Rahel settlement, home of the Teitel family, issued a statement condemning Teitel's crimes as "abhorrent," but emphasized that "attempts by the Left to take advantage of the situation for incitement against all the settlers are ugly and pathetic."
However, a few talkback comments criticized the article for distancing the settler movement from Teitel. In a comment titled "Teitel - one of the good guys," Yehudi from Jerusalem voiced a minority opinion among bloggers.
"Why aren't we worshiping this guy just like the Arabs worship they're [sic] kind when they kill Jews?" he asked.
Another post in an Arutz Sheva forum, written by "the Hammer," encouraged readers to embrace Teitel "as a leader and a hero! A holy Jew, he has dignified the name of God in war against the Arab enemy!"