January 5, 2016: Readers react to developments in fatal Duma arson

Readers react to the latest 'Jerusalem Post' articles.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With regard to “Amiram Ben- Uliel and minor indicted in Duma attack” (January 4), the shootings, stabbings, injuries and murders continue, and it is clear that our government has failed in its first duty – to protect the lives of citizens. It is in such situations that vigilantes flourish.
At present, the vigilantes are limited to a small fringe element in Jewish society that has adopted terror as a response to terror. If Arab terrorism remains unchecked, the vigilantes’ response will spread to a larger segment of our society.
Clearly, the current tactics employed by the police, army and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) are failing because killing terrorists is not a deterrent to people who aspire to be martyrs. The root cause is the incitement to murder directed by the Palestinian Authority through its education system and mosques.
I believe that the PA’s security establishment is presently cooperating with ours. However, this is like trying to stop a runaway vehicle by applying the handbrake while keeping a heavy foot on the gas. The solution is to insure that the government in Ramallah has a powerful incentive to reign in the terror it has unleashed.
Each terrorist act, whether successful or not, should carry a significant financial price, which could be automatically subtracted from the tax funds our government hands over under the terms of the Oslo Accords. This would require a unilateral change in the accords, but the alternative – the gradual breakdown of civil society – would be worse.
Ma’aleh Adumim
The idiotic murderer Amiram Ben-Uliel, along with his colleagues – the monsters who pitilessly torched innocent people to death – deserve the same treatment that the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann got. They do not deserve the privileges of life.
Since Israel does not have a death penalty, they deserve a life sentence in solitary confinement without parole, visitors or media access of any type. Even with such a draconian sentence they will experience such pleasures as warmth, sleep, water, some kind of food, and sometimes even pleasurable thoughts and dreams. Not one of their victims has these privileges.
Duluth, Minnesota
In referring to “hilltop youths” who have been or were held under coercive questioning and torture by the Shin Bet, Isi Leibler (“Jewish terrorism must be cauterized like a cancer,” Candidly Speaking, December 31) falls into a group of many others who are quick to condemn “Jewish terrorism,” eagerly recalling the cases of Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir. Some, surprisingly, bring Avishai Raviv, the Shin Bet provocateur, into the story in order to play fair.
While Arab terrorists roam the Land of Israel, knifing, shooting and ramming their cars into Israeli victims, the public is asked to get incensed about “Jewish terrorists.” To add fuel to the simmering flames, a wedding video appeared. Although the wedding took place in early December and nobody thought anything about it, footage suddenly emerged showing “settlement” wedding guests gleefully dancing and waving a photo of the Arab baby who died in the arson attack in Duma.
I believe that the people brandishing the photo and stirring up the fervor were not wedding guests. They were dressed in black and wearing masks, while guests were all in white shirts.
No matter, “Jewish terrorists” were rejoicing at the death of an Arab baby.
Who filmed the video? How did it get into the hands of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon? No answers to these questions. Just a chorus of condemnations, especially from self-righteous Jews against other Jews.
It is time for the Jewish people to defend their own. Let us concentrate on stopping Arab terrorism and follow proper judicial procedures in determining guilt in the Duma case. To do otherwise is to imperil Israel.
New York
The writer is executive director of Americans for a Safe Israel/ AFSI.
I cannot say I have ever disagreed with anything that Caroline B. Glick has written, yet “Israel’s homegrown enemies” (Column One, December 25) shocked me. On reading the headline, I felt she was going to write about Israeli Arabs who had joined Islamic State, Hezbollah or Hamas. I didn’t expect an ad hominem attack on the youths of Judea and Samaria.
One should keep in mind that the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria face Arab attacks every single day. Many of those who appeared in the wedding video doing the rounds were probably attacked or had family murdered by Arabs (although lest there be any question, let me make it quite clear that I abhor what was done in Duma, whether by Jews or, as I suspect, Arabs).
Let me remind your readers that the Special Night Squads of the 1930s, organized by Orde Wingate, acted purely as avengers for Arab attacks. Even at the time leading up to the formation of the state, the Palmah and Hagana continued to avenge Arab attacks, although to their eternal disgrace, they cooperated with the British against the Irgun and Stern Gang.
Let me also say that Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s verbal attacks against the Duma suspects and their attorney, Itamar Ben-Gvir, have been disgusting, to say the least. What has he been driving at – that the suspects should not be represented? Even Adolf Eichmann was represented in a fair trial.
Kochav Yair
How can a supposedly democratic country have a defense minister and education minister who call Jewish youths “terrorists” and accuse them of burning an Arab house when there is not a shred of evidence (“Ya’alon: Failure to put Duma attackers on trial could ‘set region on fire’” and “Bennett backs Shin Bet on Duma probe, slams Jewish extremism,” December 23).
In the first, you report that defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon “vehemently rejected allegations of abuse and torture leveled against the Shin Bet....”
You go on to report that “dozens of psychologists and social workers signed a petition... in which they called for a halt to all torture of suspects who are minors, which they said violated the country’s basic laws.”
The second article states that Education Minister Naftali Bennett called the alleged attackers “disturbed anarchists” with a “delusional and messianic idea” who are seeking to “destroy the ties between the nation of Israel and the State of Israel.”
Did he ever meet the youths or question them? Was he in the room where they claim they were tortured? Obviously not! Yet he says he looked into the claims and found that everything was legal.
Has anyone arrested and questioned members of the Arab family that was feuding for years with the family in the burned house in Duma? I didn’t hear about any arrests or torture to get information from them.
How about bringing the suspected youths to trial and, if there is no evidence, allowing them to go free? Enough is enough!
Ma’aleh Adumim
We owe a debt of deep gratitude to Amnon Eldar for his powerful and incisive challenge that we ask ourselves where we went wrong in the education of young people who today sanctify murder and violence as a way of life (“Religious Zionist educator calls for self-reflection in community,” December 28). Eldar’s remarks should have been made loud and clear by Israel’s chief rabbis.