As the Jewish world mourns the horrific murders of a father and two of his children over Shabbat in a bloody terror attack by a Palestinian fanatic, the Arab world, as well as international media, is presenting a moral equivalency between Jewish and terrorist deaths which perpetuates the situation, said several prominent voices following the attack.
“After decades of terror, those who say the Jews are to blame simply gives legitimacy to the next massacre,” charged Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home).
Yosef Salomon, 70, was celebrating the birth of a grandson with a festive Shabbat meal at home with his family on Friday night in Halamish, a Jewish community in Samaria, when a 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist entered his house and began stabbing members of the family as they sat around the dinner table.
Yosef, his son Elad, 36, and daughter Chaya, 46, were all killed in the brutal attack. Elad’s wife saved the family’s small children by rushing them into a nearby room, shutting the door and calling the police. The terrorist was shot through the window by an off-duty IDF soldier, but not before he seriously wounded Yosef’s wife, Tova, 68.
The terrorist, Omar al-Abed, had posted on Facebook prior to the attack that his actions were in response to recent events on the Temple Mount, where Israel instituted new security measures after two Druze policemen were killed in a terror attack last Friday.
“Take your weapons and resist… I only have a knife and it will answer the call of Al-Aqsa. You start a war amongst us and Allah will judge you for it,” Abed wrote in an attempt at religious justification of the attack.
Hamas released a statement praising Abed’s “heroic” actions and calling them a “necessary reaction” to the new security measures.
Earlier in the day, three Palestinians were reported killed in clashes between Arab protesters and Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Arabs have been rioting continuously since the installation of metal detectors in front of the Muslim entrances to the Temple Mount.
World media responded to the two separate events by conflating the deaths of the rioters and the innocent Salomon family as equal victims of the same conflict.
“These various headlines equate the deaths of rioters, those who chose to go out and violently demonstrate, with the murder of a family sitting in their home celebrating the Sabbath and a new baby. Surely we are losing our moral compass, and we must not let this happen,” said Ruth Lieberman, an Israeli political consultant, after the attack.
“Can this possibly be portrayed with moral equivalency? Hamas justifies the murder of a family in their home because metal detectors were installed at a few more entrances to the Temple Mount?”
She noted that in Gaza, civilians were celebrating Abed’s attack in the streets.
“We face a world that encourages terror by refusing to recognize it in its basest form,” Liberman said.
In a statement following a visit to the scene of the terror attack, Bennett said that the voices which do not condemn terror but instead place blame on Israel “legitimize” the violence
“[Those people are] the ones creating an atmosphere in which a vile murderer, less than 20 years old, decides to slaughter Jews in their home on Friday night, the eve of Shabbat.”
He said there were “no words to describe the horror” in Halamish and accused Palestinian leadership, which did not condemn the attacks, of “raising the flames” of incitement.