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How Israel honors the murderers in its midst

Baby Ali Dawabsha, burned to death in an arson attack on his home, is carried
during his funeral in the occupied West Bank village of Duma on 31 July.
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Stanley Heller The Electronic Intifada 31 August 2015

Two days after Israeli settlers burned to death an 18-monthold baby earlier this summer, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: What
distinguishes us from our neighbors is that we denounce and condemn murderers in
our midst and pursue them until the end, while they name public squares after child
murderers. He made the same claim last year after Muhammad Abu Khudair, another

young Palestinian, was burned to death.


Sadly, Alis father, Saad Dawabsha, died from his injuries in hospital. Alis mother and
a 4-year-old brother are still fighting for their lives.
Deliberate killing of civilians and glorification of the killers is disgusting. Yet is it true
that the Israeli government denounces and condemns all terrorists and war criminals?
Lets start small. Take the example of Shlomo Ben-Yosef. He was hanged by the British
administrators of Palestine in 1938. He and others threw grenades in a failed effort to
kill the the passengers aboard a Palestinian bus. Today there are streets named after
him in Akka and Tel Aviv.
Ben-Yosef was part of the Irgun, the Zionist armed group that was led by Menachem
Begin, later Israels prime minister. The first Irgun attacks began around April 1936
and by the start of the Second World War, as many as 250 Palestinians had
been killed by the group.
The Irgun was denounced as terrorist by Albert Einstein and other luminaries in
1948.
British brutality
There are a number of memorials in present-day Israel honoring Orde Wingate. He
was an active duty British soldier who served in Palestine; he was also a
passionate Christian Zionist.
Wingate led raids against Palestinians in the 1930s with squads from the Haganah, the
largest Zionist militia. In 2004 The Jewish Daily Forward wrote this about him: Most
disturbing, and most vehemently debated by Wingates former colleagues and
supporters, is evidence regarding Wingates brutality and cruelty. New research alleges
that the officer on occasion struck his soldiers and led retribution raids into Arab
villages, killing innocent civilians and terrorizing others.
Israels national sport center, the Wingate Institute, was named after him. A square in
the Talbiya neighborhood of Jerusalem also bears his name, as does the Yemin
Orde youth village near Haifa.
Also honored in Israel is Eliyahu Hakim, who took part in the assassination of Walter
Guinness (better known as Lord Moyne), a senior British politician, in Cairo in 1945.

A street is named after Hakim in the French Carmel neighborhood of Haifa.


Eliyahu Bet-Zuri planned to assassinate Winston Churchill, according to files from the
British secret service MI5. He also took part in the killing of Guinness.
Israel issued a postage stamp in his honor as it did for all the so-called Olei
Hagardom, those executed by the British for what the British considered terrorism.
A street in a Jerusalem neighborhood is called Olei Hagardom.
Hakim and Bet-Zuri were part of Lehi, the Hebrew acronym for a militia called
Fighters for the Freedom of Israel. The commander of Lehi was Avraham Stern and
the group was more commonly known as the Stern Gang.
It was notorious for its many armed robberies, first of British banks, then Jewish
banks and apartment house holdups.
Stern wanted to establish a Jewish kingdom over Palestine and not even the Second
World War and theHolocaust brought a pause in his attacks on the British. (Incredibly,
he even sought aid from Benito Mussoliniand Adolf Hitler.)
A memorial ceremony attended by Israeli politicians and government officials is held
each year at Sterns grave in the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery in Givatayim.
In 1978, a postage stamp was issued in his honor.
In 1981, the new town of Kochav Yair (Yairs Star) was named after Sterns nickname.
The place where he was shot dead by British forces has become a place of pilgrimage
for hard-right young Israelis.
Death march
We should also mention the first Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. He was
intimately involved in theNakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from 1947 to
1950.
Historians including Ilan Pappe have documented how approximately 750,000
Palestinians were forced out of their homes.
Many Palestinians were killed in notorious massacres, including those at Deir
Yassin and Tantura.

Recently found mass graves in Jaffa, now part of Israels Tel Aviv municipality, are a
reminder that many of the crimes of that period remain hidden.
Take one notorious incident. After conquering Lydd, Zionist forces massacred 250
people inside a mosque. Tens of thousands fled the city in what has been called the
Lydd Death March. Those who strayed off the path were shot.
Numerous streets and Israels international airport have been named in Ben-Gurions
honor.
Moshe Marzouk was a Jewish-Egyptian surgeon. He was involved in 1955 in a series of
false-flag terrorist bombings of American and British targets in Egypt that were
intended to be mistaken for the work of Egyptian nationalists.
There were no deaths caused by the bombings, though of course the consequences for
Egyptians could have been grave if the US believed Egypt was behind the attacks that
came be be known as the Lavon Affair.
Marzouk was executed by the Egyptian government. An Israeli stamp has
been issued in his honor.
Moving ahead by several decades, Israels then Prime Minister Menachem Begin
ordered the 1982 invasion ofLebanon that resulted in 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian
and Lebanese deaths, mostly civilian. His forces watched an allied Lebanese militia
butcher Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
There are streets in Begins honor in Holon, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Petach Tikva and
Rehovot. There is aMenachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
Terror tactics
Yitzhak Shamir led Lehi after the British killed Stern.
In 1948, Lehi had Folke Berndadotte, a UN mediator in Palestine, killed.
By the time Lehi was disbanded in 1948 it had carried out dozens of assassinations.
Lehi (and the Irgun) were responsible for the April 1948 massacre of Palestinians
in Deir Yassin, a village near Jerusalem. None of this prevented Shamir from becoming

Israeli prime minister.


Last year, Netanyahu officiated at a ceremony to name a Jerusalem highway as Yitzhak
Shamir Road.
Ariel Sharon was responsible for Unit 101 in the Israeli military, whose job was
retaliation that is to say operations to terrify Palestinians. His unit committed
massacres in al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza (50 dead) and Qibya in Jordan (69 dead).
Sharon was Israels defense minister during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and was
removed from his post after the Sabra and Shatila massacre. There is an Ariel Sharon
Park east of Tel Aviv.
Last year, the Israeli military agreed that a base in the Naqab (Negev) desert should be
named after Sharon.
Last, but certainly not least, there was Baruch Goldstein. In 1994, he killed 29
Palestinians and wounded 125 others inside the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. He didnt
stop until he was beaten to death.
A shrine was erected in Goldsteins memory in Kiryat Arba, an Israeli settlement in the
occupied West Bank.
In 1999, the shrine was demolished by the Israeli military. Yet the tombstone and
epitaph describing Goldstein as someone with clean hands and a pure heart
were maintained. The site continues to attract pilgrimage-like visits from Israeli
settlers.

Mass murderer Baruch Goldsteins grave in the Kiryat Arba settlement.


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So Netanyahus attempt to prettify his government in its attitude towards Israeli
violence fails. The Israeli authorities have named more than a few public places after
terrorists and criminals.
Netanyahu made his claim about how the Israeli government goes after murderers and
pursues them til the end on 2 August.
Yet no one has been arrested for the attack that killed baby Ali Dawabsha. Israel put
one or two Jewish extremists in administrative detention after the attack, but no one
has been charged in the murders.
Eyewitnesses saw suspects running to a nearby settlement. Yet it does not appear that

that settlement or any other suffered the kind of roundups, mass interrogation or
ransacking Israel routinely inflicts on Palestinians, as it did after the abduction of
three Israeli youths in June 2014.
After Muhammad Abu Khudair was killed last July, several Israeli suspects were
arrested within days and were actually put on trial, though the process is proceeding at
a glacial pace.
A month has gone by since the attack on the Dawabsha family and there is little
indication they will get justice, despite Netanyahus grand declarations.
Stanley Heller is host of The Struggle, a TV program aired weekly since 2003.
Posted by Thavam