By Karl Walker- Hebron/ PNN/
In 2015, Yinon Reuveni, a far-right Jewish extremist firebombed the Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee. Left at that site was graffiti in Hebrew exclaiming “Idols will be cast out or destroyed.” On Monday,Reuveni was convicted of arson. Justice? Not quite.
Let us imagine for a moment that the arsonist was a Palestinian. Now replace the church in Northern Israel with a synagogue. Would a Palestinian perpetrator be convicted of arson? Of course not. Terrorism? Most definitely.
This is the reality of the Israeli legal systems blatant racism and arbitrariness. The church firebombing is clearly motivated by religious extremism. Yet the conviction of arson detracts from the fact that this was a hate crime, and sends a clear message to potential future extremists. If you are an Israeli, your charge will be lesser than if you are a Palestinian.
Hardly the deterrent the law is supposed to provide. More of an invitation to commit further crimes.
Now take Tuesday’s ruling from the Israeli High Court of Justice, rejecting a petition from the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, that the Israelis who killed their son have their family homes demolished, which is a standard form of retribution when a Palestinian attacks Israelis.
The reason stated by the judge for rejecting the petition that had been filed was that too much time had elapsed since the crime was committed. It had been two years.
The Israeli High Court of Justice maintained afterwards that the policy of home demolitions applies equally to both Israelis and Palestinians. This case proves otherwise. There can be no doubt that the Israeli courts are more interested in advancing the state’s discriminatory policies towards Palestinians than they are in delivering justice and maintaining peace.
In 2014, Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped in East Jerusalem by Yosef Haim Ben-David and two Israeli minors, who went on to burn the 16-year-old alive in an act of barbarism that shocked the world.