The Bizarre and Appalling Case of the Palestinian Taxi

UPDATE 10 am Israel time Saturday:

In the past 24 hours, 2 Qassam rockets and 20 mortars have been fired into southern Israel by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. There is not one report about these attacks in the mainstream Israeli media or in any international media this morning.

On Tuesday, a letter written by your humble servant appeared in the Jerusalem Post which stated in part: “the lack of IDF preparedness both at the Kerem Shalom Crossing and in the Road 12 attack last August have become the trademark of a passive IDF that never seems to anticipate or be able to deal with the continuous mortar and rocket attacks emanating from Gaza. It is long past time for Russo [southern IDF commander], Gantz [IDF Chief of Staff], and Barak [Israel Defense Minister] to be replaced by men who know what they are doing.” 

You can read the entire letter by clicking on this link.


The burned out Palestinian taxi in question.

This is all that we know.

On Thursday night, a Palestinian taxi carrying five people (parents and children) on a road outside the Gush Etzion community of Bat Ayin flipped over and caught on fire, and the people in the taxi were lightly to moderately injured. They were all carried to Israeli hospitals.

That is it. That is all that we know.

No one knows what caused the taxi to flip over and catch on fire. Ironically, because the stretch of road is one on which Israeli motorists are regularly “stoned” and firebombed–and because police found “an unthrown Molotov cocktail” in the vicinity–the police immediately jumped to the conclusion that the taxi had been firebombed. Even more ironically, because it was a “Palestinian” taxi, the police immediately jumped to the second conclusion that it had been firebombed by Jewish community members in the area.

It didn’t take long for Israeli security forces to jump on the police “conclusions”.

One hour after the incident, Israeli security forces appeared at a graduation party for 12th grade yeshiva students in nearby Kiryat Arba. They demanded that all boys between the ages of 13 and 18 show their Israeli identity cards and threatened punishment if someone did not reveal “who attacked the taxi.” At 3:00 am, the security forces returned to the community, awoke everyone, questioned them again, and left.

A leader of the Gush Etzion community said: “Molotov cocktails and stones are thrown at Jewish residents in the area everyday [and no one does anything]. While here, we just have a shadow of a suspicion that Jews committed such an act, and suddenly we see that the security forces, police officials, Border Police, and Prime Minister are all prepared and ready to do everything to bring those responsible to justice.”

From that point until now, the world has turned upside down.

Yesterday morning, the head of Israeli police, Yohanan Danino, blathered the following: “This is a difficult and severe event. I instructed the commander of Judea and Samaria, Amos Jacob, to do what is necessary [to arrest] . . . the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice. We cannot allow extremist criminals to ignite daily life throughout the country, especially in areas where the balance and quality of life are particularly sensitive–particularly during this sensitive period of Muslim holidays .  .  .”

“Extremist criminals”? “Sensitive period of Muslim holidays”? Your humble servant is beginning to feel ill.

On top of this, PM Netanyahu, believe it or not, had his special emissary Tommy Molcho deliver a message to PLO/Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas apologizing for the “very serious offense” and promising that “all efforts would be made to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Apologizing to the PLO for something when you don’t even know what happened? Your humble servant has become completely ill.

Even more than this, we had the spectacle yesterday afternoon of President Obama’s White House issuing this statement: “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s attack on a Palestinian taxi in the West Bank. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims, among them children, and we hope for their speedy recovery. We note that the Government of Israel has also condemned this heinous attack and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice. We look to Israeli law enforcement officials to do so expeditiously.”

Your humble servant is on the way to the hospital.

Again, there is not one scintilla of evidence that the Palestinian taxi event  was “an attack.” Even the Haaretz newspaper (no friend of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria) reported yesterday: “However, despite the Palestinians’ claims the police said it was also investigating other causes for the fire, including the possibility that the taxi capsized as a result of the fire bomb’s hurling, without being actually hit by the projectile, or that it overturned for different reasons.”

Overturned for different reasons? Maybe the driver was simply driving too fast and lost control of the taxi?

Even assuming that the taxi did turn over and catch fire because of a Molotov cocktail, there are a myriad of possibilities, the most obvious of which is that Palestinian terrorists mistook the taxi for an Israeli vehicle. Or what about the possibility that Islamic terrorists deliberately targeted a Palestinian taxi? One thinks immediately of how Islamist Global Jihad just massacred their fellow Muslims–Egyptian soldiers–as they were sitting down to eat Ramadan dinner at the Rafah Crossing  . . .  or the incredible story from Pakistan yesterday of Islamic terrorists blowing up a bus full of Muslim men, women, and children on their way to protest against Israel at Al-Quds Day in Karachi.

Nevertheless, every international media outlet is awash this morning with headlines of “Jewish extremists” and “Jewish right-wing settlers” perpetrating “a hideous crime against Palestinians.”

Put this in perspective. Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence service, reported on August 3 that in July alone, there were 34 “firebombs” thrown by “Palestinian terrorists” at the residents of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. Did Mahmoud Abbas apologize for any of those? Did the President Obama’s White House condemn any of those? Did the international media report about even one of those attacks?

Your humble servant’s point is a simple one. The rush by the Israeli police, Netanyahu government, and international entities to blame Judeans and Samarians for an “attack” that may or may not have happened is appalling–as is the total lack of attention paid to the ongoing, everyday attacks on Israelis in Judea, Samaria, and southern Israel. 

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