The Independent published an article yesterday by Bethan McKernan on Israel’s decision to indict the family of Omar al-Abed, the Palestinian who killed three Jews in Halamish last month, for failing prevent the crime. The piece (Israel to charge family of Palestinian who killed three settlers for failing to stop him, Aug. 16) provided some background on the attack, alleging that the crime was “motivated by last month’s tensions over access to the al-Aqsa mosque” and then quoting from al-Abed’s final Facebook post, which authorities claim was seen by his family.
I am writing my will and these are my last words. I am young, I have not yet reached the age of 20, I have many dreams and aspirations.”
“But what life is this, in which they murder our wives and our youth without any justification. They desecrate the Al-Aqsa mosque and we are asleep, it’s a disgrace that we sit idly by,” he continued, asking those who have weapons “but only take them out for weddings and celebrations: Are you not ashamed of yourselves? Why won’t you declare war for God? They have closed Al-Aqsa mosque and your weapons are still.”
However, the Indy omitted the final paragraph of al-Abed’s message.
Here it is:
All I have is a sharpened knife, and it responds to the call of Al-Aqsa. Shame on you, you who preach hate. God will take revenge on you…we are all sons of Palestine and sons of Al-Aqsa. You, the sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of Al-Aqsa, I am sure they will come after you and beat you with an iron first, I warn you.”
This section is crucial, because it demonstrates that al-Abed’s lethal attack – which took the lives of 70-year-old Yosef Salomon and two of his children, Elad, 36, and Chaya, 46 – wasn’t merely motivated by the lie that ‘the mosque is in danger‘, but by religious inspired antisemitism. The Jews as “apes and pigs” charge goes back to a verse in the Quran, and is widespread today in public discourse in the Arab and Muslim world – including in the PA – as a way to demonise Jews. It’s also a way of inciting and justifying terror attacks, as we see in the following video aired on official PA TV in 2015.
To put this omission in context, imagine if US news outlets who reported on the car ramming death of a 32-year-old woman in Charlottesville on Saturday had failed to reveal that the suspect, James Alex Fields, was a white supremacist who idolized Adolf Hitler. Of course, Fields’ beliefs on the supremacy of the ‘white race’ were extremely relevant to the story, as it helped explain why he intentionally rammed his car into the crowd of anti-white supremacist protesters.
Similarly, al-Abed’s apparent belief that Jews are subhuman provides insight into his motivation for stabbing three innocent Jewish civilians to death.
By omitting this key passage in al-Abed’s Facebook post, the Indy has again obfuscated the lethal impact of Palestinian antisemitism and incitement.