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Silverstein: Close But No Cigar

After previously claiming that the Mumbai Chabad House massacre was “a theatrical statement of hate” whose intended audience was India, with the attackers “cynically exploiting anti-Semitism in order to further inflame world opinion and curry favor with the Muslim jihadi set,” clueless blogger Richard Silverstein admits he may have been wrong.

Well, kind of:

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2008/12/01/did-mumbai-terrorists-torture-jews/

Thanks to reader Alex Stein for forcing me to write a post I hate to write with every fiber of my being. An Indian news report claims that many of the Mumbai hostages were tortured before being killed and that the Chabad hostages were tortured most brutally of all. IF (and I stress “if” because stories like this must be confirmed and reconfirmed before they are accepted as truth) this story is true, it could set back Jewish-Muslim relations years if not decades. Not to mention, that it will further alienate Israeli Jews from believing it is possible to live in peace with the region’s Muslims.

Ya think?

Interestingly enough, Silverstein has a hard time understanding how the constant terrorist attacks on Israeli soil led many of us to this conclusion a long time ago. In fact, according to his worldview, anyone who has formed this conclusion is a bigot.

Further, if it is true, then I will have to withdraw my earlier claims that anti-Semitism was an ancillary part of the strategy involved in this attack. If the Jewish victims were tortured savagely, then it will lead me to believe that there are much stronger links to Al Qaeda than I previously believed. Until now, I’d never thought that Pakistani militants hated the west and Jews specifically as Al Qaeda does. I’d thought their cause was more locally-determined. If the news is correct, then I think Pakistan, India and the entire region have a much bigger problem on their hands then previously thought.

Notice how it is the possibility of torture that has led Silverstein to rethink things. Had the terrorists merely murdered the Jews without torturing them, he would not have revised his conclusion.

Finally, I would urge that when and if they find the mastermind of this attack that he should be tried before an international tribunal. The horror of these acts needs to be addressed not by the justice system of a single country, but by international justice. The world needs to universally condemn such brutalism.

Curiously, Silverstein has never shown such indignation towards the palestinian masterminds of terrorist attacks against Israelis.

I don’t wish to offer unsolicited advice to my Muslim readers, friends and others, but the Mumbai attack appears to have been done in the name of Kashmir, Palestine and Muslim suffering in general.

Now, much like after 9/11, it is critical that the world hear from sane Muslims that this is a way they reject utterly and absolutely. To do so does not mean that Muslims must renounce their criticism of, or grievances against conditions they face.  It means they must ostracize those who kill in the name of Islam or Muslim suffering.

Like Hamas for example?

I have been dedicated to Muslim-Jewish dialogue for many, many years.  This horrific story will not deter me from my commitment.  But it will set back all of our good work by so very much.  I simply cannot understand the bestial savagery that lurks in the human mind (and note I said “human” mind and not “Muslim” mind–since the beast lurks in all of us).

Finally, I want to again emphasize that Alex provided only a single Indian source to confirm the torture claim.  The Times of India, one of the nation’s most respected papers doesn’t mention this story [see UPDATE below].  Further, that news source does not name any of the doctors it quotes.  Unnamed sources in this situation should not be considered reliable.  Other previous elements of the Mumbai terror story were shown to be false on further investigation. It’s entirely possible that this claim too will prove false, though I fear it may not.  If anyone can confirm that this report is false, please let me know ASAP.

UPDATE: Thanks again to Alex for pointing me to this Times of India story that acknowledges the possibility of torture, but in a very preliminary and tentative way, unlike the Rediff story.

Notice how Silverstein is exacting such high standards of proof before he will accept as fact the torture story. Yet bring him the most flimsy hint of IDF or Jewish misdeed, and he’s all over it like a rash.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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