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Reader Post: Amnesty International Stands Up for Jew-Stabbers

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Guest Poster: Mark Anspach

Many single-issue groups get stuck in a rut. Not Amnesty International. Once known only for defending prisoners of conscience, it has re-invented itself by embracing a more eclectic agenda that includes standing up for the rights of pimps and Jew-stabbers.

Last August, Amnesty made a splash by calling for the decriminalization of prostitution and pimping. The new Amnesty knows that all oppression is connected. No one should suffer persecution for voicing dissent, practicing the religion of his choice, or selling women’s bodies in the street.

To quote the Oscar-winning song from Hustle and Flow, “It’s hard out here for a pimp.” But it’s even harder for a Palestinian Jew-stabber trying to keep his game tight in the face of harassment from Israeli cops. Can human rights be safe anywhere when Jew-stabbers are oppressed?

Butchering Jews may not be the world’s oldest profession, but it has a very long history. On October 3, in a nod to tradition, a young Arab assaulted a Jewish family returning from the Western Wall. He stabbed the husband to death, seriously wounded the wife and injured their 2-year-old son. When the wife cried for help, Arab onlookers laughed and spit at her. A Jewish man who came to help was stabbed to death in turn.

But then trigger-happy security forces shot the assailant in cold blood, establishing a deadly pattern that would be repeated again and again. Only hours later, a 19-year-old man from the Issawiyya neighborhood in East Jerusalem stabbed a younger Jewish teen. As he tried to escape, police shot him even though they had no reason to believe he planned to harm anyone else with the knife he was brandishing.

The days and weeks that followed saw an endless string of incidents in which Jew-stabbers were wantonly shot. But the human rights violations did not end there. Israeli security forces also set up roadblocks to search for knives or guns. An Amnesty investigator went to the Issawiya neighborhood and witnessed with his own eyes the resulting traffic jam. “What I saw in Issawiya,” wrote Jacob Burns, “was the collective punishment of thousands of people.”

“I talked to drivers to find out where they were going and how long they had been waiting,” he said. As one might guess, they all had much more important things to do than allay Jews’ security concerns. One woman was going to a doctor’s appointment, another to the dentist. An architect was trying to get to work. “All had been stuck for nearly an hour.” Mr. Burns could barely contain his outrage. Where else but Israel do people get stuck in traffic?

It is “discriminatory and unlawful” to screen Arabs for knives and guns before they enter a Jewish area, the Amnesty representative concluded. You might as well make the Lakers go out on the court without a basketball. Where is the sport then?

Take the two Arabs who boarded the 78 bus in Jerusalem on October 13. If they didn’t have their knife and gun with them, they couldn’t have carried out the combined stabbing and shooting attack that killed two passengers and wounded 15 more.

Two weeks later, a third passenger, Richard Lakin, died of his wounds. The New York Times described Mr. Lakin as a “civil rights activist” who “taught English to Israeli and Palestinian children” and “never missed a peace rally.” The 76-year-old man had been shot in the head and stabbed in the face and chest. One of his two assailants was killed by a security guard.

On October 27, the day Mr. Lakin died, Amnesty International said the madness had to stop. “A clear pattern has emerged of lethal force being used unlawfully by Israeli forces following a wave of recent stabbing attacks,” declared Amnesty official Philip Luther. The organization said it had “documented in depth” a handful of incidents in which Arabs were “deliberately shot dead by Israeli forces when they posed no imminent threat to life.”

One case cited is that of Fadi Alloun, the man from Issawiya who stabbed a Jewish teen in the incident mentioned above. According to Amnesty, the Jewish boy was only “lightly injured.” A news account at the time said that the young Moshe Malka was “moderately injured” and taken to the hospital “in stable condition with wounds to the chest and back.” But one can hardly expect Amnesty’s investigators to waste time ascertaining the degree of injury to a Jew.

“If you prick us, do we not bleed?” asks Shakespeare’s most famous Jewish character. As if anyone should care about a bleeding Jew! Come on, Moshe, you’re in stable condition, your vital organs aren’t impaired, so what are you complaining about?

In Amnesty’s eyes, the real victim is Fadi Alloun, ruthlessly cut down in the prime of life. There he was, walking down the street minding his own business, when the Jewish boy appeared. What was Mr. Alloun to do? He plunged his knife into the boy’s back and chest, then fled the scene. Police caught up with him hundreds of yards away, near the light rail tracks. A video that surfaced on October 11 sheds light on Mr. Alloun’s actions in the final moments before his tragic death.

As described by the French television news site France24, “the Palestinian appears to lunge at a group of Israelis with an object before drawing back. He crosses the tramway tracks, before again waving the object–possibly a knife–at two police officers.” Another police car arrives and Mr. Alloun heads toward the vehicle. He “keeps walking towards the officers despite their warnings” and they shoot him.

Amnesty maintains that the Israeli police had no right to shoot a man advancing on them with a knife when he was still “some metres away.” They should have allowed Mr. Alloun to get close enough to stab a police officer or nearby civilian first. That’s how the game is supposed to be played.

The rule is, if you stab a Jew and get away fast enough, the police have to give you a fair chance at stabbing again. That’s the rule! Unfortunately, as Amnesty’s Philip Luther says, “Israeli forces appear to have ripped up the rulebook.” With assailants being dispatched so quickly, Jew-stabbing may turn into a sport with boringly low scores, like soccer.

In a Facebook post attributed to Mr. Alloun, he had expressed his intent to seek martyrdom. All the evidence suggests he was a suicide terrorist. But did that make him dangerous? Not in Amnesty’s eyes. Mr. Luther admonishes Israel that “lethal force should only be used when absolutely necessary to protect life”–and not simply to stop a knife-wielding terrorist on the rampage.

In the end, Amnesty wants people to remember this simple adage: Jew-stabbers’ lives matter.

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