A Palestinian Story

You can find in the New York Times today, the story of Muqdad Salah, a Palestinian man whose life has much to tell us about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Salah was recently welcomed home after about twenty years in an Israeli prison.  Why did he end up there?

"It has been seven months since Mr. Salah was welcomed before dawn by a cacophonous crowd in this village of 4,000 near the Palestinian financial hub of Nablus. It has been two decades since he killed Israel Tenenbaum, 72, a Holocaust survivor and security guard at a beach hotel 20 miles away in Netanya, hitting him on the side of the head with a metal rod. 

Israeli court records show Mr. Tenenbaum was found about 7:30 a.m. on June 14, 1993, lying on his back in a bed near the hotel bar, a pillow covering his bloodied face. According to the 29-page verdict convicting him of murder, Mr. Salah told investigators that he and another man had gone to Netanya in search of a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel, and happened upon the guard. 

The other man said, “Let’s kill him so that we did not make the trip for nothing,” the verdict quotes Mr. Salah having said. “Only when we saw the guard sleeping did we decide to kill him as a protest against the occupation.”

Let's be clear about this:  Salah and his friend did not engage in a heroic struggle.  They beat an innocent 72 year old man to death with an iron rod, because they couldn't find the guy they really wanted to kill.  This was an act of brutality of the sort that we generally associate with the most violent street gangs, not with freedom fighters.  It was not a political act in any sense.  And how was he treated when he returned home?

"...these middle-aged men — 69 of them convicted of murder, 54 escaping life sentences — have begun to rebuild disrupted lives. They are earning their first driver’s licenses, leveraging $50,000 grants from the Palestinian Authority to build apartments or start businesses, searching for wives and struggling to start families. 

Mr. Salah was flush with more than $100,000 saved from the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to prisoners’ families. 

The 78 released prisoners have complained to the Palestinian Authority that the $50,000 grants and monthly payments — Mr. Salah gets about $1,800 — are not enough to buy apartments."

So, let me get this straight:  Mr. Salah came out of prison in possession of $150,000 courtesy of the Palestinian government- approximately 116 years of the average per-capita Palestinian income (as of 2008- the latest figure I found in my brief search.)  He is now receiving an annual payment of $1800.00, again, significantly more than the average Palestinian income.  All this for beating to death a 72 year old man.  And he complains that it is not enough!

Because he is a hero!  With awards and medals!  

“We receive them as national heroes, we give them awards and medals, and then we leave them to face their problems alone,” said Munqeth Abu Atwan, who works at the ministry. “Can you tell a hero that you need a psychiatrist, you need to participate in a rehabilitation program?”

And here is the problem- a culture that considers a cold-blooded murderer a hero, and treats him as such, enriching him so as to encourage others to emulate him.  

And by the way, Israel bought into this too-  They seem to have regarded him as a terrorist instead of the psychopathic criminal that he actually is.  Regardless of the pressure put on them, they must realize the tremendous damage they do by releasing crazed criminals to receive hero's welcomes and lifelong incomes from their fellow Jew-haters.  Salah should have been released to live out his days in poverty, in some rat-infested SRO hotel, the way we treat vicious killers who have completed their sentences here, not sent home to a life of fame and ease.  


Infidel753 said…
Revolting. The only parallel here that I can think of for this is the way some fundamentalists consider the murderers of abortion doctors to be heroes -- but that attitude is a minority even among the Christian Right, not the official policy of a quasi-government agency. And of course Salah didn't kill Tenenbaum because of anything he had done, but simply because he was Jewish.

If the Palestinian Authority and much of the population is honoring Jew-killers like this now, it does make us think about how an independent West Bank state would behave if one were ever established.
Sam240 said…
Green Eagle -

Why are you changing your mind? Earlier you told me that the monsters who killed 19 Jews when they blew up the King David Hotel were doing the right thing. When some of them were honored by the Israeli government, you saw nothing wrong with the Israeli government's actions. Some of the people involved in killing 19 Jews went on to be Israeli prime ministers.

If there's something wrong with praising Salah for killing one Jew, there must be something wrong with honoring the King David Hotel bombers for their killing 19 Jews.

Green Eagle, there is something wrong with a culture that honors Jew-killers. I want you to condemn the Israeli culture that honors the people who killed those 19 Jews. Or is Jew-killing acceptable when it's done by Zionists?
Green Eagle said…
I told you nothing, Sam, since you are incapable of hearing the truth. The King David Hotel was a military target when it was blown up. And by the way, I know of nobody who "honors" the King David hotel bombers. It is cited over and over again by race haters like yourself as an example of supposed Jewish terrorism, which it was not. Furthermore, as I said, beating a 72 year old hotel employee to death with an iron rod is not terrorism either, it is murder.

I just want to repeat that you are an obvious Jew-hater who is retailing old lies about Jews because the history of the State of Israel is so much more free of abominations than any of its surrounding Muslim countries. So you have to tell lies about something that happened 70 years ago, hoping that very few people will know the truth.

Not here, buddy.
Magpie said…

It is a thing loaded with malicious intensity to auto-attribute politically motivated acts of violence to a “culture” – that is the word you used - especially when that word is often a rhetorical substitute for “race” or “ethnicity”.

There is nothing in the Jewish culture that “honors” bombings.

Whether the King David Hotel Bombing constitutes an act that can be defined as terrorism is an ongoing discussion, on the grounds of the distinction between military and civilian targets... but the action was denounced by Jewish political leaders and commentary throughout Palestine at the time.

So your inference that there was/is some broad commonality of approval among Zionists for the killing of Jews, or anyone, falls apart immediately.

Those who say it was legitimate – Netanyahu for example - tend to be from the Right-wing of Israeli politics, and you can take political issue with them, specifically, at a total remove from Jews in general. In the same way we might have a political antagonism to anyone in any country without viewing the entire people as complicit.

If this thing that happened 68 years ago - before modern Israel was even fully formed as an independent country - still bothers you, then you are arguably entitled to have a political issue with it, in historical context.
You are not entitled to have a cultural issue with it. That could be construed as anti-Semitic.
Magpie said…
Yes I am aware that Green Eagle used the word "culture" also. But the murderous act he is referring to wasn't political - as I understand was his point (he may correct me) so much as a random act of hatred - whereas the King David Hotel bombing was indeed totally political.
Green Eagle said…
When I speak here of "culture," I am referring to the fact that this vicious murderer was met with mass adulation upon his release from prison, was given medals and treated like a hero, and has been compensated beyond what the average Palestinian earns in a lifetime, all for this monstrous act. It is not the guy who interests me, but the large number of people who are doing whatever they can to further this sort of behavior.

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