For those of you of an age you’ll remember the classic Rolling Stones song, Sympathy for the Devil:
Who killed the Kennedys? After all it was you and me.
I’d like to rephrase the lyric: who made Jack Teitel the vicious killer he is? After all, it was you and me in the sense that he was the product of an ultra-Orthodox upbringing in Florida. He made a home in a West Bank settlement, Shvut Rachel, that was also the home of yet another Jewish terrorist, Asher Weissgan, convicted of massacreing five Palestinian laborers in a 2005 terror incident.
You’ll hear countless choruses of “not me” from the settler movement. I wasn’t responsible for him. He was a lone gunman. He was mentally imbalanced. He kept to himself and never told anyone what he thought. His own brother in law claims he never even had a meal in his home. We’re not responsible. Not me.
That won’t work. There is a cancer in the midst of this movement. I don’t expect the settlers themselves to uproot this cancer. But Israel should be expected to take a stronger role in combatting the illness. And if Israel won’t, then the U.S. government should in ways I’ve already outlined here.
Kudos to the Israeli news site, Walla, for breaking the gag order on this case and publishing news of it. The Shin Bet, for their trouble, hauled in Walla staff for questioning since usually the Israeli press is compliant with such military censorship. I’m glad in this case someone refused to drink the Kool Aid, otherwise the Shin Bet could’ve kept this case under wraps forever.
The Israeli judicial system also deserves black marks for refusing Teitel legal representation for two weeks at the behest of the Israeli attorney general. No matter this guy’s alleged guilt, in a democracy you provide even the worst criminal a lawyer. I would agree with Teitel’s settler supports on this point.
Here you see part of Teitel’s arsenal (unfortunately, they’ve omitted the bomb-making materials at which Teitel had become proficient in two previous bombings). Who provided this to him? Even if he bought this himself, could we not expect the Shin Bet to monitor such an arsenal and the person amassing it?
And finally, you and I made the Jack Teitels of the radical settler movement in that the U.S. government continues to bestow tax deductions on tens of millions of donations from U.S. Jews to settlements like Shvut Rachel and countless others which are used to amass arsenals like the one he had along with other military equipment used to harrass, intimidate and even kill Palestinian civilians in the Territories.
Such inaction on the part of the IRS and federal government at ending this indirect subsidy of terror is shameful and should be ended posthaste.