The Shabak today arrested several suspects in the arson attack on the Max Rayne School, which is one of the few institutions in the country which has an integrated Jewish-Palestinian student body. As always in these cases, the secret police nab the suspects secretly and prohibit the media from reporting the arrests or the names of the suspects. This allows them to put the screws to the detainees, interrogate them using whatever methods they choose (in the case of Palestinians, abusive ones), with no countering pressure brought to bear by the victim, his lawyer, family or the public.
So the identities of the arson suspects cannot be reported in the media. However, I know the name of the leader of the terror cell and can report it here: Nachman Twito. He’s a devout Kahanist of North African origin. I’ve displayed some of the photos on his Facebook account which document his blind loyalty to the cause. His Facebook page sports his enthusiasm for the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team and Israeli pop star, Amir Benayoun. All are worshipped by the most rabid, racist of Israelis.
Though almost all price tag attacks against Palestinian mosques, cemeteries and beatings handed out to Palestinians by Jewish hooligans go uninvestigated and unsolved, this case is different. First, it comes in the context of numerous acts of terror committed by each side against the other. This has magnified the incitement quotient of such attacks. Second, Netanyahu has just dissolved his government and is going to new elections. Along with the Race (aka Nationality) Laws now before the Knesset, the school attack comes as a powerful incendiary device. If the suspects were treated with the same light hand as previous incidents, it might damage the chances of the ruling rightist coalition and/or harm the prospects for the Race bills.
For these reasons, the situation reminds me of the classic French film, This Man Must Die. Nachman Twito won’t die of course. But he must be seen by the public to be a bad boy. Someone who faces consequences for his actions (sort of). He probably won’t even be tried, let alone convicted or imprisoned. The authorities will give the Jewish terrorists consideration they don’t offer Palestinian security prisoners. As soon as the political-security situation eases, Twito and his pals will be released. Then they can return to their old ways having been turned, by incarceration, into heroes in the eyes of their comrades.
This allows Bibi Netanyahu and his settler allies to continue this little charade they have going. Democracy? Of course, we’re a democracy, we treat all the right citizens with utmost respect. Rule of law? Of course. We even arrest Jews when they behave badly. Then of course, we release them so they can continue serving the useful purpose of inciting hate among the “Arabs.” It’s the democracy game.
Don’t be fooled by Israeli pols who decry such attacks and the perpetrators as “enemies of democracy.” Of course they are. But the real enemies of democracy, the ones who give the pogromists their power are the Israelis themselves who vote the Likudists and their ilk into control. Even those who vote for centrist parties like Labor are accessories after the fact, since they know in their heart that no Labor Party MK has the guts to do what has to be done to turn Israeli into a just society. This isn’t a question of a few bad apples. The barrel itself is rotten. Israel needs a new apples and a new barrel. No Israeli Jewish party is willing to do that.
I encourage you to support the School with donations that will enable them to repair the damage inflicted by Jewish hate.