There has been a tidal wave of reactions at home and abroad to the murder of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha and the severe wounding of his father Saad, his mother Reham and his 4-year-old brother Ahmed in Douma, near Nablus, July 31. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared by the bedsides of the wounded, “Terror is terror. We must fight it whatever its origin.” Fighting words, indeed. But when law enforcement among extremist settlers is not really law enforcement, investigations are not really investigations and punishment is not truly punishment, “Terror is terror” is nothing but a hollow slogan.
What would the “shocked” Netanyahu have said had the Dawabsha family been somewhat luckier, like the family from the West Bank village of Dura El-Kara, who on June 22 escaped the three firebombs thrown at their home? What statement would he have issued had little Ali Saad “merely” lost his home and not his life, like the Khirbat Adirat villagers whose home was set on fire in December? Would the prime minister have bothered to visit the hospital if the crime in Douma had ended in minor burns? Ask the dozens of Palestinians whose homes and fields have been set ablaze, whose mosques were violated.