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Did Israeli media sideline racist motives in killing of Arab youth?

Amid the revolutionary cheer that was emanating from Egypt last week, a group of Israeli Jews attacked and killed a Palestinian in the heart of West Jerusalem. 24-year-old Palestinian Hussam Rwidy was killed by a group of nationalist Jewish youth screaming “death to Arabs” as he was walking home from work. The Israeli government quickly put a media blackout on the case fearing a violent reactions from Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel and the West Bank. Once the media blackout was lifted, select Israeli media outlets covered the story as a “drunken brawl turned bad.” According to one Jerusalem resident who helped the victims after the attack, neither of them were drunk.

The Alternative Information Center has posted a video report about the killing and racism in the holy city. Anyone who has visited Jerusalem will recognize the street where the attack took place as ground zero of birthright trips and tourists to the city.

UPDATE: 15:11
As this piece was posted, Ynet has reported that four young settlers have been arrested in connection with the crime. The story was posted today at 14:44 and is currently only in Hebrew. You can view the story here and I will post any new major developments as they happen. The article now appears in Haaretz in English.

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    1. […] משום שדיבר ערבית וכך זיהה את עצמו כבן הגזע הנחות. על פי עדויות של פלסטינים, שגם להן צריך להתייחס בזהירות, התקיפה בוצעה תוך כדי […]

      Reply to Comment
    2. Michael W.

      According to the Haaretz article about this, two are from Jerusalem, the other two are from the settlements.

      You should also mention that there was a gag order.

      Reply to Comment
    3. joseph dana

      Thanks Michael. I do write in the article that there was a media blackout.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Koshiro

      Hear my prophecy on how this will work out:
      – There will not be an admission of guilt, nor an apology.
      – The culprits will not be prosecuted for murder. They will receive, at best, short prison terms.
      – The culprits’ families, their lawyers and their supporters will claim that it was the victim’s fault for being provocative.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Michael W.

      Sorry Joseph Dana,

      I didn’t read through.

      Reply to Comment
    6. manic

      where do you come up with this? ynet’s second headline is “Rwidy was murdered for being an arab”

      Reply to Comment
    7. Yes, this Ynet piece was posted after this post but as you will notice the idea that this took place because the murders were drunk is still being pushed by Ynet.

      The ynet article was added to the bottom of the post after it went live.



      Reply to Comment
    8. The Haaretz article claims that “the stabbing had nationalistic motives, and the prosecution decided to put them on trial for manslaughter”. Is this possible? In most deomocratioc states killings due to racist or “nationalistic” attacks are sanctioned more severely than other murders. Is it possible that in Israel a “nationalistic” motivation for murder is actually a mitigating factor and leads to the lower charge of manslaughter? Please tell me this is not so. Ever hopeful…

      Reply to Comment
    9. Is it possible that in Israel a “nationalistic” motivation for murder is actually a mitigating factor and leads to the lower charge of manslaughter?

      Israel’s hate crime laws – such as they are – mandate a heavier sentence in the case of hate crimes, but they do not call for more serious charges.

      Reply to Comment
    10. They are indicted for manslaughter, not for murder. Why, I wonder. According to Haaretz, “the decision by the prosecution to indict the main suspect solely for manslaughter corresponds to the police recommendation on the matter but contradicts an earlier announcement the police prosecutor issued on Thursday, when he said he intended on accusing the main suspect with murder and the other three suspects with causing bodily harm.”
      The main suspect carried a knife, with which he later slat the victim’s throat. It was he, who attacked the Arab youth, and the fact that five minutes before that he did not know he is going to kill that guy, does not change much. In my unprofessional vision, of course.

      Reply to Comment