The media, The New York Times' Isabel Kershner is an example, counsels Israel on the need for self-reflection following the horrific attack on Arab teenagers by Israeli teenagers.
What remains to be seen is what was behind this inexcusable attack. With the arrest of a number of suspects, we hope the trial will bring the facts to light.
While the media wants to see the motives as nationalistic, there are other elements to take into account as well.
To what degee is teenage violence involved?
Areas of western Jerusalem are sites for turf battles between young Jews and Arabs. Jews who go there when there is no security have been harassed, robbed, intimidated and cursed. Some of those elements were present according to Kershner's account.
Indeed, one of the suspects is a girl who reportedly spurred on the teen boys reported to have been involved in the attack. Both the news reports and police statements include references to a alleged rape and a "previous crime event".
These are incendiary elements in any teen age street and gang scene, independent of the alleged factors of racism or nationalist hatreds at work.
In a comment left at a post by Jeffrey Goldberg, Yisrael Medad notes (to summarize):
o Israeli ministers have been referring to acts of Jewish violence for years, if not decades, as terror.
o The State Dept. report use of the term "terror" is old - it started in 2007 - and does not reflect what is being claimed for it.
o The background of the attack is still not clear. When everyone in the media yells "pogrom", "lynch", "racism" even the police and Prime Minister use those terms.
o At least AP is giving notice to a claim of a previous rape and that that girl set them off, meaning its more an issue of "honor" or violence based on previous Arab violence, suspected, I stress, rather than old plain hate just for being different.
So while the media jumps at the opportunity to manufacture a story of racial hate before the facts are in, cooler heads will wait for the truth to come out.
Hat tip: GS
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