OPINION: Score Settled With Tel Aviv Killer – But Not With Accomplices

Israeli special forces policemen patrol the streets during a search for Arab citizen Nashat Melhem in the northern town of Arara, Israel January 8, 2016. (Gil Eliyahu/Jinipix/Reuters)
Israeli special forces policemen patrol the streets during a search for Arab citizen Nashat Melhem in the northern town of Arara, Israel January 8, 2016. (Gil Eliyahu/Jinipix/Reuters)

There was no doubt that security forces would catch up with the Tel Aviv killer sooner or later. From the outset, it was thought highly probable that he had fled to the vicinity of his home in Arara in Wadi Ara. That was the logical assumption, and that was what happened.

However, he fled to Arara not only because he knew the area, but because he relied on his family, friends and neighbors to help him hide, to bring him food and cigarettes, even newspapers that told of the massive manhunt for him.

His entire family presumably knew that he was hiding out in the area, and lied outright to security forces who came looking for him and to journalists who came to interview them.

Gradually, though, more and more information from various sources indicated that he was indeed in the vicinity, and not far from the house of his father, who had declared to the police that he would make every effort to help them catch him.

At the very same time that he was saying that, he knew that his precious son was hiding close by and getting all his needs taken care of. He was not the only one who knew. The list of those who saw him arrive and enter the nearby apartment (and did not break in, as some of his friends claimed) continues to lengthen. It already includes dozens of people; close relatives, distant relatives, friends and just neighbors.

Not one of them, during the whole week of the search for the murderer, reported his whereabouts to the authorities. And the whole time, Israeli journalists continued to weave a web of lies around the thesis that “Israeli Arabs were against the murders, don’t support such acts, and if they knew where he was, they would turn him in immediately.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Again and again, it emerges that the Israeli Arab street has become part of the Palestinian street. Definitely not all of it. But their burning hatred re-surfaces each time. They are undoubtedly more on the side of the Palestinians than on the side of the Israelis. This was demonstrated by everything that happened in the past week concerning the murderer Minhat Milhelm, just as we have seen in dozens of incidents over the years.

The statements put out by Israeli journalists about how so many Arab Israelis condemn the murders do not really represent the great majority of Arab Israelis. Their hearts are with their brothers. Any attempt to claim differently by Jewish Israelis is a lie. As far from the truth as the claim made by some in the Israeli media of the desire of Israeli Arabs for peaceful coexistence.

The list of Arab Israelis who assisted murderers, supplied them with arms, along with the long list of those holding blue identity cards who themselves took part in terror attacks and joined terrorist cells from Yehudah and Shomron grows longer by the day.

They were not shocked when Azmi Bashara, the senior Arab Israeli leader in the Knesset, was caught spying for Hizbullah and fled the country so as not to spend the rest of his life in Israeli prison.

They were not shocked when they hear every day about more and more Arab youths crossing the border to enlist in the Islamic State, nor were they moved when a Bedouin “black sheep” goes on a shooting spree in the central bus station in Be’er Sheva.

Palestinian flags, Hamas flags and Islamic State flags fill the streets of the Arab Israeli neighborhoods. Riots break out after every incident at Har HaBayis. Israelis who used to go to Um el Faham to get some humus, or to buy furniture in the villages of the Arab Triangle, today are afraid to go there, after several incidents where they were dragged out of their cars and the cars set afire.

But this doesn’t stop the Tel Aviv writers from continuing to tell the legend of coexistence, in all its beauty and splendor. The events of the past week, they way they hid and helped this terrorist, belies all their pretty pictures of Arab Israeli friendship.

Three final points to be made:

First: The complaints of the Tel Avivians against the new police commissioner, who did not confide in them and did not permit his commanders to share with information in their possession, have turned out to be “crocodile tears.”

The only reason for their attacks was because they felt they were being shunted to the sidelines, and could not, as in the past, report as they wished. The commissioner is to be commended for the deliberate way in which he handled the case. He led the investigation throughout, was in the field the whole time, made the right decisions, and concluded the operation cleanly and gracefully.

Second: In the final phase of the operation, the counterterrorism units executed their tasks admirably. Their new commander, who took over his post only recently, led them well. A cool-headed officer who has proven his ability in the past, who came to the job with only a relatively small number of men, placed them in strategic points, personally positioned observers and snipers, and indeed they were the ones who identified the killer and shot him down.

Third: A general question: Did you notice the huge media coverage of this killing in Tel Aviv, in comparison to each of the other deadly terror attacks over the past four months? They rated an item, a picture, maybe a bit more. But not much. That says a great deal about how much the terror interests the opinion makers of the Israeli media – when it’s not in the Tel Aviv area.

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