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The Face of Terrorism

25-year-old Julian Sofir, the prime suspect in the Tel Aviv murder of Arab taxi driver Taisir Karaki, was remanded for a further ten days in custody on Tuesday. The prime suspect, who claimed that he carried out the killing because the victim was an Arab, was also sent for psychological observation by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.

Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski urged for Karaki’s family to be recognized as victims of terror and called on the Jerusalem Municipality’s welfare department to give financial aid to the family.

"The murder of a man just because he is an Arab is a terrorist act. I have asked the welfare department not just to keep in contact with the family but to give them all the necessary aid,” he said, adding that “the government must give them the same support as those who have been wounded in terrorist attacks."

Mayor Lupolianski is clearly and transparently wrong. The murder of a man because he is an Arab alone is not a terrorist act. That is conflating and confusing terrorism with bigotry and hate crimes. These may coexist but they are not at all the same thing. Nor should it mean that his family is entitled to benefits reserved for victims of terror-- who have a similar status to the families of soldiers killed in a war. Just as such money is not provided to victims of any other murders.

Karaki's murder is a serious crime. To call it a terrorist attack blurs the line with the very real and everyday terrorist threat Israel is facing. Simply killing someone out of racial prejudice is not a terrorist act. A terrorist act takes place as part of an organized campaign of terrorism by a faction against a group or a country. A Klansman murdering a black man during a period in which violence is being used by the Klan against black people is an act of terrorism. A random bigot murdering a black man is not an act of terrorism.

Terrorism is not an individual experience. It is the use of violence to intimidate, destroy and kill in order to terrorize a group or a government. It is not an act or a series of random acts-- motivated by prejudice. It is an organized violent campaign. A random killing is not an act of terrorism. Not unless you believe that his actions are part of a larger campaign by Israel against Arabs-- and giving him the label of terrorist plays precisely into the hands of those who make precisely that argument.

I'll append commentary by Freedom's Cost here because it lays out some of the usual arguments that come up in a case like this.

The fact that he was murdered because he is an Arab is indeed nothing short of a terrorist act. Racial, ethnic are religious crimes are terrorist acts by their very nature regardless of who the perpetrator may be (and however justified his/her mind might tell him/her that the particular murder is), regardless of who the victim might be.

No it most certainly is not. That kind of misidentification of terrorism is a gift to liberals and people working to minimize terrorism and reduce to anything that upsets people.

I have no doubt that had the reverse been the case, the Arab perpetrator would have been feted as a hero by the Palestinian press (print or otherwise) and his family would have received the usual honor and stipend to families of terrorists. Israel is different

Indeed Israel is different. Because the Arab world is conducting a campaign of extermination against Israel. The murders that occur as a result are part of a campaign of terrorism against Israel. There is no such Israeli campaign. That is why the term terrorism is entirely wrong here.

The murder of any innocent person whether because of skin color, because of creed, because of ethnicity, or because of political disagreement is a blight on society as a whole. I hope and pray that Julian Sofir, is locked up for a long time and made an unforgettable example of what terrorism by an Israeli Jew leads to!

As opposed to terrorism by an Arab? Here we get to the root of the fundamental phobia that drives Jewish liberalism. You can call it by many names, fear, self-hatred, a galut mentality; but it demands that we "make an unforgettable example of the Israeli Jew", it hastens to beat up our own side thoroughly and label the whole thing terrorism before anyone else can. It's also a good example of why we're losing the debate.

Sofir has handed a great excuse to those who will use his action to “avenge” themselves on Jews around the world. While hatred against Jews was never lacking, now those murderers those terrorist will claim they are only perpetrating their hateful acts to avenge a brother.

Ah now comes the inevitable 'excuse' part. As if Muslims hadn't been enthusiastically killing Jews long before there was even an IDF or an Israel or anything to avenge. Muslims will kill Jews regardless of what 'excuses' we give them. It doesn't matter whether they're claiming that they're avenging Karaki or the War in Lebanon or Sabra and Shatila or the supposed Jewish attempt to assassinate Mohammed. There will always be excuses. Why in the world are we still concerned with what excuses Muslims rely on to kill us?

Do we seriously think that we can convince Muslims or the world not to treat those excuses as legitimate? Why waste time beating ourselves up over giving Muslims excuses to kill us? Why feel guilty over the actions of one deranged man? Why does the ghost of Jabotinsky seem to hover every time a Jewish collumnist or blogger feels the need to wail over how many excuses we've now given our enemies to kill us?


  1. If it was a Jewish driver killed by an Arab every excuse in the world would be dragged out to lift the blame from his Brillcremed head.

  2. You're right on the money. A terrorist act is a crime perpetrated upon innocent civilians to further a political agenda.

    That doesn't appear at all to be the case here. Taisir Karaki's murder appears to be a hate crime,racially motivated.

    If this happened in NYS, the victim's family would have his funeral expenses covered (up to $6,000) and the State Victim Assistance Board would also pay for counseling if the surviving family members needed it. Assuming the victim is an INNOCENT victim of a crime. If he was killed while participating in a crime his family wouldn't be entitled to any compensation.

    Naturally the murder of an innocent person is horrendous, but it seems people are classifying it wrongly as a terrorist act simply because the victim was an Arab and the suspect a Jew.

  3. Terrorist act? Why is it, that I now see the word terrorist? When almost all the time we hear of Palestinian terrorist actions they are referred to as 'militants', activists', resisters yadda yadda.

    Why is th Israeli Press so keen now to use the word Terrorist?

    Shalom Aaron
    Vist: Mr Bagel

  4. yup lemon, there's always excuses made for arab terrorism

    k.a. - yes, this kind of misidentification is genuinely harmful because it pretends that there is a jewish terrorism equivalent to arab terrorism

    an individual attack is not terrorism, it's simply a crime

    the terrorist campaign being waged against israel has the goal of eradicating israel

    yes Mr. Bagel, while the whitewashing of real terrorism goes on...the anti-israel propaganda machine insists on applying the label to israel and too many jews stumble into going along with it

  5. The use of the term "hate crimes" is a way to protect special interest groups and make crimes against them somehow worse than against others.
    Its a sick thing.
    All crime is based in hatred..all of it. From petty theft to murder.


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