Monday, August 01, 2005

The "Lynching" of Shimshon Cytryn

by Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Jul 31, '05 / 24 Tammuz 5765

Shimshon Cytryn, a dual citizen of Israel and the United States, is 18 years old, the grandson of Marilyn and Arnold Cytryn. He, like Nadia Matar and others, had come to Gush Katif in solidarity with its 8,500 Jewish residents to oppose the Sharon government expulsion and withdrawal plan. It was this very plan that Ariel Sharon opposed in the January 2003 election. Indeed, the parties that opposed that plan won 84, or 70%, of the 120 Knesset seats in that election.

Shimshon Cytryn was in Gush Katif because his parents and grandparents, like most Jews in Israel were betrayed by Ariel Sharon as well by their Knesset. Because in October 2004 the Knesset, by a vote of 67 to 45, enacted the very plan that an overwhelming majority of the public had rejected the previous year. How was this possible? Simple: by political bribery. By promising ministerial or deputy ministerial positions, Sharon "persuaded" enough MKs to vote for his expulsion and withdrawal plan. Is it any wonder that 87% public said "No" when asked whether the Knesset represents the citizens of this country?

In any event, I say that by adopting the Sharon plan, which endangers all of Israel ­ Israel's highest military and intelligence officials testified against it before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee ­ the Sharon government ceased to be legitimate. Hence, it became the goal of that government to delegitimize its critics. This explains what I call the "lynching" of Shimshon Cytryn.

Shimshon was libeled by the media as having perpetrated a "lynching" of an Arab in Gush Katif. Actually, the Arab in question, Hilal Ziad Al-Majaydeh, was engaged with other Arabs in a stone-throwing attack on Jews, who responded in kind.

The Sharon government knows this. It knows that the media, for more than a week, had ignored videos, pictures and eyewitness accounts that contradicted the "lynch" story. But the Sharon government wanted a Jewish scapegoat for its own crimes ­ and it had just what it wanted.

Never mind that Ha'aretz finally printed a retraction of its own "lynch" story. Never mind that Channel 2 TV interviewed the Arab "victim", who discredited the state's contention that Shimshon tried to kill him. The Sharon government, which has made the judicial system complicit in its massive violations of the rule of law, now rules by prevarication, intimidation and coercion ­ typical of a police state.

Al-Majaydeh admitted in an interview with Israel Radio that he was hit in the head by the butt of a soldier's rifle. Since he was also wielding a knife ­ or so it is alleged ­ the soldier struck him in the face to render him harmless. Several hours later, after having been listed as "critically injured," the Arab was seen standing and laughing with his friends.

The "lynch" story was a pure fabrication. While the "lynching" served to delegitimize the settlers, it also provided Sharon's police force with a pretext for the storming of the Maoz Yam Hotel, where opponents of the expulsion/withdrawal plan were quite legally residing. But to better appreciate the government's vicious indictment of Shimshon Cytryn, some historical perspective is in order.

Israel's government has refused in the past to prosecute Arabs who have killed Jews if the Jews initiated the violence, even if the Jew was already unconscious and thus no longer posed any threat whatsoever at the time of his murder. Applying the same logic here, the Jewish boys who were attacked by Al-Majaydeh and other Arabs should be exonerated as well for striking back at Al-Majaydeh. This is especially so in this case, since Al-Majaydeh may not have been actually unconscious, but only faking it for media personnel.

If the Jews are not exonerated for striking back at their Arab attackers, then Al-Majaydeh should be charged with attempted murder as well, as his rocks were no less dangerous than the rocks thrown back at him by the Jews he attacked.

For the Sharon government to have indicted Shimshon Cytryn for attempted murder is an obscene miscarriage of justice. Shimshon Cytryn is actually a victim of the government's violation of Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom, the same law that the Knesset ignored by enacting Sharon's expulsion plan.

If anyone should be expelled, it is Ariel Sharon and those who have hitched their political wagons to this ruthless prime minister.

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