By Stephen M. Flatow/JNS.org
Ten members of Congress have introduced a bill to prevent U.S. aid to Israel from being used to arrest Palestinian terrorists who are under the age of 18.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), characterizes young terrorists merely as “Palestinian children” and contends that their arrest by the Israeli army constitutes “abuse.”
It’s worth recalling a few examples of the behavior for which Palestinian “children” have been detained by the Israeli military in recent years.
On Jan. 17, 2016, a Palestinian child named Morad Abdullah Adais broke into the home of Dafna Meir, in the town of Otniel, armed with an 8-inch knife. Adais, who was 16, later described proudly what he did next:
“I plunged the knife into her so deeply that most of it was inside her body. She started screaming, the children saw me and also started screaming, then I stabbed her in her upper body another three or four times. She tried to fight me and tried to take the knife from me. The two children who were there were still screaming, but she continued to resist, so I pushed her, and overpowered her.”
Asked what he would have done if he was able to pull the knife from Meir’s body, the Palestinian teenager said, “I would have continued stabbing her, and if I saw another Jew I would stab and murder him.”
Meir left behind six children, ages 4-17. They’re also minors. But Rep. McCollum is not concerned about them. Her focus is on Palestinian minors such as Adais. According to the McCollum bill, the army’s arrest of Adais would be considered illegal and abusive.
Here’s another example of a Palestinian “child” in action. On June 30, 2016, a Palestinian teenager broke into the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl named Hallel Yaffa Ariel, in the town of Kiryat Arba. The attacker, Mohammed Nasser Tra’ayra, viciously stabbed Hallel again and again. Then he stabbed two other Israelis whom he encountered. Hallel’s father shot and killed Tra’ayra. Presumably, McCollum would regard the shooting as “settler violence” against a “Palestinian child.”
If Tra’ayra had not been killed, and Israeli soldiers arrested him, that would have constituted illegal and abusive detention, according to the McCollum bill.
One final example to illustrate the real-life consequences of what these 10 radical Congress members are trying to accomplish.
On Dec. 25, 2014—as McCollum and her colleagues were no doubt enjoying the Christmas holiday with their families—two young Palestinians decided that they would try to burn some Jews to death. They positioned themselves on the road to the Israeli town of Ma’ale Shomron. Along came an automobile with an 11-year-old girl riding in the front passenger seat. The two attackers—one of them a 16-year-old “child”—threw rocks and firebombs at the car.
The car exploded in flames. Eleven-year-old Ayelet Shapiro jumped out, her entire body on fire. Her father’s quick action to smother the flames saved Ayelet’s life, but she suffered third-degree burns to her face and upper body, meaning years of painful surgery and skin grafts, and a lifetime of severe scars and emotional trauma.
How were the attackers caught? Israeli security personnel went into the nearby Palestinian Arab village of Azun, detained suspects, questioned them and eventually pinpointed the perpetrators. None of which would have been possible under the McCollum bill.
Yes, the Israeli army does arrest a significant number of Palestinian minors. That’s because a significant number of Palestinian minors engage in terrorism. In the past two years, there have been at least 79 terrorist attacks carried out by Palestinians from the ages of 8-17, according to the watchdog group Human Rights Voices.
The real abuse that Betty McCollum and her Gang of Ten should be investigating is the constant effort by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to incite minors to engage to murder Jews. “We are so proud that in this popular uprising that has started almost two months ago, that the backbone of this uprising are the youth of Palestine,” the PA’s U.N. representative, Riyad Mansour, declared during the recent wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks.
But don’t take Mansour’s word for it. Morad Abdullah Adais, the 16-year-old who butchered Dafna Meir in front of her children, told investigators that he was inspired to murder her after watching a PA television program depicting Israelis as cruel oppressors of the Palestinians. How about some congressional action against the PA’s use of American aid to sponsor such vicious and deadly incitement?
Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.