I recently got wind of news that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to find the killers of Palestinian-born infant Ali Sa’ad Dawabsheh, calling his killing a terror attack, “a reprehensible act of terrorism in every respect,” in the wake of an arson attack in the West Bank that killed Ali and wounded three of his family members, two of whom–his brother and mother–Prime Minister Netanyahu allegedly visited at Sheba Hospital, where they’re being treated for serious injuries.
I must admit it sounds nice to hear these words from Prime Minister Netanyahu, and to hear them essentially echoed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, but, given the history of the Israeli government’s attitude towards, and treatment of, Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Arab citizens of Israel, and given the impunity the international community has allowed Israel over the years, everyone in the Israeli government–Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin included– and beyond will have to forgive me for withholding judgment and keeping an eye on the situation, and waiting to see if Prime Minister Netanyahu acts upon what he says.
The article I printed off the Internet recently and read claims Prime Minister Netanyahu has already taken some action, having spoken with representatives of the defense establishment, including Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, and “ordered them to use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and bring them to justice forthwith.” I’ll admit, after reading this and the rest of the article, I want to believe that the Israeli and Palestinian governments can come to an understanding and take steps to end the hostilities between them–even if it took the death of an infant to get them to think about it in the first place. But it’s going to take more than words to bring about this end. The Israeli and Palestinian governments will have to actually work together to end the hostilities, and bring peace between them. They can begin by taking all the religious clerics (rabbis, imams, mullahs, ayatollahs, etc,) and religiously-inspired groups such as Hamas out of the equation.
As for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his promises to bring Ali Sa’ad Dawabsheh’s killers to justice, and to fight terrorism from the Israeli Jewish end of the spectrum: I’m still skeptical he actually means it. But time will tell. But, as far as I’m concerned, actions speak louder than words, and I hope Prime Minister Netanyahu and the rest of the Israeli government keeps this in mind.