Here’s the horrifying story: “Two Israelis Attacked, Car Set on Fire After Driving Into Ramallah,” Algemeiner, December 1, 2021:
Palestinian rioters Wednesday night [Dec. 1] attacked two Israeli civilians and set their vehicle on fire after the pair stopped in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday night, Israel’s army said.
The two Israelis are Breslov Hasidim. They were attempting to return to their homes in the settlement of Hashmonaim in the West Bank, but after stopping at a gas station, got lost and ended up in Ramallah, at Al-Manara Square. A crowd quickly assembled, surrounded the car, and bayed for the blood of the Israelis inside, when Palestinian security men were able to extricate the Israelis and whisk them away to safety. It was a very close call. The crowd had to be content with looting the car, then setting it on fire, shouting excitedly about their desire to destroy those Jews, and proclaiming, of course, “Allahu akbar.”
The two men were rescued by Palestinian security forces and reached a nearby checkpoint after sustaining minor injuries, before being turned over to Israeli authorities and released.
Ramallah is the capital of the Palestinian Authority. There is a heavy police presence, assigned to protect Mahmoud Abbas, and the other PA leaders, and their well-paid loyalists and relatives who live at the “Diplomats’ Compound” in the city. Those police managed to quickly whisk the Israelis away, which prevented the howling mob of maddened Palestinians from murdering them.
Footage of the incident shared online showed crowds of residents surrounding and looting the vehicle before setting it ablaze.
Initial Israeli media reports said the two men had mistakenly entered the city, which is located in the Palestinian Authority-controlled area officially prohibited to Israelis by military order. They were later questioned by Israel Police.
Israel’s N12 news reported the men were Breslov Hasidim, and quoted one as explaining during his interrogation that they had stopped at a gas station and were attempting to drive to the West Bank settlement of Hashmonaim.
This incident has prompted me to recall another lynching that took place on October 12, 2000, at the el-Bireh police station in Ramallah, where a crowd of Palestinians murdered, and then mutilated the bodies of, two Israel Defense Forces reservists.
The two Israelis who were murdered that day were Vadim Nurzhnitz, a truck driver, and Yosef “Yossi” Avrahami, a toy salesman. They were both in the IDF Reserve, and had been heading, in Nurzhnitz’s Ford Escort, to an army base near the West Bank settlement of Beit El. They were unfamiliar with the West Bank road system, and drove through the Israeli military checkpoint outside Beitunia and headed – by mistake — straight into the Palestinian town of Ramallah , two miles east of the checkpoint. Reaching a Palestinian Authority roadblock, where previously Israeli soldiers had been turned back, the reservists were detained by PA policemen and taken to the local police station.
An angry crowd of more than 1,000 Palestinians gathered in front of the station calling for the deaths of the Israelis. Soon after, Palestinian rioters stormed the building. The two men were beaten, stabbed, disemboweled, and had their eyes gouged out. A Palestinian (later identified as Aziz Salha) appeared at the second-floor window of the police station, holding up his blood-soaked hands to the frenzied crowd. Another Palestinian appeared at the window, holding up the entrails of one of the disemboweled Israelis. One of the soldier’s bodies was then thrown out the window. The mob, by now whipped to an insane bloodthirsty madness, stamped and beat the corpse until there was very little left for their families to bury. Then, the mob dragged the two mutilated bodies – their eyes gouged out and their entrails pulled out –to Al-Manara Square in the city center, so everyone in the city could enjoy the spectacle. There the crowd began a victory celebration.
Police officers confiscated footage from reporters. One was a British photographer, Mark Seager, who attempted to photograph the event, but the mob physically assaulted him and destroyed his camera. After the event, he stated, “It [the lynching] was the most horrible thing that I have ever seen and I have reported from Congo, Kosovo, many bad places…. I know they [Palestinians] are not all like this and I’m a very forgiving person but I’ll never forget this. It was murder of the most barbaric kind. When I think about it, I see that man’s head, all smashed. I know that I’ll have nightmares for the rest of my life.”
What would have happened this November to those two Hasidic Jews who, like Vadim Nurzhnitz and Yossi Avrahami in 2000, had simply taken a wrong turn and ended up in Ramallah, had they not been rescued by PA security men? The mob that set fire to their car, cheering at the spectacle and jeering at the Jews, would certainly have been even happier had they managed to torch the car with the Israelis inside. This barbarism has no end.
One final observation: what do you think would happen if the situations had been reversed, and Palestinians had driven by mistake into a West Bank settlement? Would Israelis surround them, stab them to death, mutilate their bodies, gouge out their eyes, disembowel them, and hold up bloody hands and bloody entrails to an assembled crowd, cheering the spectacle? Of course not. The Israelis would instead provide directions so that the Palestinians could drive to their intended destination, perhaps even accompanying them part of the way in another car to make sure they were headed in the right direction.
Moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians? There is no moral equivalence. One represents civilization, and the other barbarism. Think of the murders, in 2000, of Vadim Nizhnitz and Yossi Avrahami, while thousands cheered, in Ramallah. Think of the close escape the other day of the two Breslov Hasidim, whose wrong turn would almost certainly have led to their being burned alive in their car, or beaten to death beside it, had Palestinian security men not rescued them, in Ramallah.