Israel Should Not Be Exception to Children’s Rule

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Rep. Betty McCollum

Dateline Jerusalem — “To be or not to be, that is the question,” the opening phrase in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” asks this question:

Is it nobler to suffer slings and arrows or to take arms against a sea of troubles by opposing them? 

This appropriately describes the dilemma Israel faces with Palestinian terrorists under the age of 18.  

According to an American Congresswoman, Israel has no right to arrest these terrorists. They are “Palestinian children” whose human rights are being violated by the arrests.  

What about the human rights of Israeli men, women, and children to stay alive? 

Eighty terrorist attacks by Palestinians juveniles between 8 and 17 have been carried out the last two years. 

Should Israelis suffer terrorism or oppose it? 

To be or not to be victims of terror committed by minors? That is the question. 

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and nine others introduced a bill in Congress to deny U.S. foreign aid because Israel arrests these minors who murder and maim Israeli civilians. 

Perhaps in their jaundiced eyes Israeli lives are worthless. 

Should these Palestinian teenagers and other juvenile terrorists be given free rein?

  • Why aren’t McCollum and her bill co-sponsors investigating the Palestinian Authority’s incitement of minors to murder Jews? 
  • Why aren’t they taking action against the Palestinian Authority’s use of U.S. foreign aid to sponsor the incitement and deadly attacks? 
  • Why is only Israel targeted to lose foreign aid? 
  • Perhaps because the Arab American Institute rated McCollum plus-4 on Arab-Israeli issues.

As the Palestinian Authority’s U.N. representative Riyad Mansour declared during stabbing attacks in 2015, “We are so proud that in this popular uprising…the backbone of the uprising is the youth of Palestine.”  

The Palestinian Authority educational system teaches hatred of Israel and Israelis on a daily basis.

Palestinian children also learn hatred through magazines and children’s books.  Zayazfuna magazine for children teaches them that the Prophet Muhammad says it is a religious act to throw rocks at Jews. 

Zayazfuna’s advisory board acknowledged it received financial support from the Palestinian Authority Minister of Culture. Its advisory board included members of the PA’s Ministry of Education. 

Palestinian children in Gaza and the “West Bank” are indoctrinated at summer camps and sporting events. 

Who hasn’t seen the parents and family members of these young terrorists pass out candy in celebration of the killing of Jews? 

As long as Palestinian officials and families encourage and praise terrorism, there cannot be peace. 

The Islamic State boasted that at least 143 children “martyrs” committed terror on its behalf.   

If youthful terrorists cannot be arrested because of their age, terrorist groups will continue to recruit, train and use children to carry out these murderous activities.

One recruitment video featured young al-Shabaab members from Minnesota (McCollum’s state) describing the Disneyland-like fun the youth were having. 

As a result, 22 Somali American children from Minnesota turned up as suicide bombers for al-Shabaab or joined ISIS in Syria. 

In New York, an ABC book titled “P is for Palestine” teaches children “I is for Intifada,” the Arabic word for uprising.

Let us examine the ages and actions of some Palestinian child terrorists. 

An Israeli mother of six was brutally stabbed to death in her home by a 16-year-old Palestinian child who would avoid arrest under McCallum’s bill. 

Another Palestinian teen stabbed three Israelis and murdered a 13-year-old girl in her home.  He, too, would go free.

Another 16-year-old Palestinian child terrorist threw rocks and firebombs at a passing car.

The subsequent explosion resulted in an 11-year-old Israeli girl suffering third degree burns on her face and upper body. 

In an 11-month period, July 2015-May 2016, 42 Palestinian child terrorists attempted 36 attacks against Israeli civilians. 

At what age is a child considered culpable?

In most countries, children under 18 can be arrested. 

  • In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, a child under 10 cannot be arrested or charged with a crime. 
  • In Scotland, the Netherlands and Canada, the age of responsibility is 12. 
  • In Norway, Finland and Sweden, the age of responsibility is 15. 
  • In the U.S., the age of criminal responsibility is established by state law. Most determine that from 7 to 14 there is a rebuttable presumption that a child is not responsible. 
  • 13 states have set minimum ages of culpability from 6 to 12 years old. 

Why must Israel refrain from arresting Palestinian minors?

Having had careers as both a peace officer and a criminal defense attorney, I have seen both sides of the story when it comes to the commission of crimes. Terrorism usually is considered a politically motivated crime. 

In the U.S., juveniles are arrested and/or detained in connection with criminal behavior. 

Therefore, it is absurd to have a bill in Congress demanding that Israel refrain from arresting juvenile terrorists who commit murder, stab innocent women and children in their homes, throw firebombs and rocks that maim. 

L’hitraot.  Shachar

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