“Seven Israeli teenagers were in custody on Monday, accused of what a police official and several witnesses described as an attempted lynching of several Palestinian youths, laying bare the undercurrent of tension in this ethnically mixed but politically divided city,” reports the New York Times. “A 15-year-old suspect standing outside court said, ‘For my part he can die, he’s an Arab.’…The police said that scores of Jewish youths were involved in the attack late Thursday in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square, leaving one 17-year-old unconscious and hospitalized. Hundreds of bystanders watched the mob beating, the police said — and no one intervened. Two of the suspects were girls, the youngest 13, adding to the soul-searching and acknowledgment that the poisoned political environment around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has affected the moral compass of youths growing up within it. ‘If it was up to me, I’d have murdered him,’ the 15-year-old suspect told reporters outside court on Monday. ‘He cursed my mother.’ The young man who was beaten unconscious, Jamal Julani, remained in the hospital….In the popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper, a commentator asked of the 13-year-old suspect, ‘Where on earth does a bar-mitzvah-age child find so much evil in himself?’ The article said parents should be held responsible. But on Channel 1 news Monday night, Nimrod Aloni, the head of the Institute for Educational Thought at a Tel Aviv teachers college, said, ‘this cannot just be an expression of something he has heard at home.'” [See “Prime Minister Netanyahu condemns acts of violence and racism.”]

I’m horrified by the allegations of this reprehensible attack on Arab youths in Israel. These allegations must be fully investigated. If true, the Israeli young people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is a very important issue and Christians must take it seriously. Those who love Israel must insist upon true justice for all Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs. When it comes to justice, we are not to show partiality to one side or the other, or to pervert justice. The Bible — Old Testament and New — teach Israelis (and all people) to love their neighbors and to insure justice for all — Jews and non-Jews — in the Land. Consider just a few of the verses of Scripture that speak to these issues:

  • Exodus 22:21 — “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
  • Deuteronomy 24:17-18 — “You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor  take a widow’s garment in pledge.But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.”
  • Matthew 19:19 — Jesus said (quoting Leviticus 19:18), “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
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