Within a day Mer-Khamis would become an icon. On Saturday night thousands would gather holding torches to mourn the peace hero and rise up against the powers of darkness. Mer-Khamis’ murder at the hands of Jews would rebuild the left, reunite it and send it to a new battle against murderous Jewish fascism.
But Juliano Mer-Khamis was not murdered by Jews. So instead of a huge headline he got a story below the fold. Instead of five angry essays, he received only one (beautiful ) eulogy.
Nobody talked about racism, fanaticism and fascism. Nobody spoke of education systems spreading hatred and about primitive clergy. Mer-Khamis did not become an icon and thousands of people did not demonstrate.
Mer’s murder raised neither protest nor outrage nor holy rage. The Israeli left, which knows exactly what to do with a murder by Jews, does not know what to do with murder by Palestinians.
The murder of a peace hero by Palestinians has no place on the left’s emotional and ideological map. The murder of a freedom hero by Palestinians is a dogma-undermining, paradigm-subverting event for the left. Mer-Khamis’ murder by Palestinians is a murder doomed for repression.
This is a deep, broad issue that goes beyond just the Israeli left. One of the outstanding characteristics of Western enlightenment in the 21st century is its inability to denounce forces of evil in the Arab-Muslim world. Western enlightenment likes to criticize the West. It especially likes to criticize the West’s allies in the East. But when it runs into evil originating in the East, it falls silent.
It does not know how to deal with it.