Exactly 24 years ago, on February 25th 1994 a US citizen murdered 29 unarmed civilians and wounded 125 others in a place of worship.
Since then, his crime has been celebrated, his ornamental grave has become a shrine and the community he attacked has been collectively punished for every day for their suffering in his hands.
AN AMERICAN TERRORIST AND HIS CRIME
The man who committed the massacre was a 37-year-old medical doctor named Baruch Goldstein who had been born, raised and educated in the United States – until he became radicalized.
Goldstein was radicalized by the teachings of Meir Kahane(1932-1990), a rabbi turned a terrorist leader and now a revered figure for today’s illegal Israeli settlers.
Under Kahane’s influence Goldstein became an illegal Israeli settler in 1983 and moved to one of the most extreme among the already fanatical illegal Israeli colonies on the occupied West Bank: The illegal colony of Kiryat Arba in the occupied city of Hebron.
It was in the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron’s Old City that he killed 29 people while Israeli occupation soldiers outside refused to stop the slaughter and instead closed the outer doors of the mosque, trapping people inside.
The deaths did not end with Goldstein’s own death at the hands of his surviving victims: Israel’s occupation forces attacked protests by Palestinians against the massacre, killing up to 31 more people, most of the people being killed in Hebron itself.
ISRAEL TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE MASSACRE
In the aftermath of the massacre, Israel divided Ibrahimi mosque between the Palestinian native worshippers and illegal Israeli settlers, closed the Shuhada Street – a commercial main vein of Hebron’s Old City – and all the shops on it, while it established new military checkpoints to constrain Palestinian movement in the city and to the mosque itself.
The result was a collective punishment for occupied Palestinians for a terrorist attack done against them by a dual citizen of the USA and Israel. The illegal Israeli settlers, already emboldened by Baruch Goldstein’s crime, were rewarded.
Few in the media in the so-called ‘West’ see anything odd in this punishment for victims for the crime against their community; no ‘Western’ politician has condemned it in public. The inverted ‘logic’ of Israeli occupation and illegal Israeli settlers have been accepted.
THE CULT OF THE MASS MURDERING TERRORIST: BARUCH GOLDSTEIN AND HIS DESCENDANTS
Goldstein, killed by survivors when he had to stop to load his gun, was buried in a n outdoor sarcophagus in an illegal Israel colony of Kiryat Arba where he had lived.
Illegal Israeli settlers declared him to be “The angel of Kiryat Arba” without any irony whatsoever – or remembrance of another medical doctor named ‘Angel of Death’; theirs is a world of inverted morals where ethnic-religious labels put on people decide whether killing is right or wrong.
Apologists (and there were and are many) claimed that the victims were guilty and that Goldstein, an illegal Israeli settler in an especially fanatical illegal colony built in midst of a brutally occupied territory was himself really the victim.
AFP news agency called the killing of Goldstein ‘a lynching’ and elaborate claims were made how the illegal American-Israeli settler supposedly would have been mentally disturbed by the sight of injured illegal Israeli settlers during the First Intifada – which by the time of the massacre was in the past.
Goldstein’s status as a followers of Meir Kahane, who preached violence, was brushed away. It was inconvenient.
In this we see the same eagerness and even need to embrace the gunman that we now see in the mass shootings in the United States when the shooter is a white male who seemingly led an ‘ordinary’ life until his crime.
The middle-class white male’s crime has to be an aberration, because based of the ethnic-religious label put on him and his social standing he must have really been ‘a good guy’ gone wrong. His crime must be ‘rationalized’ and the blame moved away from him.
The sarcophagus has become a shrine for Zionists. When it attracted some negative attention abroad, Israel removed the plaza made of stones from around it.
But the sarcophagus, a shrine to a mass murderer and a symbol of illegal Israeli settlers’ ambitions and goals, remains as does remain closed the shops along Shuhada Street and Ibrahimi mosque remains divided, its call to prayer silenced as often as its allowed.
UNITED STATES FEELS NO SHAME
United States’ politicians remain silent of the massacre while they repeat illegal Israeli settler propaganda about Ibrahimi mosque, feigning outrage about supposed denial of Jewish history at the site (no biblical patriarchs are actually buried at the site; like all supposed tombs of biblical figures in Palestine, myths about them were connected to a specific site long after they supposedly lived) and demand that Israel must control it.
The United States’ government itself feels no shame of the massacre committed by its citizen or the uses Israel has put it in.
Few citizens of the US are aware that the massacre even happened; such things are not mentioned in the United States media. You had to be alive and old enough back when the massacre happened to have come aware of it through the press.
If the question ‘Why they hate us?’ is answered, among other things, with ‘The Ibrahimi mosque massacre’, then how many of those asking that question would know what the Ibrahimi mosque massacre is?
Ten out of a hundred? Five out of a hundred? And whatever their number, something like nine out of ten of them would be an apologist for the terrorist attack on February 25th 1994, who could not name a single victim but would have a long list of excuses for the mass murderer and the atrocity he committed.
THE STORY OF THE ENTIRE ISRAELI OCCUPATION
In the end the story of the massacre of the Ibrahimi mosque is the story of the entire Israeli occupation and Israel’s illegal colony enterprise:
Palestinians are not and never can be victims in the eyes of Israel, United States and the ‘Western’ press; an illegal Israeli settler who massacres 29 unarmed civilians is really the victim while the real victims are kept faceless, nameless and ageless in the ‘Western’ media.
The violence by Israel and its illegal settlers is never the cause, but an ‘answer’ to violence by the occupied Palestinians and is always ‘justifiable’, no matter what form it takes and the Palestinians must be punished for their own suffering and for the violent actions of an illegal Israeli settler from the United States of America.
It’s all about one thing in the end: Racism.
The Israeli occupation, the illegal Israeli colonies and US’ support for both. They are driven and supported by racism.
The same racism that killed 29 worshippers in the Ibrahimi mosque.
PHOTO: Yakov Lemmer / AFP / Getty Images.
Illegal Israeli settlers and their fans use this photograph to celebrate Baruch Goldstein’s crime and denigrate the victim in it. The dead man in the photograph was not actually murdered by Goldstein but Israel’s occupation forces, when they attacked demonstrations against the massacre.