An answer to Cathy O’Toole

December 2, 2016 by Professor Gerald Steinberg
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In a speech to the Australian House of Representatives earlier this week Labor MP Cathy O’Toole presented a highly distorted account of the events that led to a three-month imprisonment of Dima al-Wawi, a Palestinian minor who tried to stab an Israel security guard with a knife…writes Professor Gerald Steinberg.

Cathy O'Toole

Cathy O’Toole

Ms. O’Toole attacked the Israeli judicial system and its conviction of a minor without any mention of the context in this unfortunate but all-too typical case.

The true tragedy stems from the incitement propagated by Palestinian educational, governmental and social systems that have ingrained such a deep hatred against Jews that a twelve-year-old girl (as well as other minors) would decide to engage in terror. According to a New York Times report, in her own words, “Dima said she intended to kill the security guard on Feb. 9 but was quickly apprehended. She said she had hoped that she would be killed. ‘I was dreaming that I was going to be martyred,’ she said.” It is also important to note that Israeli authorities recommended that she be placed in a halfway house, a more appropriate environment for a child who committed a criminal act, but her family rejected that arrangement. None of this was mentioned by Ms. O’Toole.

Unfortunately Ms. O’Toole also cited a “report” by the Defence of Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), an organisation whose officials include members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an internationally recognised terrorist organisation. By disregarding the details of this incident and citing such problematic sources, Ms. O’Toole is contributing to the conflict and ignoring a hate-based system that glorifies violence and exploits Palestinian children.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg  [Bar Ilan University and Institute for NGO Research]


2 Responses to “An answer to Cathy O’Toole”
  1. Eion Isaac says:

    The incitement includes Holocaust Denial and Demonisation of Jews in primitive ways .
    There is no ‘left’ in Palestinian Media like the Israeli ‘left ‘ criticising the rejection of the partition plans of the 1930s and the 1947 UN partition resolution supported by the USA and the USSR .
    The Hamas describes the UN partition plan of 1947 as an abomination as does Iran and Hezbollah .
    Two Thirds of Palestinians are with Hamas .

  2. Ian Bersten says:

    I come from a working-class family. My father, Les, is a first-generation Australian on the paternal side of his family. His father came to this country by boat from England as a 10-pound Pom. My mother, Marie, is also a first-generation Australian on the paternal side of her family. Her father was born in Mount Lebanon in Lebanon. His family story is one of difficulty and tragedy, as the life of an immigrant in Australia both before and after World War I was not easy, especially for people for whom English was a second language.
    From Cathy’s maiden speech in Parliament

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