Tuesday, January 5, 2016

When "Big" Names Make BIG Mistakes

Everyone makes a mistake, even the greatest of men...so what chance does anyone have of escaping that moment when they are flat out, embarrassingly wrong? Well, at that moment, they have two options...they can admit it, or they can compound it by standing by their initial mistake and making it worse. That is the moment when the difference between big names and great names becomes most apparent.

A big name will use big talk to explain his position; a great name will admit he spoke beyond his rights without using excuses. I will be honest and say that until today, I never heard of Reb Mottle or his blog. It is likely, he never heard of me. He has a son in the 10th grade...I have a daughter in the 10th grade. We are both, according to most people, what you would call a "settler." He lives in Tekoa; I live in Maale Adumim.

Yesterday, he called a fellow Jew, "a monster." He's never met the person; has no real access to the evidence that may or may not prove the person's guilt. The evidence, if it exists, has not been made public. It has not been examined by the "monster" or his lawyer. No trial has been scheduled, let alone taken place and yet, Reb Mottle, contrary to Jewish law, feels he is qualified to say Amiram Ben Uliel is guilty of a crime that deserves, without question and without reservation, to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The crime, that is, not the individual indicted - but not tried, not convicted. Innocent until PROVEN guilty is an inherent part of the law - at least in Reb Mottle's precious America that he holds in such high esteem...but also in this land, that I love above all others.

Until Amiram Ben Uliel is PROVEN guilty, he is innocent...but not to Reb Mottle...who will tell you, "I think he did it and I think he's a monster."

You think? You think? What right do you have to speak this way of another Jew; to find him guilty without examining a single shred of evidence? To that, Reb Mottle has replied, "I'm a talk radio host, I'm not a journalist." And then he goes on to explain that his opinion is "by no means the law here in Israel" and that he has "no pull whether he's convicted or not" but still, he'll remind us quickly, "I get the honor of sharing my opinion."

Opinion...not fact. Not based on facts because Reb Mottle doesn't actually have any facts.

"I am simply weighing the evidence we have before us," says Reb Mottle. What evidence? That the Shin Bet indicted someone? That's not evidence. They also arrested an 18 year old boy and held him for FIVE months and then just released him with an "oops, the evidence was false". What evidence, Reb Mottle, allows you to slander someone because slander it is...until it is proven...and you don't have the means to prove it and so you have put your name, your integrity, and the essence of your being...on the hope that the government can prove an indictment that took them months and months to produce. All you did was decide that if someone is arrested, they must be guilty. That isn't democracy; that isn't Israel. And your need to lash out is contrary to Jewish law.

You have every right to condemn the crime - I condemn it in the strongest terms and want the guilty person brought to justice. There is no excuse for attacking an innocent family, for murdering a child. Did Amiram Ben-Uliel do this - the key here, Reb Mottle is that you BELIEVE, but you do not KNOW.

They suspected him from the start, suggests Reb Mottle. Really? And yet, they arrested so many others; held them while denying them their rights. You downplay the possibility that these boys were tortured and yet we know that they were. The Attorney General has admitted ordering it. And then you just get nasty. You compare "a little sleep deprivation" to you suffering a bit without an air conditioner. Your facetious and rather patronizing comment shows a shocking level of intolerance and a dangerous level of blind ignorance.

Is three days with no sleep really considered "a little"? Is holding someone's head until they vomit acceptable? A Jewish boy was driven to the point of attempting suicide...do you really believe they were only tortured "a little." What would you do if that had been done to your child? Did you actually bother to find out what was done to them before denying it?

You say that Amiram ben Uliel is a "fringe element among Jews." I personally can't argue that because I've never met the boy and other than what the Shin Bet wants you to believe, I don't know anything about him other than that he is married; 21 years old; and being accused of a crime which, you agree he has confessed to after being tortured...oh, I'm sorry, a little tortured.

Ben-Uliel's father is the rabbi of the Nokdim Mechina (preparatory religious program before the army) where my son, Elie went for almost two years. Nokdim - which is right next door to where Reb Mottle lives and no more a hotbed of extremism than his yishuv.

There was nothing extremist about Nokdim, the mechina, or the rabbis who taught there. Don't you find it strange that the only suspect detained in the Duma case who was NOT placed under a Shin Bet restraining order was the one they finally indicted...especially if they were supposedly looking at him from the start. Nu, Reb Mottle? Isn't that strange?

What of the inconsistencies between eyewitness accounts from the time of the attack...and the current case being built against Ben-Uliel? Eyewitnesses said there were two individuals...and yet now the State is claiming that Ben-Uliel acted alone. Reb Mottle - can you address this inconsistency? No, I didn't think so. Did you even know about it? Probably not.

And then, you went from nasty to just absurd. You compared the laws of Judaism...because yes, Judaism includes Biblical law (or do you not keep Shabbat and follow the laws of Kashrut (Kosher)...and where did those laws come from?) with Islamic law. Absurd!

Reb Mottle Says the Bible is the Same as Sharia?

One of your more outlandish statements: "Replace Iron age Biblical law with Islamic law  - they are exactly the same." Now, I don't know what "Iron age Biblical law" is...I know what Biblical law is...but Iron age Biblical law? No clue. So I Googled it and got...ONE result leading to an article entitled, "Gay Couple Returns to KY Clerk Office and Are Refused Marriage License Again." I didn't read the article, but I have to confess...in my many years of using the Google search engine, I don't think I have EVER gotten one result for anything...

I can only assume Reb Mottle's Iron Age Biblical law is the same as Biblical law. What kind of a rabbi compares Jewish law to Islam and says they are the same...no, not just the same, "exactly the same."

When was the last time Jewish law ordered a woman who was raped to then be stoned? Does Judaism call for the execution of women if seen in the company of men who are not blood relatives? Does Judaism allow a man to beat his wife any time he wants? Maybe your Judaism does, Reb Mottle...mine does not.

"They want and believe the same thing as ISIS." Seriously? In what way is what Ben-Uliel believes the same as ISIS? How may Hilltop youth do you know, Reb Mottle? ISIS believes in the extreme right of Islam to rule the world, every corner of it and that it is, indeed their future to rule over the infidels.

If you are just a "talk show host" maybe you should consider talking about something else...at least until there is enough information for someone who doesn't have the facts to offer an honest opinion based on something other than - the government said and so it must be true.

Insulting Israel is An Opinion Too?

Another great line in today's show...Reb Mottle throws in that Israel is "not even as free a country as America but they are far better from these folks." I guess "these folks" are Amiram Ben-Uliel and the others who were arrested and tortured. But let's focus on the anti-Israel comment. As an Israeli, I will tell you, Reb Mottle, I never was as free in the States as I have been here in Israel. I'm amazed that in your attempt to slander Ben-Uliel, you even manage to attack Israel just a bit as well. Talented, that is...

And then, having insulted Israel, Reb Mottle's proof comes from the nature of the Israeli security forces, the government, and pretty much everything else. But it's important to realize that the indictment must be true comes because, Reb Mottle says, the more high profile the case, "the more the government has to cross its Ts and dot its Is". Has the good rabbi missed how many hundreds of indictments have been dismissed in Israel's history because the government FAILED to prove their case? Did he fail to hear of the several young men released in the last few days because the government had NO evidence? Has he never heard of cases where the indictment failed to be proved - in extremely high profile cases, including, for example, against his own neighbor, Avigdor Lieberman?

Reb Mottle says that the lawyers for these boys want us to believe that Israel grabbed these boys and tortured them so that they'd confess and then asks why they would do that...

There are plenty of answers to that question - and not one of them is the weak response Reb Mottle uses to dismiss the entire argument. He says people have told him that the government did it because they hate these youth...that's just stupid.

But the government being embarrassed, months and months after the attack, that they are still unable to prove who did it - now that would be a reason to start arresting and torturing people into a confession. The fact that there is tremendous international pressure to solve this case and the government has repeatedly failed...there you go...more reason to push to solve it now. Perhaps the fact that the Duma attack is being used to justify the current intifada, the one the government has failed to stop or even properly acknowledge as an intifada. Three solid reasons...

But never mind. All is good because single-handed, Reb Mottle has stepped in to save the day, "I believe this guy did it."

And then he turns to his audience. "I'm going to ask you to think for a second...I need you to think about this." Gee, that's not patronizing.

"Let's just pretend the government has the evidence it says it has....that they weren't tortured...that they actually confess." Then he admits there was a "degree of physical pressure put here". And then he goes into a slow, dramatic description of the atrocious Duma attack - the only thing missing is the violins in the background as the tempo rises and the audience is nearly prompted to lynch the defendant...oh wait, there hasn't been a trial...well, no matter - let's just execute the kid and move on.

Reb Mottle says Amiram Ben Uliel has no alibi on the night of the Duma attack...actually, Reb Mottle may not accept the alibi, but the fact is Ben Uliel does have one.

Reb Mottle says the baby WAS the target of the attack...and he knows that how? Can you tell me how this Orthodox Jew knew there was a baby in the house and more, targeted him?

Never mind all this...the bottom line here is that talk host "celebrity" Reb Mottle himself has decided, "I think he did it and I think he's a monster." With that, and another ad urging listeners to check out his website, Reb Mottle closes another show.

And I'm left with a simple thought. I wonder what would happen to his ratings if people considered the fact that Reb Mottle ignored the case of Mordechai Meyer, who was arrested 5 months ago, right after the Duma attack...held in administrative detention all this time, until he was suddenly released in the last few days. No indictment, no accusation, no evidence...only an admission that the perfect Shin Bet, in which Reb Mottle has so much faith, had "false" information.

Mordy is back with his family now. I wonder what Reb Mottle will say if Amiram too is returned to his family by a judge who looks at the government's "evidence" and finds it equally as lacking.

Stay tuned...and for the sake of true democracy, remember that despite all the big names, we are still innocent until proven guilty.


Anonymous said...

Paula: Thanks for your excellent, informative post!- Joan Zia Kahn (Meitar)

Shoshana said...

Spot on. I don't know if he is guilty or not, but I think the Shabak could probably get me to admit to anything - especially if they were given a free rein. I'd be interested to know if his handwriting matches the graffiti left on the wall. It looked very 'unique' to me.

Chana said...

Excellent article, Paula! Many of us are *willing* to consider the possibility that Jews might be responsible for the deaths at Duma, and horrified by the idea. But the desire to distance ourselves from the kind of people who could have done that does not extend to a need to pull out someone and just declare them guilty. Evidence, please, and since we're all supposedly behind the court system, let's have a trial.
Once again, Paula, an excellent job.

Copyright Statement

Everything on this site is protected and copyrighted according to Israeli and international laws. Violators WILL be prosecuted.

For permission to use pictures or text from this site, please write to: info@paulasays.com.