CNN Panelist Sides with Man Accused of Dropping 40 lb. Marble Slab on Israeli Soldier’s Head


If you want an object lesson into the intellectual dishonesty of a certain corner of the pro-Palestinian cause, you could certainly do a lot worse than Yousef Munayyer.

Munayyer, a regular CNN panelist, is the executive director for the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Clearly we’re not talking an objective voice here, which is fine; I’m writing this on a website called Conservative Tribune for a reason, after all. The question is whether or not he’s accurately stating all the facts.

Take the family of Islam Yousef Abu Hamid. They lived in the al-Am’ari refugee camp near Ramallah. On Saturday, their home was demolished by the Israel Defense Forces after Hamid was arrested.

This prompted an angry tweet from Munayyer:

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“Israel demolished this ladies home for the 3rd time last night in collective punishment, which is a war crime, but which they claim deters attacks. They did so after arresting her 32 year old son and imprisoning him for an attack,” he tweeted. “He was 8 the first time they demolished the home.”

Sounds pretty dire. Anything he’s possibly leaving out?

According to the Times of Israel, Hamid is accused of killing Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky back in May.

Lubarsky, a part of IDF’s elite anti-terrorism Duvdevan unit, died after a marble slap was dropped on his head during a raid in the the al-Am’ari refugee camp.

“According to court papers, on the night of the clash, Hamid woke up to the sounds of dogs barking and soldiers shouting as they arrested two of his neighbors in an adjacent house,” the Times of Israel reported.

“Hamid climbed to the roof of a neighboring home where he chose the heavier of two marble slabs placed there. He lifted the 40-pound slab onto the railing of the roof and hurled it down onto Lubarsky, who was standing below.

“The suspect then immediately climbed back onto the roof of his home and crawled inside as soldiers tended to their injured comrade.”

Supreme Court of Israel Justice Yael Wilner denied a petition by the family to reduce the scope of the demolition order to just the two floors occupied by the accused murderer, saying that while the action might harm some residents, that “did not justify reducing the scope of the demolition order.”

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“The decision is a victory for sanity,” Lubarsky’s father said after the ruling. “We expect only more thing — imposing the death penalty on the terrorist who murdered Ronen.”

Razing the homes of terrorists has been a key component of Israel’s terrorist deterrence strategy. It’s a hotly debated component, mind you, and far be it from me to deprive Munayyer (or anyone) of their opinion on the issue.

The problem is when hot takes — or at least how they’re presented — aren’t informed by the facts. In this case, that lack of information included the fact that Hamid stands accused of dropping a 40 lb. slab on a soldier’s head.

This isn’t just a mere “attack,” some trifling thing like a minor-league hood throwing rocks at soldiers. It’s murder for a terrorist cause. I don’t harbor any particular sympathy for Hamid based on the fact that his house was razed when he was 8 years old. That demolition, by the way, was prompted by an attack by Hamid’s brother, so it’s fairly clear that terrorist acts have run in the Hamid family. Whatever the case, it’s not an excuse for murder; Munayyer seems to believe this is somehow a mitigating factor. More importantly, it’s yet another demonstration of what is arrayed against Israel.

The reason for deterrence demolitions is that radical deterrence is necessary. It isn’t evil or immoral; what Israel is fighting evil and immoral. The question has been posed numerous times, but it bears repeating: Think of what would happen if Israel’s enemies disarmed, and then think of what would happen if Israel disarmed. In the first instance, nothing would occur. In the second, Israel would cease to exist.

None of these facts seem to matter to Munayyer or many defenders of the Palestinian cause, who insist that no evil against Israel is too great to deserve condemnation nor any reaction by Israel too small to merit invective. This sort of de facto anti-Semitism insists murder doesn’t deserve to be mentioned when rage-tweeting against Israeli deterrence. If there’s anything that demonstrates the ideological bankruptcy of those who cluck loudly at Israel while ignoring grave offenses against it by terrorist groups and individuals, this is it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture