Tel Aviv mayor’s Saudi option: Off with their hands!

Memorial for Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv (photo: Wikimedia)
Memorial for Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv (photo: Wikimedia)

The memorial on the site of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination in Tel Aviv was vandalised yesterday (not “desecrated,” pray), by Shvuel Schijveschuurder, who had lost both his parents and three of his siblings in the Sbarro pizza place bombing in 2001. The young man said he was driven to pour paint on the memorial and spray-write a nearby wall with a call to release Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, after he heard the men responsible for wiping out most of his family were about to be set free as part of the Schalit exchange. Despite the fact he sprayed the notorious “price tag” slogan as well, the police seem to have attributed his act to his personal grief and rage, and released him on bail. For Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai, however, this wouldn’t do.

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai strongly condemned the vandalizing of the memorial for assassinated prime minister Rabin. “We should cut off the hands that allow themselves [sic] to harm what is sacred and important to the people of Israel,” the mayor said.

If you thought this was a one-time slip-up, here’s Huldai a week earlier, rightly but somewhat Saudily condemning the vandalising of Muslim and Christian cemetery in Jaffa:

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai met with senior figures in Jaffa’s Arab community and harshly condemned the vandalism. “I expect the hands of those who do such things to be cut off,” Huldai said…

Hm. Now, I’m sure the good mayor only means it figuratively (right?). But the ease with which this particular figure of speech lends itself to his tongue is disconcerting. One can’t help but wonder whether the next time social justice protesters try to occupy the municipality buildings or Huldai’s front yard, we’ll hear a cry from the mayoral chair: Off with their heads!