Selective nature of our moral outrage
The slaughter set off mass protests throughout the West Bank, triggering clashes with Israeli troops, who went on to kill 26 other Palestinians and injure 120. The American media, of course, reported the story, but absent outrage. The outrage remained absent, or at best muted, even after, in the days, weeks and months following the massacre, hundreds of Israelis travelled to Goldstein’s grave to celebrate his act, and to sing and dance, with various rabbis in attendance, praising the murderous deed as conforming with “the five Halachic principles”, Halacha being the collective body of Jewish religious law derived from the Torah — a claim we like to believe is false. “In a steady stream, they came by the hundreds to recite afternoon prayers at the grave of Baruch Goldstein, many bowing deeply to kiss the tombstone of the Hebron mass killer and to proclaim him a holy man”, reported the New York Times on April 1 that year. “They were a small group from among 10,000 or more Jews who descended on this Israeli [colony] to rally against the government for ... raising the possibility of moving [the Jewish colonists] who live in that tempestuous West Bank town”.