by Lenny Goldberg

I didn't know a private wedding would become so public. I couldn't have known that a beautiful and holy affair would later be trashed in the headlines as "The Wedding of Hate".

Didn't think my new son in law, Yakir Ashbel, and my good friend Daniel Pinner would be arrested for dancing and waving guns as mere props to the song "Zachreini Na", a standard wedding song and dance that I've witnessed dozens of times at other weddings.

And so, as father of the bride, I want to clarify a few points:

The wedding was on Dec.7, and the footage was released weeks later when public opinion against the Shin Bet was at its peak - all this an obvious attempt to demonize the hilltop youth and manipulate public opinion, as if to say: "It's OK now, you can torture the boys". And naturally it worked according to script, as rabbis and Yesha leaders all chimed in their condemnations of the hilltop youth and suddenly justified the Shin Bet in an embarrassing about face.

Now, about the "dance" itself: the wedding took place a few days after three of the Duma suspects were abducted. The groom and his friends are close to Meir Ettinger and other hilltop youth leaders who have been sitting in jail for months without charges (and don't think they weren't also subjected to physical abuse by the Shin Bet). Tensions and emotions were running high and the singer Sinai Tur was rocking that night. At one point during the "Zachreini Na" song, pictures of the Duma babies appeared on small signs that were held, and this is obviously what created the outrage.

But I'm not writing this article to apologize. Besides, it's my party and I'll do what I want. I think the pictures (and the occasional piercing holes into it) were in bad taste, and it's definitely not my style, but:

I'm much more concerned about the Jews who are being knifed in Israel every single day - not pictures of Jews, but real live ones. Not only don't I care about Duma, neither do the left or the Shin Bet (ISA). It's just a good excuse for them to harass and torture the hilltop youth they so despise for the Judaism that they represent.

I really don't know who brought those pictures anyway. Knowing the hilltop youth, I can tell you that photographing pictures and mounting them on signs is not their specialty. If you look closely, everyone dancing is wearing white shirts, but the guys holding the signs are wearing jackets and their faces are blurred.

And even if those holding the signs are not Shin Bet agents themselves, it's no problem to give the signs to some overzealous youth and let him run with it. We know for sure that the Shin Bet had a heavy presence at the wedding, a fact nobody denies. So yes, there could have been "champagne" (codename of former Shin Bet provocateur Avishai Raviv) at the wedding, a beverage I never ordered


A fairly clear version of the video appeared on the JTA website. View it here. It is entitled, "Jewish Radicals Celebrating Wedding by Stabbing Photo of Dawabsheh Baby Credit: Channel 10".

Screenshot from a video showing extremist Israeli Jewish wedding-goers celebrating the killing of the Dawabsha family. (screen capture: Channel 10)

This photo was clipped from the wedding video as it appeared in Times of Israel, December 23, 2015. Of many other articles on the video that I've seen, the accompanying text was about middling in indignation and conclusion-jumping. . None — at least none that I read — doubted that it was all genuine. This is the start of the article written by the Times of Israel Staff:

Footage released on Wednesday showed dozens of young Israeli right-wing extremists, said to be linked to the suspected perpetrators of the Dawabsha family murder, celebrating the killing at a wedding last week. The images in the clip immediately sparked wide condemnation.

The video, aired by Channel 10, shows revelers at the Jerusalem celebration waving knives, rifles, pistols and a Molotov cocktail during the wedding. Amid the festivities, a photo of baby Ali Dawabsha, who was burned to death in the July 31 firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma, is shown being repeatedly stabbed.

A reader, Dvorah Belensky, wrote a less inflammatory and more accurate description of the video than did the Times of Israel staff. She said:

Please notice the lies in this:

  1. In 0:32 you can clearly see that the picture is not of a baby, and not an Arab. It is a child with peyot. Even this picture is not "repeatedly stabbed", but waved on the knife.
  2. The man with the molotov cocktail is dressed as an Arab- apparantly part of a wedding skit. (You can see the costume in the full version.)
  3. Although the narrator connects this with Honenu, it's another outright lie. (He says it happened in the same hall, on the same day, both of which are lies.)
  4. The narrator says the gun is being passed from hand to hand, when actually, the soldier holding it is dancing, so it looks like it's moving. (Soldiers are highly respected, and it is not unusal to dance at a wedding with the gun aloft.)

It looks to me like the corner with the fake weapons are saying- "They try to kill us, and we have revenge by marrying and bringing more life to the world."

The real incitement is against a fringe group of Israeli youth who have extreme political ideas (with which I strongly disagree, but that's irrelevant). It's totally unclear whether this film has anything to do with them, other than inciting against them.

If it were as presented, of course it should be strongly condemned, but it's actually all lies, purposely misinterpreting what is filmed. The question is, who benefits from this distorted world wide broadcast. Is it another example of staining an entire group with lies for political reasons?

Lenny Goldberg lives in Kfar Tapuach in Samaria. He was a long time aide to Binyamin Zev Kahane, H"yd and teaches in the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea in Jerusalem. He is the author of "The Wit and Wisdom of Rabbi Meir Kahane". This article appeared December 30, 2015 and is archived at

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