Jewish Terrorist who Bombed Messianic Jewish Teen Judged to be Sane, Hate-Filled

Jack Teitel, the American-Israeli terrorist whose bomb almost killed Messianic teen Ami Ortiz, saw his appeal in the Israeli Supreme Court rejected on June 28, 2016. Teitel’s original sentence handed down in 2013 was upheld in full: two life terms plus 30 years for six violent attacks on innocent civilians, including the cold-blooded murder of two Palestinians in 1997.

The court decision was welcomed by Israeli media, both in Hebrew (Nana, News1) and in English (Ha’Aretz, Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom). Teitel’s appeal included a claim that he was guided by an “angel of God”, which was presented as evidence of insanity. The judges were unmoved; they ruled that the man was still responsible for his crimes.

As if to justify the Court’s assessment, Teitel granted Channel 10 an exclusive interview a week later (part Hebrew, part English), in which he revisited the scenes of his attempted murders and explained the what, how and why of his deeds. His matter-of-fact answers were chilling, and filled with details confirming that he indeed understood the consequences of his actions. He even specified that the bomb targeting the anti-settler professor Ze’ev Sternhell was designed only to injure him, while those aimed at the Christians were primed to kill.

When asked how he could be sure that the bomb left at Sternhell’s door would actually get the Professor rather than a family member, Teitel coolly explained, “I trusted in Hashem [God] that the right person would open the door.” Regarding the Ortiz bombing, he was equally casual in admitting his goal of murdering David and/or Leah; except that here, “the right person” did not open the booby-trapped Purim gift: “My intention was to kill. Unfortunately their 14-year-old son was wounded. Umm… That was a bit unfortunate.”

Teitel, who announced in the courtroom that he had no regrets, and asserted that God was “pleased” with him, was denounced by the Supreme Court judges for his hatred and for “trampling” underfoot the “sacred principles” he claimed to be upholding (Ha’Aretz).

After his arrest in 2009, Jack Teitel was nicknamed “the Jewish terrorist” by local and foreign media. His residence in the orthodox Jewish settlement of Shvut Rachel was pounced on by anti-Zionist media, and even repeated by well-meaning Christians, as proof that the religious Jews (or alternately, the settlers) are just as guilty as the Muslims in religious persecution and support of terrorism. Although it sounds like an attempt to be fair, there are several huge flaws in the comparison.

The first is seen in the fact that media could even identify Jack Teitel as “the Jewish terrorist”. This shows how rare such evildoers are among the Jewish people; only a handful have been logged over the last 30 years. Compare that with the reportage on Muslims who kill in honor of their god. These are so numerous they can only be distinguished by the specific atrocities they caused: “the Paris attackers“, “the Lockerbie bomber“, “the Mumbai terrorists“. As of this writing, one tracker has tallied over 1200 Islam-motivated terror attacks in 50 countries… in the first half of 2016 alone.

The second essential difference is the clear disapproval expressed by Israeli media for Jewish violence against Arabs, which (due to the scarcity of injuries and death) tends to focus on damage to Palestinian property as “terrorism“. In contrast, the Palestinian media grabs every opportunity to glorify the killers of Jews as role models.

The third is the sentiment on Israel’s streets. KNI’s own recent poll showed nearly 90% of both Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian leaders in Israel are for taking a public stand against Jewish terrorism. A poll in wider Israel showed the same percentage condemning Jewish terrorists, with three-quarters of Jews and 60% of Arabs acknowledging that such people are “marginal” members of Israeli society. A poll of the Palestinian public around that same time found that 60% of their people applaud Palestinian terrorism against the Jews – a view which includes Israeli Arab terrorists as Palestinian heroes “in the 1948 lands [sic]”.

Last but not least is the action of Israeli authorities in tracking down Jewish terrorists. They have even at times been over-zealous with suspected Jewish violence against Palestinians, such as the Duma arson case, in which investigators were given permission by the government to torture Israeli citizens in order to obtain confessions. In the case of Jack Teitel, who terrorized both Palestinians and fellow-Israelis, law enforcers were more patient and methodical.

The Channel 10 video chronicled the painstaking work of the Shin Bet (Israel’s National Security) agents, who had suspected Teitel of terrorist activity for several years but lacked enough evidence to hold him. After finding his DNA on shrapnel from Sternhell’s bomb, agents began following him 24/7 in order “to catch him red-handed” at his next target. A year later (October 2009), Teitel was finally nabbed while hanging posters supporting terrorism against gays. He then confessed, with some pride, to the Ortiz bombing and other terrorist crimes; the weapon stash at his home indicated he had future plans as well.

Responding to Jewish media complaints that the authorities took too long in arresting Teitel, the Channel 10 report described the difficulty: “he was very professional, he always worked alone, and he never talked to anyone about his activities.”

Imagine the Palestinian media voicing similar complaints about the killers in their community. Imagine reading a Palestinian news editorial mirroring that of the Jerusalem Post: “Is the Palestinian Authority doing enough to fight Muslim terrorism against the Jews?” Maybe next century.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government, police, courts and public have proven to be united in bringing terrorists to justice, even if they invoke the name of the God of Israel.