Time for the Hurndalls to stop their sniping

So, Taysir Hayb will be a free man next month. The IDF Sergeant, found guilty of manslaughter after shooting British “peace activist” Tom Hurndall in 2003, is to be released after serving five years of his eight-year sentence.

But the Hurndall family’s “anger and shock” at Monday’s announcement is not, says Sophie Hurndall, Tom’s sister, directed at the soldier who fired the bullet, but rather at the IDF and Israel as a whole: “To be honest, it’s about the system. Not the man himself. This man who shot Tom was the same age as him. He is both the victim and the killer. He is part of a system that proactively encouraged soldiers to target civilians.”

That is bollocks, Ms. Hurndall (as anyone who has served in the IDF can testify).

I was back in England at the time of the shooting of Tom Hurndall (right), in the Gaza town of Rafah, at the height of the Second Intifada, in April 2003. I was also there throughout his nine-month coma, until his death, aged just 22.

And, during the Hurndall family’s protracted UK media campaign against Israel, I was continually forced to question my capacity for empathy for feeling so little about their obvious (and natural) suffering. In fact, the only thing that the Hurndalls’ campaign did move me to do – although, in the end, I didn’t (for which I am now glad) – was to drop a letter into their north London home (close to mine), with my condolences, but also telling them that Tom had absolutely no business being there in the first place.

And this week’s comments by Sophie Hurndall – who works for Medical Aid for Palestinians – have only served to remind me of just how I felt (or, rather, didn’t) seven years ago. No, my heart has not softened with the years.

While I, of course, take no joy in the tragic death of Tom Hurndall, the time has come for his family to take a good look at themselves, too, and to ask certain painful questions about the decisions and actions of their son and brother, and about how they may have influenced or prevented them:

  • What right did Tom Hurndall have to interfere with IDF operations – his declared goal was to blockade tank patrols – at the height of the Second Intifada, in the then war zone of Gaza?
  • Did he possess any comprehension whatsoever as to the entirely justified purpose of those operations (i.e., to protect Israeli citizens)? Or did he, maybe, view Hamas and Islamic Jihad as some kind of benevolent presence that Israel could simply ignore? Perhaps, for him, Jewish lives – as opposed to Palestinian ones – were just unimportant?
  • Why did he choose to be a “peace activist” in the only democracy – or, at least, the only country that can reasonably claim to be one (as even Israel’s enemies could not deny) – in the entire Middle East? Why not in one of the many Islamofascist, or other, tyrannies the world over?
  • And, anyway, as a self-proclaimed “human shield” – purportedly of children (endangered only because they themselves are used as such by Palestinian militants) – did Hurndall not succeed in his stated purpose?

Without in any way condoning the actions of Sergeant Hayb (right), to whose intent only he was privy, one wonders how long Tom Hurndall would have survived in Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, attempting to impede the operations of British or American forces there: How long would it have taken before an irate – or, perhaps, ever so slightly unhinged – squaddy,  in the “pressure cooker” of a war zone (which Gaza was no less), thought “F*ck this! I have had quite enough of this interfering little prick”?

To me, Tom Hurndall – like Rachel Corrie just before him – is not the hero that he is so often portrayed to be. He was, rather, a very misguided young man, appearing to suffer from the misapprehension – even more popular these days, and shared by his family – that Israel’s war against Islamofascism is a gratuitous rather than strictly necessary one, and that Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants are, somehow, not really dangerous.

“We have had to deal with cover-ups and lies and a total lack of accountability throughout, and this is in line with that – it’s symptomatic,” continued Sophie Hurndall on Monday.

Bollocks, once again.

Sergeant Hayb was tried and convicted (if following several months of pressure from the Hurndalls). Would Tom Hurndall’s death in Iraq or Afghanistan (as described above) have resulted in a similar outcome? I very much doubt it. And under an Islamofascist dictatorship, such as the one Hamas is establishing in Gaza, the Hurndalls would still be trying to discover how and why their son ‘disappeared’, and whether he is still alive . . . while, all the time, his dismembered body was lying at the bottom of some well.

Of course, the fact that Sergeant Hayb is a Bedouin rather than a Jew has all been rather inconvenient for the Hurndalls, forcing them to modulate their rhetoric to the media over the past seven years.

On the other hand, the Jewish state is a much larger, easier, and – in these dark days – popular target than the particular motivations and reactions of a 20-year old, non-Jewish soldier.



19 responses to “Time for the Hurndalls to stop their sniping

  1. Jeremiah Bullfrog

    Many anti Zionists & anti semites play ‘russian roulette’ by dancing on the front line.

    Tom Hurndall & Rachel Corrie got the unfortunate barrel!

  2. Like the sh*t-for-brains sea-clowns who get their boats sunk while interfering with whalers, these silly-ass human shields who get flattened, shot or beaten like gongs in war zones are the purest examples we have today of perfect, instantaneous justice. Traipsing on the wrong-side morally as well as geographically of every issue, they simply get what they bloody-well deserve.

    And, yes, it is sickening that the target governments of these hapless imbeciles allow themselves to be brow-beaten into screwing over their own citizens when the all too inevitable happens.

    And while I’m at it, the Gaza Flotilla should’ve been sunk on sight and the sea set ablaze to catch any of those f*ckers who might’ve been smart enough to wear a life-belt….

  3. Thank you for helping me articulate my thoughts Mr Melchett. Indeed. Bollocks Ms Hurndall.

    I believe that only those who lack integrity and self awareness would use the shield of a dead relative to spew disgusting propaganda at a country they so obvioiusly hate.

    It’s a shite excuse of a shield and totally transparent to the filth behind it.

    Whilst I would tone the language down, I would tell the mother and sister exactly what they are doing if I ever had the misfortune of meeting them.

    Talk about milking someones death.

  4. Ben Wulfsohn

    Mike – Thanks for your well thought out and articulated piece. I can’t say the same for “Jimbo’s” response, which was quite idiotic. Comparing the IDF to a whaling fleet? Quite ridiculous. The Japanese slaughtering thousands of whales for “scientific” purposes and the selling the meat on the market is not the comparison I would seek if I were in the IDF. Jimbo places the IDF in bad company. And suggesting they should have set the flotilla ablaze. I think I understand the indignation-motivated sentiment, but really not a helpful suggestion given that I believe Israel has the high ground on that incident (despite what the world might think), and your plan would have given them the high ground. Possibly he was just being deliberately flippant on that point.

  5. Ben, Ben, Ben, read it again; I made no such comparison. I compared the morally inverted sense of self-appointed guardianship over murderers that the human shields have with that of the anti-whaling ass-hats. I did not compare the IDF to anything.

    Perhaps your inability to catch the subjects of my comparison is due to your identifying somewhat perversely with the aforementioned ass-hats. Do you see yourself as a Whale Cop, Ben? Is that it? “Slaughtering”, Ben? Really? You make it sound so, so, so savage! I prefer the word “harvesting” myself and couldn’t care less if it’s done in order to over-feed the pampered Akitas of the Jap Royal Family or for greasing the bearings on the engines of every dolphin-killing tuna boat in Japan, it still doesn’t give the Greenpeace pirates the right to interfere with the work, and endanger the lives, of whalers. Nor does it give them the right to complain when they get hurt putting their facile, sophomoric politics into practice. Whales are just big, useless-when-alive, swimming mammals, Ben. If they all disappeared tomorrow, the sky would, I promise you, remain aloft.

    As to my comment about setting the sea ablaze after sinking the Gaza Flotilla, I admit to being flippant, Ben, and a tad bombastic, and assure you that I meant to say something completely different; to wit: The f*ckers should’ve been harpooned for practice by Israeli fishermen. After all, there’s not much whaling competition out there on the high seas; could be a nice little earner. It always pays to think ahead, Ben.

  6. Tom Hurndall was a foolhardy idiot who, on a whim, went into a warzone, in a country he had no previous connection with, his sole intention being to disrupt military operations. The man who shot him was brought to justice and imprisoned.

    Ironic then, that news of Tayb’s release should coincide with this weeks announcement that no charges are to be brought over the death of Ian Tomlinson. And then of course, there was Jean Charles de Menezes – anyone prosecuted over that?

    Another thing….. why, in the wake of Hurndall’s demise, was it that the British media constantly referred to Tayb as ‘unnamed’ when so far as I’m aware, his identity was not a secret. Could it be anything to do with the fact that he was a Bedouin I wonder?

  7. Daphne Anson

    A very thoughtful and characteristically well-written piece, Mike. While sympathising with the Hurndall family, and lamenting the death of one so young as Tom, I agree with you entirely.

  8. Ben Wulfsohn

    Jimbo- Obviously we disagree environmental issues and compassion(or lack there of) for whales and for the legality of Japanese whaling but since this would be a digression from the blog’s subjectmatter, I will drop the matter. And since you admit to being flippant on the other matter, I will drop that too and leave room for more contructive discussions on this blog.

  9. Ben–agreed! And guilty as charged.

    As to the subject matter, the Hurndall Affair, I unflipperantly (see what I did there?) agree with Mike’s inference that the age-old moral inversion regarding the Jews is asserting itself here, once again aided by the emotive terminology employed by the anti-Semitic left. The qualities of the adjective in the term “Human Shield” seem to be conferred on the shields themselves and the ones they’re shielding ONLY—it is never applied to the Jews. This is made apparent by the Hurdalls’ targeting of their major criticisms at the IDF and Israel, rather than the non-Jewish Hayb—and the fact that you never see work-shy, western waterheads volunteering to be human shields for anyone except Israel and her ally/Puppet-Master, the Great Satan….

  10. Spot on post; such truisms and yet all but invisible in the mainstream media – fantastic blog ( I speak as an ex-Hasmo pupil and son of the late Joseph Witriol).

  11. To zchug:
    I have very fond memories of your father z”l who was my form master around 1970/71. Did he stay at Hasmo until his retirement (when was that?)? And how long ago did he pass away?

  12. Thanks for your kind words. My father passed away in 2002 having retired from Hasmo in 1978. I’ve just discovered this superb blog (as a result of idly googling my brother’s name!) and hope to put up something about my dad in due course.

    Apparently, our dad doesn’t come off too badly (according to one or two of his class of 71) so I will search his name with somewhat less trepidation!

    All the best,


  13. Your response is right on point. Why should Israel be held to a higher standard than the worst Arab or Persian tyranny. As a general moral principle, as long as evil goy countries exist that do worse things that Israel and the activists don’t say a word about them, then Israel and Israelis like you, should ignore their complaints as anti-semitic.

    For example, our Arab friend “Dudu” who was busted for sex with a Jew. I heard some blond cow start bellowing about Israeli “racism” when she told me he was convicted, so I asked her why she didn’t complain about all the Arab countries in which fornicators and adulterers are hung or stoned! No answer. She was just another self-hating Jew.

  14. I am rather late in coming to this blog and found it via Richard Millett’s site.

    Obviously Hurndall should not have been there but unless I missed it above the fact is that he went to Iraq first and Iraq was too hot for him.

    There was also a great fuss about James Miller. But since 1992 about 800 journalists have been killed in war zones. I don’t know of anyone suing the government of the region except of course in the case of Israel.

    Bad as our governments are they do issue warnings and travel advisories for dangerous areas including the Territories.

  15. “found it via Richard Millett’s site”?!

    That’s like saying that you came across The Stranglers after hearing Elastica!

  16. U. R. Khazar

    What world are you, or rather your tiny brain, living in? Some lightless moral swamp where up is down and down is up, filth is clean and clean is filth? And stop this infantile obsession with yourself. There are more ‘I’ s in your piece than in a hydra’s heads – maybe that is how you see yourself, as a hydra? Do grow up Monsieur l’diot de village!

  17. Jeremiah Bullfrog

    Re reading Melchett’s post underlines the tragic loss of life. Hurndall’s life was no less valuable than any other life lost in the depths of war. I am amazed at the stupidity of those who choose to enter war zones with the belief they are immune to a stray bullet.

    I met recently with a renowned British Colonel. He could not speak highly enough of the methods used by the IDF in conducting their operations against their opposite foe with every attempt to minimise loss of civilian life. Even with the greater care shown by the IDF, tragedy can occur & Hurndall paid the price.

    But then who in their right mind would opt to enter a war zone by choice ? He was young, naive & stupid enough & perhaps ‘brain washed’ to think it was just like a ‘picnic in the park’.

  18. If you are interested, U. R. – from the distinguished Atwat clan perchance? – I hear they are looking for human shields.

    In the meantime, however, if you are irritated by the first tense, I suggest you stop reading blogs!

    Fond regards from the Jewish State,


  19. Someone mentioned Rachel Corrie? Here’s a little ditty:

    Rachel Corrie – In Memoriam
    Did you ever hear of rachel corrie?
    no-one’s really very sorry
    the girl is dead
    that’s what they said
    her end was really very gory

    Jews and their kids were her favorite quarry
    about terrorists she’d sit and worry
    until she was covered
    by a bulldozer smothered
    now no corrie no worry no sorry

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