“Knife-wielding man shot dead in midtown Manhattan” was the headline making the rounds on the internet on Wednesday. The man with the knife had not shouted “Allahu Akbar,” nor was he attempting to commit a terror attack. He was simply an apparently inebriated individual, identified as Gary Conrad, who went into a Food Emporium, where he allegedly became “aggressive and belligerent.”
According to NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill, “he was swearing at the people in the store, swearing at the workers in the store.” Swearing, imagine that. What a lethal menace!
A police officer called to the scene began struggling with Conrad, who pulled out a knife. Police officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he continued to approach them with the knife in his hand. At that point, O’Neill said, an officer and a sergeant opened fire on Conrad.
They did not shoot him once. They did not merely aim to neutralize him by shooting him in the legs or his arms. They shot him an incredible nine times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Conrad had displayed “aggressive and belligerent” behavior at a food store by “swearing” and he had threatened police with a knife. For that he was shot nine times. Could this incident possibly be characterized as “disproportionate”?
Had this taken place in Israel, and had this man not been called Gary Conrad, but Mohammed, and had he not been merely an inebriated loon but a terrorist out to slash Jews, international outrage would have poured forth in torrents from the front page of every single news outlet and the mouth of every opinion maker worth his salt. The “disproportionate force” claim would have been thrown about and every self-respecting journalist would have asked why Israel had to kill the man — shooting him no fewer than nine times — instead of simply neutralizing him by shooting him in the legs or the arms and then taking him to hospital.
So far, not a single news report has questioned the judgment of the NYPD. No American liberal has come forth in self-righteous indignation, asking whether killing this man, who, after all, was not threatening to blow up the Food Emporium or stab anyone, may have been slightly on the disproportionate side. But those same liberals lie awake at night and pen heartfelt, emotional diatribes against Israeli “brutality” when Israeli soldiers kill certified terrorists and would-be suicide bombers as a last resort, to protect themselves and Israeli civilians.
Somehow, however, these liberals’ hearts do not bleed for a fellow New Yorker like Gary Conrad. Why might that be? My guess is that liberals, much like everybody else, do not like it when knife-wielding men roam their neighborhoods. It is one thing to sit safely behind your screen thousands of miles away from the Middle East, but it is something else entirely to have someone waving a knife at your neighborhood store, whether that person is a terrorist or just a criminal. Apparently, threatening Israelis with stabbings or blowing them up on the streets of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem is acceptable, but acting “aggressively and belligerently” by swearing inside a Food Emporium warrants death.
I am pointing this out because a knife-wielding man poses the same threat whether he wields his knife in the name of Allah or because his beer was not served fast enough. A killing is a killing. If anything, the response should be far more mild to someone who is merely displaying drunken aggressiveness than the response to someone who is intent on deliberately stabbing as many people as possible. Predictably, however, the press has not made that connection.
CBS news has derived some of the most blatantly biased and incompetent reporting from the terror wave in Israel. Most famously, CBS graced us with the atrocious headline “Three Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on” after three Arab terrorists armed with guns, knives and bombs attacked two border policewomen at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem in February. One of the police officers, 19-year-old Cpl. Hadar Cohen, was killed in the attack.
So how did CBS news react to the killing of Gary Conrad? In the most matter of fact way possible. In fact, they even dramatized it by quoting the terrified witnesses, implicitly making it sound like a valiant rescue operation by the police, never questioning the legality of this “extra-judicial killing.”
According to some witnesses quoted in other news outlets, Conrad had blood pouring out of his head, which would strongly indicate that he had been shot there. Apparently, that is an appropriate response to someone being aggressive and belligerent and swearing in a Manhattan food store, disturbing busy New Yorkers. Real belligerence against Israelis? Now that is an entirely different matter.
(Originally published on Israel Hayom)