Update: Nov. 6, 2009.
As noted below, the Ortiz family has now commented about the arrest in the bombing case. Father, mother, and son extend forgiveness to the suspect, Jack Teitel.
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Original post from earlier this week:
A former US Marine who is now an ultra-Orthodox activist in Israel has confessed to security services inside Israel to a bombing that nearly killed Ami Ortiz, son of a Messianic pastor.
Here are additional details from the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, a legal defense organization:
The Jerusalem Institute of Justice would like to congratulate the Israeli Police and the General Security Services for their successful apprehension of Yaacov "Jack" Teitel, the self-described "anti-missionary" activist, who confessed to the bombing of Ami Ortiz on April 20, 2008. Besides his violent activities against Messianic Jews, Teitel a 37 year old former US Marine turned ultra-orthodox, admitted to carrying out several other crimes, including the murder of at least two Palestinian Arabs and the bombing of Israel Prize Laureate Prof. Ze'ev Sternhall.
This religious hate crime is the direct result of the daily incitement which is spread without interference by ultra-orthodox extremists against minority groups in Israel, solely because of their faith and religious affiliation. These same extremists, who do not view Israel as a legitimate state because it is not a rabbinical theocracy, purposefully incite violence and persecute innocent citizens simply because these minorities do not fit into their warped definition of who is a Jew. Indeed, the prosecution of Jack Teitel is an important milestone for Israeli democracy.
The sad reality is that shortly before this religious hate crime in Ariel, posters were spread throughout the neighborhood inciting hatred against the Ortiz family, an act which was ignored by the local law enforcement authorities. It is impossible to overlook the fact that Jack Teitel probably received his evil motivation to murder the Ortiz family from those same posters.
I met with the Ortiz family in Israel in 2008 as their son was recovering from his injuries. I will update this entry, hopefully with comments from the family as soon as those are available.
See the CT editorial from last year, Israel Reconciled to All: