Teital is further along in the legal process: there's already an indictment which spells out what the prosecutors know. The Hassan case probably won't reach that stage for many weeks, so there's more room for uninformed public speculation - on blogs, say.
The responses are interesting. Teital lived in an immediate environment - the Shvut Rachel settlement - which contains animosity towards Arabs. The Rachel in the name of the settlement was a young woman murdered on the nearby road, and the settlement was put there in response. The people there are law-abiding citizens, but, yes, they feel at war. Having said that, however, I have yet to hear a single voice even hinting at any form of exoneration for Teital. See this response from some of his wife's family, this morning:
Avitan reiterated his stand that the family plans to cut itself off from Teitel. "His response at the courtroom this morning proves that the man is disturbed. In any event, we are completely distancing ourselves from this man. A person who does such terrible things should deal with them alone. We have a lot of work to do, each busy rehabilitating our own lives," he said.
Teitel's sister-in-law, Dasi Kreif, commented on the condition of her sister Rivka, the wife of the "Jewish terrorist".
There was no doubt that an indictment would be filed following these terrible actions. We are trying to go on with our lives, but Rivka will have to deal with a great crisis in her life. It will ruin her life. At this stage she refuses to believe as long as she has not met with him privately, looked him in the eye and asked him. Soon she will begin to understand, and it will be very difficult."
Not a word of support for the man or his actions; and even the statement that he's disturbed is a social description, not a medical one. It's intention is derogatory - that man is a lunatic - not exoneration. No-one's saying Teital is a lunatic so not responsible for his actions or anything of the sort. This is as it should be: the man is a murderer and belongs in jail.
Then there is Hassan. Over here you can see how Richard Silverstein and some of his readers already know he's mentally ill; indeed, his illness blocked him from understanding reality. Now, I recognize that Richard and his followers don't represent much - rather like the lunatic fringes of Israeli society don't represent the mainstream. Still, it's interesting to see the degree of bile they're willing to deploy in their race to prove that Hassan is mentally ill and nothing else.
Mental illness, just for the sake of the science, is a horrible thing. The people it afflicts suffer from it hugely. Some manage to live normal lives most of the time, some never manage at all. There have been geniuses with mental illness, though we don't know if there's a connection between the two; perhaps they'd have been even more creative had they not had the illness to cope with. There's the exceedingly rare case where the mental illness may even contribute to greatness - we talked about Abraham Lincoln in this context a few months ago. Rarely, there are people whose illness drives them to violence. But that's very rare, it's not easy to prove, and in any case, no serious person would ever base themselves on some media reports to determine the condition.