The last week we all witnessed the terrible tragedy that occurred in
It would be a grave mistake if people condemn Islam because of the terror that was perpetrated by Islamist extremists. Certainly accusing the Palestinians of being part of the terrorist groupings is not constructive and it is not the case here.
Back home, the violence in
The Israeli Border Police continue to treat these settler extremists and their supporters with kid gloves and as expected, no arrests were made. Why are these youth not punished? They have caused so much damage to property – Israeli as well as Palestinian. It all boils down to education. The so-called extremist rabbinical educators of the yeshivas where these kids study “firebrand” Judaism – the Judaism of hate not the authentic Judaism of love and tolerance should be blamed for the violence that these religious extremists commit. It is people of the likes of the racist Rabbi Dov Lior that foments hatred and is a catalyst for the settler youth violence. Other rabbis of this ilk preach the same.
The following is a quote from an article “Rabbis who bring shame to Judaism” by Khaled Amayreh:
“Religious extremism is very dangerous. It means that every thinkable vice under the sun can be committed, “sanctioned” and “justified” in the name of the Almighty. In
The teachings also serve as a direct inspiration to numerous Israeli soldiers (by no means all the soldiers. It is NOT the policy of the Israeli Army to indoctrinate the soldiers with religious teachings. I have served in the Israeli Army and this statement is NOT true! The Israeli Army is NOT a racist army. It is concerned with the defense of
Merkaz Harav (the Rabbi’s Center) is the ideological and theological central nervous system of religious Zionism in
Some rabbinic authorities associated with Merkaz Harav have been preaching the view that Palestinians are descendants of the Amalek, or Amalekites, whom the Bible says must be exterminated. Such hateful views are actually espoused by hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers in the
According to Rabbi Kook, “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews-all of them in all different levels-is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the soul of cattle.” The late Israeli philosopher, Yisrael Shahak, pointed out that the teachings of Kook were based on the Lurianic Cabala, one of whose basic tenets is the absolute superiority of the Jewish soul and body over the non-Jewish soul and body “so much so that the world was created solely for the sake of Jews.”
Religious zealots of the right view it as their privilege to settle the West Bank (Judea and
The extent of the violence recently exhibited by the settlers has been "nearly unprecedented" over the past few days and could spark Palestinian revenge attacks, IDF sources said. They called on educators in
Rabbis and principals are "turning a blind eye to their students' skipping school to go to
"We're sorry about the boy who was seriously wounded Tuesday," a military official added, "but the truth needs to be said: He is not a resident of
Right wing extremist rabbis are goading the youth to take the law into their own hands from the roof tops of the so called House of Contention to throw rocks at the Palestinians.
Nearby, a Palestinian youth walking home from school keeps his eye on the rooftop of the building. He knows a stone may be thrown at him from there at any moment. Mohammed al-Jabari, 46, who just finished praying at the Cave of the Patriarchs, said the youths on top of the building throw stones at every Palestinian passing on the street below.
Munwar al-Jabari, 62, lives down the road from the building. Her arm is covered with blue marks she said were caused by stones thrown at her by Jewish youths.
"They called me names. Whore, prostitute," she said. "Then they threw stones. One of them hit me and I haven't received medical treatment since."
Her sons later confronted the Jewish youths but three of them were arrested by police.
The word "vengeance," daubed by settlers on the door to the al-Jabaris' backyard can still be seen underneath a layer of white paint. Three weeks earlier, settlers wrote "death to Arabs" on another wall.
Hate graffiti and stone-throwing recur repeatedly. Such incidents have become routine for Palestinians living near the "House of Contention."
Youths at the building seem determined to make their neighbors' lives a living hell. Seven Palestinians were wounded from stones thrown from the building yesterday, and another seven the day before. However, for some unknown reason, the police's reaction has been very soft.
Amjad al-Jabari, a photographer for the human rights organization B'Tselem, complained to a police officer on Saturday about the constant stone-throwing.
"I asked the officer to place police officers on the rooftops," he said. "He said he could not do such a thing. A few minutes later I was hit with a stone." He takes off his hat and reveals a bandage placed on his head in a way that resembles a skullcap.
"Three days ago I caught a youth who threw a stone at me," he said. "I took him to the police but they let him go after ten minutes."
As Amjad spoke, a police vehicle approached him. The officer stuck his head out the window and shouted angrily toward him: "Tell them, tell them everything." Almost all the Palestinians living near the "House of Contention" have been attacked by settlers.
A few settler youths play the guitar near the entrance to the building - an almost pastoral scene. A youth carrying a backpack gets off a bus at the bus stop set up right outside the building for the settlers' convenience. He enters the building and joins the ranks of those inside. Outside, two women sit in a vehicle keeping an eye on the traffic and warning against unwanted visitors.
Basam and Nabil al-Jabari are renovating their home opposite the Peace House. "We aren't interested in politics," Basam said. "But you are occupying us, so protect us. They attack people randomly, men, women and funerals. What do they want from us?"
The behaviour of these youths is shocking and needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The right wing rabbis are no asset to
Their Judaism is violent and their rabbinical teachers encourage these hooligans to attack Palestinians. According to a Haaretz report of 5th December 2008, a pogrom was committed by the Jewish settlers against the Palestinians:
“An innocent Palestinian family, numbering close to 20 people was surrounded by a few dozen masked Jews seeking to lynch them. This could best be described as a pogrom in the worst sense of the word. First the masked men set fire to their laundry in the front yard and then they tried to set fire to one of the rooms in the house. The women cry for help, "Allahu Akhbar." Yet the neighbors are too scared to approach the house, frightened of the security guards from Kiryat Arba who have sealed off the home and who are cursing the journalists who wish to document the events unfolding there.
The cries rain down, much like the hail of stones the masked men hurled at the Abu Sa'afan family in the house. A few seconds tick by before a group of journalists, long accustomed to witnessing these difficult moments, decides not to stand on the sidelines. They break into the home and save the lives of the people inside. The brain requires a minute or two to digest what is taking place. Women and children were crying bitterly. They had fear on their faces. Stones land on the roof of the home, the windows and the doors. Flames engulf the southern entrance to the home. The front yard is littered with stones thrown by the masked men. The windows are shattered and the children are frightened. All around, as if they were watching a rock concert, are hundreds of Jewish witnesses, observing the events with great interest, even offering suggestions to the Jewish wayward youth as to the most effective way to harm the family. The police and the army were nowhere to be seen.
Ten minutes prior, while the security forces were preoccupied with dispersing the rioters near the House of Contention, black smoke billowed from the wadi separating Kiryat Arba and Hebron. For some reason, none of the senior officers of the police or the army was particularly disturbed by what was transpiring at the foot of Kiryat Arba. Anyone standing hundreds of meters away could notice the dozens of rioters climbing atop the roof of the Abu Sa'afan family home, hurling stones”.
The settler youths who committed these ghastly acts have the audacity to accuse the Israeli Army of being Nazis. If anything their loutish behaviour and the destruction of Palestinian property and injury they caused illustrates who are the real Nazis and racists in the territories.
The apologetic attitude of the right wing Likud and its further to the right allies towards the settlers is appalling. While admitting that those “hill top youth” ought to be punished for their hooliganism towards the Israeli Security Forces, they did not condemn the violence towards the Palestinians. This is the party destined to win the Israeli Elections in February 2009 and has no desire to make peace with
The losers will be the Israelis and the Palestinians as the Likud and its right wing allies will lead