web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Who Is Behind the Wave of Fires in Israel?


Several fires started in the Jerusalem forests this summer, but only a few were started over nationalistic sentiments.

Several fires started in the Jerusalem forests this summer, but only a few were started over nationalistic sentiments.
Photo Credit: Oren Nahshon/FLASH90

Firefighters cannot remember a summer like this in many years. For the past few weeks, the country has been burning. But this story is not about the blazes, according to Channel 2 News reporter Shay Gal, rather it is about the blame that is immediately flung into the air, usually even before the fires subside. As renowned Journalist Ed Murrow put it: A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

Two Intifadas and continuous hostilities have solidified the idea in Israelis’ minds. It’s not as if there aren’t cases of arson based on nationalistic motives, but those take place mainly in areas along the line of demarcation between Israel proper and the disputed territories. Still and all, every time a wave of fires sweeps through our country’s forests, we are quick to suspect that the Intifada has returned.

The fire that broke out in June at Kibbutz Maale Hachamisha served as a good example of this worrisome phenomenon. There it happened because of a Molotov cocktail that was thrown from a neighboring village – in other words – arson. Minutes later, a fire was lit in Motza as well. The immediate assumption was that the arsonist continued directly there. However, in Motza it was actually workers at an archeological site that went out to lunch and left the fire burning, and so that story was gone.

Last Wednesday, there was a fire on a mountain adjacent to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. The first suspicion here was also arson. The following day, Gal returned to the mountain with arson investigator Moshe Elazri of the Fire Department. “We discovered signs of beer bottles here,” he relates. People from the village even related that they had seen people making a barbecue in the area.

As the fire investigator was talking, the wind that had caused the coals to burn began to blow and the fire broke out again. Everything started again right in front of their eyes. The picture becomes clear; a command center was established and fire trucks rushed to the area. Then, inevitably, a report came over the wire: “Listen, there are some individuals here that are starting fires all over the place.”

“I don’t know what they’re talking about here,” said Elazri and thereby clarified the absurdity in the flammable situation.

And, as the command center was preparing to alert helicopters to search for suspects of an arson that had never been committed, Elazri tried to calm everybody down. “Eli, I was just at the scene where the fire started again – no arsonists.” A short while later, the fire was extinguished; for the prejudice to be extinguished will take more time.

On the way to the next destination, Elazri looked at a tree trunk that was still burning, a clue that the fire could once again break out. From there, they continued to another, heavy-topped tree, the kind that started the fire in the Carmel forest tragedy. Officials back then suspected two children who were playing in the area.

“We’re referring to a 75 square dunam area that was burnt – almost half the area of the forest,” explains Dr. Leah Wittenberg that has been researching the effects of the Carmel fire for years. She estimates that it will take 40-50 years before the forest will get back to its original, green state. The recovery process, surprisingly enough, has not even begun.

According to Israel Police statistics, 500 new arson files have been opened since the beginning of the year. At least 400 suspects have been arrested. However, be aware, nationalistically motivated arsons constitute less than one per cent of the incidents, or about 10 incidents. The rest of the fires are either criminal arson or simple negligence.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Who Is Behind the Wave of Fires in Israel?”

  1. Roc Diaz says:

    lets just simplify it, the arabs are causing these fires as they do every year especialy at this time which is ramadan. in a few weeks things will get back to normal. durning this time of year the arabs are very aggresive towards the jewish people especially on an individual level.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Did you read the article????

    "nationalistically motivated arsons constitute less than one per cent of the incidents, or about 10 incidents. The rest of the fires are either criminal arson or simple negligence."

  3. Roc Diaz says:

    you live in da bronx, i live here.i think i know more than you do about it. there is not too much simple negligence here in israel regarding fires. there are some insurance scams but alot of the fires the firemen are speaking of are brush fires, these are started by the arabs in a symbolic gesture to burn down israel. when a small fire is started and it climbs up a hill bordering a community, its usually becase an arab started it with the worst intentions in mind, although these types of arsons rarely get out of hand enough to hurt anyone. if you dont live here, dont think you know jack $h%t, cause you dont.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Ben & Jerry's new flavor: Bernie Sanders
Ben & Jerry’s Launches New Flavor: Bernie Sanders
Latest News Stories
Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with US Senator Lindsey Graham in Jerusalem.

The South Carolina senator may run to be the Republican presidential nominee but has little chance of winning.

Israel Air Force attack jet.

The request comes out to $4.1 billion a year starting from 2017, 10 percent more than the current military aid.

Ben & Jerry's new flavor: Bernie Sanders

The firm’s Jewish co-founders handed out $1,500 worth of ice cream at Sander’s presidential campaign event in Vermont on Wednesday.

Hareidi Rabbis of the Committee for Shabbat” will vote against funding for a new Sportek in Jerusalem because of fears of “wholesale desecration of Shabbat.” “For the sake of Zion and Jerusalem, we will not remain quiet,” the rabbis wrote in their statement. The Jerusalem City Council is to vote Thursday night on funding the […]

Does the popularity of smoking grass mean that is good for the soul?

The US decides “no more extensions” as international nuclear talks with Iran come down to the wire.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky expresses his firm support for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.

With temperatures soaring, everyone is getting in the water…

Russia closed its deal Monday to deliver the powerful S-300 missile defense system to Iran… eventually.

Flash floods and more rain in Texas means a rising death toll and desperate people searching in kayaks.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Netanyahu government voted Wednesday to form a new ministerial committee on Arab affairs.

Shurat HaDin calls for expulsion of PA soccer chief Rajoub for inciting terror – hours before Swiss arrests of FIFA officials for various charges of corruption.

Rabbi Riskin believes the Rabbinate must be prepared to accept Halachic decisions that aren’t Ultra-Orthodox.

The case also called for banning the sale of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Liberation newspaper in Egypt over “blasphemy against Prophet Mohamed.”

Saed Erekat: Israel first must agree to all of our terms before we negotiate.

The temperature is expected to reach extreme levels today, drink water.

More Articles from Jacob Edelist
F130210FFMS04

“Over-exposure of security and intelligence activities may seriously harm state security.”

Handle of a footed marble basin decorated with Seilenoi heads, the 1st century BCE.

Lionized as “the greatest builder in human history,” King Herod was also demonized for his cruelty and his shady religious origins.

“We expect continued firing of hundreds of rockets in the coming days.”

The plan is to stagger their recruitment, to allow IDF manpower officials to study the process.

Hamas called the meeting to try and avoid further casualties.

Some of the supervised, ‘bug-free,’ leafy vegetable growers are using higher levels of pesticides than allowed by Health Ministry standards.

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Sunday that Iran has in its possession UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) which are far more advanced than the one which the Hezbollah recently sent into Israel.

Last Sunday, Netanyahu told Likud ministers he plans on adopting part of the report without relating to broad legal interpretations, to avoid international criticism. Still, the proposal will add legal flexibility and remove bureaucratic obstacles, making Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria considerably easier.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/who-is-behind-the-wave-of-fires-in-israel/2012/08/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: