web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Betar soccer fans pour out on the field at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium, where Hamas planned to carry out a mass-casualty attack.
Hamas Planned Massive Attack at Teddy Soccer Stadium in Jerusalem
Latest News Stories
Windshield Bullet Hole

As the expression goes, “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.”

Hamas snipers fired from Gaza at an IDF routine patrol operating along the security fence early afternoon on Thursday. No injuries were reported, and the vehicle was damaged. The IDF responded with an artillery shell aimed at the source of fire.

Soap Nuts

Jacob Richman found this amusing mistake in the store. Do we eat these “extra crispy” soap nuts, or wash the dishes with them?

Police arrest suspected terrorist.

For every terrorist cell Israel announces it has captured, there are many more kept under wraps.

On Monday evening, tTwo Arab MKs hurled epithets at MKs David Rotem and Feiglin from the podium. Here is Feiglin’s response.

Most significantly, both sides made progress until they talked about the status of Jerusalem.

If the Shin Bet had not stopped the terrorist cells in its tracks, they would have caused a mass catastrophe.

Thanksgiving is an American secular holiday that most Jews have no problem celebrating due to its lack of overt religious symbols (unlike the American holidays right before and after it). Still, there are always holdouts for some reason or another. Let’s hear what you do…

MK Miri Regev said the law is a difficult and complicated one, and it requires a serious discussion about its downsides, and therefore shouldn’t be rushed into implementation.

The Navy has selected Captain Or Cohen to become the first woman appointed as an IDF Navy ship’s commander.

Three Gazans were captured overnight when they crossed over the security fence into Israel.

Over 200 hair salons across Israel took part in the annual nationwide drive to collect hair for the Zichron Menachem Cancer Support in Israel in partnership with Pantene Products Israel.

In 2014, cruise ship traffic to Israel decreased by almost two-thirds in comparison with the year before.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg had heart surgery on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

“The Israeli government is not interested in the collapse of the Palestinian Authority,” said Arbell, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution who teaches at American University here. “There may be faults in Abbas and the leadership and in what they’re doing, but they’re still the safest bet.”

Shas head Aryeh Deri said this evening on Radio Kol Chai that if Netanyahu met his two non-negotiable conditions, Shas could join the coalition.

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: