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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘intifada’

‘I Aimed my Rifle Above the Rock-Throwing Arab Boy’s Head’

Monday, April 15th, 2013

I confess.

As a Reserve IDF soldier, I may have been guilty of not defending my country. “Come and arrest me, Benny Gantz,” but I feel safe that at the age of 69, I will be ignored.

The incident occurred 23 years ago, during the “First” Intifada, a misnomer for the 27-year terrorist campaign launched by Yasser Arafat and another chapter in the century-old anti-Zionist war.

I was escorting a tourist bus on the hilly curves of Beit Jala, a village that is part of the Bethlehem region.

The Intifada had reached the stage of massive rock-throwing and firebombings of army and civilian vehicles.

The IDF really was prepared to fight armies but not rock throwers. How do you defend citizens against rock-throwers, many of them children?

The military’s R & D geniuses came up with the “Hatzatzit” (gravel maker), a tank-like machine that ground up rocks and, in  an “eye-for-an-eye” fashion, sprayed protesters with pebbles.

They were used against large-scale demonstrations but were not available for every rock-throwing incident in Judea and Samaria.

Rocks are the same as bullets in that they are projectiles that can kill, but when you shoot an M-16 rifle, you are almost certain of scaring the daylights out of someone several hundred feet away, or injuring, if not killing him. It is not a hunting rifle, it is used to defend civilians and soldiers from being killed.

Thrown rocks can be deadly, as we know too well. Many Jewish babies and adults have been killed by the impact of a rock through a car windshield, or by a fatal crash caused by a hurdled rock.

That is the ultimate goal of the rock-throwers nowadays. But in 1990, it was more of a symbol of defiance and a challenge to soldiers. The Arabs had stones. The soldiers had guns. That was not seen as a fair fight, but it’s never a fair fight when a Jew wins.

And how about an eight-year-old who back then had no intention to kill.

I remember when I was eight years old, on a snowy day in Baltimore. Our next-door neighbor’s grandson, a neighborhood mischief-maker, led the charge to pelt passing cars with snowballs. I wanted to be accepted by my buddies, so I joined in.

Bam! I hit a guy’s side window head-on. Bull’s-eye. I was exhilarated. I showed my “friends” I could do it.

I was less exhilarated when the driver slammed the brakes and  angrily burst out of the car to chase after us.

He didn’t call the police. Worse than that, we got a nasty response from our parents.

There is no comparison between my childhood incident and the Arab hatred of Jews. After all, I did not hate the driver. But you could compare my pelting a snow ball with the rocks pelted by one eight-year-old Arab, 20-some years ago. The Arabs had not yet educated their small children to murder Jews. They only encouraged them to harass Jews.

That’s what they did when I was escorting that tourist bus.

I was toting an M-16 semi-automatic. My cartridge had one rubber bullet. That was all the ammunition I was allowed to use on stone-throwers. After that first bullet, the others were live. A rubber bullet can kill but usually does not. A live bullet usually kills or injures, unless you’re a bad shot.

As usual, without warning, a rock smashed into a side window of the bus.

The driver stopped, and I rushed out, with my rifle aiming in the air. I saw an eight-year-old running away, his back to me.

I raised my weapon and aimed.

Twenty years later, our son was a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. If it were him in my place, I would have said: “Shoot him. Kill him. If you don’t get rid of him now, the blood of ‘who knows many Jews’ will be on your hands in 20 years when he becomes a full-grown terrorist. My son, this Is Israel and not the diaspora. Pull the trigger.”

I aimed the rifle at the fleeing boy’s head.

Twenty-two years later, my second son was serving in a Tank Brigade. If he had been in Beit Jala, would I have told him: “My son, don’t do it. How can you shoot an eight-year-old in the back? So he threw a rock. So what? Remember the snowball I threw?”

License to Murder: It’s Not Just Amira Hass

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority is the official body behind the recent “intifada” of rocks and Molotov cocktails, and Haaretz journalist Amira Hass has long been the Palestinians’ unofficial spokeswoman. When she wrote an article this week legitimizing rock throwing, she was doing her part in the PA’s effort to stretch a defensive umbrella over the young brutes lobbing rocks and incendiary bombs. They are the ones who mortally wounded baby Adelle Biton. They are the ones who seriously injured musician Itzik Kalah’s wife, Tziyona, four months ago near Beitar Ilit. Both events occured in the so-called settlements blocs: the Palestinians do not discriminate.

The Central Command of the IDF won’t admit it, but a rash of so many terrorist attacks at the same time and with such scope is impossible unless it is centrally organized. The PA, meanwhile, is not in the least embarrassed by what it dubs a “popular intifada.”

The terrorist organizers don’t only deploy terrorists. They also deploy collaborators and lawyers, as well as sympathetic media coverage from within the civilian population under attack (in accordance with the doctrines of terrorism first developed in the Soviet Union).

I don’t have any intention of taking on Amira Hass. She turned traitor long ago, and her case is one for the legal authorities. But is Hass the only journalist in the service of the “popular intifada”? What about the other news media—are they doing their job? Or are they also collaborating, by keeping silent?

Helplessness

Most of the media do not report most rock-throwing attacks. I encountered this reality in the past when my wife and I were nearly lynched on our way home from visiting my parents’ graves on the Mount of Olives. Only a few of the media reported on the injury to my head, even though pictures were provided to them on a silver platter. No journalist came to interview me about what I had experienced, about the feeling of helplessness that comes with the inability to protect one’s wife.

There was my wife’s angle too. She was the one at the wheel. Aside from the fear and the terror, the trembling and the tears that gripped her, the post-traumatic symptoms, she was left with a sense of betrayal. My wife is a nurse, and she has occasion to provide treatment to residents of the Arab neighborhood where we were attacked, while virtually all the teachers from the little terrorists’ school stood outside watching as their students set upon us. Fittingly or not, the principal brought his daughter to be treated by my wife just one week later.

Then there is my daughter the journalist, who hurried to the scene only to discover that this was the same school about which she had published a number of complimentary news items.

And I have to make mention of the two times when I personally rescued Arabs who found themselves in the midst of angry crowds gathered for funerals of terror victims. Yet none of the Palestinians in the dozens of vehicles around us on the Mount of Olives made a move to save us.

What we have here is a perfect scoop by any measure. But almost nothing was published.

So when did the media report on what was happening in the area? Just one day after I was wounded, when City of David head David Be’eri lightly injured an Arab youth who was throwing rocks at his car as he drove through the area. The footage taken by the photographers who had been invited to film the Palestinian ambush, showing the youth being injured by Be’eri’s car, was broadcast repatedly.

Why does this matter so much to me? Because even aside from the media’s rightful function of delegitimizing terrorism with cold weapons, coverage makes a difference. A big difference. In a country where the media are so powerful that they dictate how many resources go to a given criminal investigation, reports carry a lot of weight. When rocks were thrown at an Arab woman last month in Jerusalem, media pressure brought out a slew of investigative teams, and all those who had been involved were quickly arrested. The powers that be made it crystal clear that the law is supreme, and it is enforced … the problem being that it is enforced selectively.

IDF Prepared for the Worst Scenario If PA Rage Explodes

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

A senior officer in the IDF Central Command said the army is “prepared for every eventuality,” the IDF stated on its website but played down media reports of riots.

“The newspaper headlines are more dramatic than the reality in the field, even if recent months have been characterized by more significant events with a higher scale of violence,” the unnamed senior officer said. “The wave of incidents has not ended, but the intensity that we saw last weekend and during the course of recent days has quieted significantly.”

He added that the low number of casualties, without fatalities, suffered from the incidents, fulfilled the IDF’s target of maintaining calm.

The officer said that most casualties were in locations where the level of violence was particularly high, such as the incident at Rachel’s Tomb where rioters hurled improvised grenades and explosive devices at IDF forces.

Rockets Precede Him

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

This morning a rocket (or two according to some news sites) was fired at Ashkelon. No injuries, and of more concern, no siren to give those few seconds of warning. Yesterday, there were riots and many stoning attacks. Hamas has once again called for its “fighters” to kidnap soldiers.

I never for a moment believed this cease fire would last; never thought this was the dawn of a different enemy. But I thought we had more time; I still hope we do. I predicted six months of “relative quiet” – instead, we got only about two months.

And the reason….

I believe it is Obama’s upcoming visit. I do. The Palestinians have been cooking up this idea of when and how to put on the pressure, to start their next intifada. They have always believed that what they cannot achieve through international pressure, lies, and mistruths, they can accomplish with violence. We all knew it was a matter of time – I just thought there’d be more.

It was an M75 long range missile fired at a city with over 120,000 people.

Barack Obama is coming to Israel – for what, we have no idea. Some say to put pressure on Israel not to attack Iran – and for that I ask what right he has to pressure us, to think he knows more of what the Iranians plan to do than we do.

Some say he wants to restart the peace process, another absurd concept showing his utter lack of understanding. Obama does not know how to deal with the Middle East situation, but I have no doubt the Arabs no how to deal with Obama.

It shouldn’t be happening now…and it wouldn’t be, if Obama has not announced his upcoming visit. We don’t need Obama to visit. We simply do not.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother, where this blog was originally published under the title, “It Shouldn’t be Happening Now…”.

 

Palestinians Plan Violence so US Extracts Israeli Concessions

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

There are many signs that the Palestinian Authority is seeking to escalate tensions in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -ed.] ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the region next month.

Although the Palestinian Authority probably does not want an all-out confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis at this stage, some Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah believe that a “mini-intifada” would serve the Palestinians’ interests, especially on the eve of Obama’s visit.

The officials hope that scenes of daily clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians will prompt Obama to exert pressure on the Israeli government to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

This is why the Palestinian Authority leadership has been encouraging its constituents lately to wage a “popular intifada” against Israel, each time finding another excuse to initiate confrontations between Palestinians and Israel.

Now the Palestinian Authority is using the issue of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli prisons as an excuse to call for street protests and clashes with the Israel Defense Forces.

In recent days, dozens of Palestinian protesters have been injured in clashes with IDF soldiers in various parts of Judea and Samaria. The protests are being held in solidarity with four hunger-strikers.

Before that, the Palestinian Authority used the issue of settlements as an accuse to call for widespread protests.

Before that, the Palestinian Authority leadership encouraged Palestinians to protest against Israeli “plans” to destroy the Aqsa Mosque and replace it with the Third Temple.

By encouraging a “popular intifada,” the Palestinian Authority leadership is hoping to bring the Palestinian issue back to the top of the agenda of the U.S. Administration and Israel.

Palestinian Authority officials have in recent months expressed concern over the lack of interest in the Palestinian issue both in the U.S. and Israel.

The Palestinians have been absent from speeches delivered by Obama over the past few months, and the majority of parties that ran in the last Israeli elections did not even mention the Palestinian issue.

But now that all eyes are once again turned toward the Middle East in anticipation of Obama’s planned visit, the Palestinian Authority is working hard to draw the world’s attention to the Palestinian issue, and hoping to achieve its goal by encouraging clashes between Palestinian protesters and the IDF and Jewish settlers.

Although the violence has thus far remained on a low flame, it is expected to intensify as the date of Obama’s visit approaches.

The belief in the Palestinian Authority is that the violence on the ground will push Obama to exert pressure on the Israeli government to comply with the Palestinian conditions for resuming the peace process, namely a full cessation of settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

There is also talk in Ramallah about organizing demonstrations during Obama’s visit, in which he is scheduled to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas. The demonstrations will be held to protest against U.S. “bias” in favor of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority leadership is hoping that the anti-U.S. protests will scare Obama and force him to exert even more pressure on Israel.

The Palestinian Authority’s message to Obama: You must act quickly against Israel before things get out of hand.

It now remains to be seen whether Obama is aware of this attempt to put pressure on him, or whether he will continue to turn a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority’s new-old tactic of initiating an escalation with the hope of extracting concessions from the U.S. and Israel.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute, under the title, “Palestinians Plan Violence to Force the US to Extract Concessions from Israel,” February 22, 2013.

A Third Intifada?

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Yesterday there were riots in Judea and Samaria, as Arabs protested the death of a prisoner held in Meggido Prison, Arafat Jaradat.

Israeli authorities said that an autopsy, carried out in the presence of a Palestinian doctor, did not show signs of torture. The Palestinian Authority claimed, on the other hand, that there was evidence of bruises and broken ribs. Israel said there were rib fractures but they could be attributed to attempts to resuscitate Jaradat. No cause of death could be determined.

The usual suspects — Amira Hass of Ha’aretz, +972 magazine, etc., — all insist, with zero evidence except their hatred of the Jewish state, that he died as a result of torture. Further tests will be carried out, but the actual facts will not change the opinion of 99% of the people on either side of the issue.

Jaradat, 30, had been arrested after a rock-throwing incident in which an Israeli was hurt. There has been an increase in such attacks on Israelis recently. Khaled Abu Toameh reports,

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said over the weekend that he was in favor of a peaceful and popular resistance and that he and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal have reached agreement on the need for a peaceful intifada.

The two met in Cairo during a recent conference of Islamic countries.

Speaking during an interview with Al-Arabiya TV, Abbas said that he fully supported demonstrations against the security barrier and settlements, as well as Palestinian attempts to establish outposts in the West Bank, but stressed his opposition to violent measures.

“Armed resistance is banned,” he stressed. “This is a law and it is forbidden. It is also forbidden in the Gaza Strip.”

Let me translate this apparently Gandhian remark: Arabs are encouraged to engage in disturbances in which they will throw rocks and launch them from powerful slings at Jewish soldiers and civilians. They may also try to tear apart any of the unwary that they get their hands on, and they may throw homemade firebombs. They will do their best to place security forces in the position that they must use force to defend themselves.

The use of actual firearms and explosives, if such occurs (it will), will be attributed to members of extremist groups that the P.A. and Hamas do not control. Shootings and bombings will be deplored, but ‘understood.’

It is also important to understand the rationale and the goals of these disturbances. They are currently focusing on the ‘prisoner issue,’ that is, the presence of Palestinian Arabs in Israeli jails for security-related offenses. Although many, including murderers, were released in trade for Gilad Shalit, Palestinians continue to engage in terrorism and continue to get arrested.

From the Arab point of view, this is insufferable: first, because any anti-Jewish activity is considered resistance to occupation and therefore is justified; and second, because they do not recognize the authority of the Israeli ‘colonialist’ government to arrest Arabs, whom they view as the indigenous owners of the land. The release of prisoners is one of the P.A.’s preconditions for negotiation with Israel, along with stopping construction in the territories and eastern Jerusalem.

But why heat things up just now?

Abu Toameh and other commentators have suggested that it is because of the impending visit of Barack Obama to Israel. Although Obama himself hasn’t said much about it, there are indications — particularly from the new Secretary of State, John Kerry — that a new push for an Israel-PA agreement is in the offing.

Kerry is prepared to look reality in the eye and force it to back down:

“We need to try to find a way forward,” Kerry said at his Senate confirmation hearing last month. He said the window to create an independent Palestinian state and to ensure Israeli security soon “could shut on everybody, and that would be disastrous.”

But creating an independent Palestinian state soon would be the worst possible way to “ensure Israeli security!” It’s hard to imagine what logical process went on in Kerry’s head to make this statement possible.

200 Palestinian Authority Arabs Riot, Hit Two Soldiers with Rocks

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Palestinian Authority violence continued early Wednesday afternoon when approximately 200 Arabs in Samaria rioted and hurled rocks at soldiers who evacuated a small illegal village.

Two of the soldiers were lightly injured and w ere treated on the spot. The IDF shot over the heads of the rioters to disperse them.

The Livni Intifada

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

To grab as many leftist votes as possible from Shelly Yachimovich, whose campaign focuses on social issues, Tzipi Livni is focusing her campaign on the political process with the Palestinians.  There are two components to her strategy: make the problems with the Palestinians worse, and then blame Netanyahu and his administration for them.

In the first stage, Livni contradicted the official Israeli line abroad that the Palestinians had unilaterally violated the Oslo Accords by going to the UN, announcing instead that the Israeli government was to blame for the move.

Then came Olmert, announcing at the Israel Business Conference that Netanyahu is leading the way to a third “intifada.”

Surely enough, their promise that a lack of progress in negotiations would lead to renewed violence by the Palestinians has already proven effective.  Following their pronouncements, predictions and descriptions of a new “intifada” started to hit the media with exquisite coordination.

Granted, neither Livni nor Olmert wants an “intifada.”  But—how did her advisers  put it?—“Livni has put the political process back on the agenda in Israel.”  The Palestinians aren’t idiots.  They do their reading about Israeli elections, and when someone puts in an order for an “intifada,” they’re eager not to disappoint.  Especially when the one putting in the order is a friend.  This explanation is offered—surprisingly—by Ron Ben Yishai in Yediot Acharonot, who is not known as a great fan of the Netanyahu government.  Further, he says, “Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has one more clear goal that he is trying to achieve with threats of another “intifada”: strengthening the center and left in Israeli elections.”

Ben Yishai writes that Abu Mazen is planning articles in the Israeli media while taking care to generate tension and violence in the field, as the number of rock- and Molotov cocktail-throwing incidents increase substantially, with lives lost along the way.

As elections come closer, the level of violence increases.

Not convinced that there could be outright or even unspoken coordination between the Palestinians and Israeli politicians?

Unfortunately, this is nothing new.

In 2010, Netanyahu revealed before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Chaim Ramon had been sent by Shimon Peres to meet with Saeb Erekat and other Palestinian officials, and advised them against being overly eager to start negotiations with Netanyahu.  “You’ll get more from us.”  “Don’t compromise.”  “Wait till we’re in power.”

Ramon and Peres denied it.  But then Ayala Chason of Channel 1 broadcast an interview with the very credible source who had happened to overhear the conversation.

More and more, it seems that what we have here is a joint effort to produce an “intifada.”  Perhaps there are no secret meetings.  But there is an overt tango, albeit one in which the dancers are not quite touching.

Granted, you say, Ramon is always making trouble.  But Livni?  She’s ethical.  She’s innocent.  You can’t say such a thing about her without offering solid evidence.

Sorry, but the burden of proof is on her.  Livni should have gone to her good friends in the Palestinian leadership and said, “Don’t even think about starting an ‘intifada’ and expecting me to stay quiet.”  She should then have gone to the media and, just to dispel any doubts, announced that we all stand united with the administration against any and all threats of Palestinian violence.  “There will be no negotiations under conditions of violence.  Quite the opposite: if there is violence, we will call on the government to take punitive measures.”

The deafening silence that Livni and her people are maintaining in response to Palestinian threats is the smoking gun in the moral case against them.  Livni and Olmert’s use of Palestinian threats to affect election results, meanwhile, is less a smoking gun and more a ticking bomb.

Is it realistic to expect responsible leadership from Olmert?  After all, he and his children won’t pay the price of a new “intifada.”  That will be paid by Israelis driving along the roads of Judea and Samaria, such as Tziyona, the wife of musician Itzik Kala.  She was recently injured very severely in the head while driving toward Jerusalem on Beitar Road.

In the meantime, Abu Mazen, Abu Ala, and the rest of the Abus are pretty pleased with themselves.  Every now and then they toss another stick on the bonfire.  Another few rocks.  Another few Molotov cocktails.

Anything for friends.  Anything to keep the conflict in the headlines ahead of Israeli elections.

Yet the leaders of the right also are being too quiet.  They’ve got to expose and attack this cynical pre-election stunt by Livni and her fellow travelers.  They’ve got to tell them: The burden of proof is on you.  You need to go to the Palestinians and make it crystal clear to both them and the Israeli public that Molotov cocktails and rock-throwing are totally unacceptable to you.

It is intolerable that these people use Palestinian threats and terrorist attacks as part of an electoral strategy of intimidating the Israeli public, thus incentivizing further Palestinian violence. They must be told quite clearly and publicly that if they fail to show some civic responsibility now, then they will bear responsibility for the next “intifada” and its victims.

Originally published in Makor Rishon December 21, 2012.  Translated from Hebrew by David B. Greenberg.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-livni-intifada/2012/12/23/

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