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August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘outposts’

Rabbis Remain Silent as ‘Price Tag’ Vandalism Worsens

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

“Price tag” vandals struck the small Arab neighborhood of Sharafat between Gilo and the Malcha Mall and Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem Tuesday night, slashed tires of approximately 30 cars and scribbled graffiti on walls.

They sprayed slogans of “No co-existence” and “Arabs=thieves” in the neighborhood.

Yediot Acharonot reported that a security camera showed three masked men carrying backpacks and entering the area around 3 a.m.

Sharafat residents were enraged at the vandalism, which prevented many of them from leaving driving to work because of slashed tires.

Police are investigating, but they have not been able to win a conviction and barely an indictment in hundreds of previous incidents.

The term “price tag’ refers to Jews who take out their anger against Arab terror and more frequently against government anti-nationalist policies by attacking Arab property.

When the fad of crime started, nationalist leaders and rabbis blamed it on undercover agents working for the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and trying to incite hatred of Jews living on outposts in Judea and Samaria.

Many of the attacks have been carried out at churches and monasteries, and when it became overwhelmingly clear that nationalists were involved, their leaders often dismissed the vandals as a tiny minority whose actions may be illegal but pale in comparison with Arab terror.

Be that as it may, on what Talmudic passage do the rabbis base their dismissal of indiscriminate violence as minor pranks and remain silent?

One leading nationalist rabbi, a peaceful Torah scholar who never would encourage violence, told The Jewish Press several months ago he doesn’t believe that Jewish settlers would do such a thing. Sure, there may be a few hotheads, but all of the reports are false or the incidents are instigated by the Shin Bet, in his view.

Last month, several leading national religious rabbis circulated a petition condemning the price tag attacks, but that was the beginning and end of the “campaign” against violence.

But the petition left open huge room for understanding the frustration of attackers.

“There is a wonderful community of thousands of Jews in Judea and Samaria who are loyal to the State of Israel,” the petition said. “This community is often subject to attack by Arab thieves, vandals, and terrorists.

“We truly empathize with the plight of this community. However, we ask the youth and young adults not to allow them to become sucked into acts of revenge and criminal activities as a result,” the petition said.

“The so-called ‘price tag’ attacks are against Jewish law and ethics. They are illegal and cause a desecration of G-d’s Name. Beyond this, the attacks damage the standing of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and stain the names of a large number of law-abiding people.”

“We ask?” That is the best the rabbis can do? “Oh, poor victimized hothead, please be a bit nice because your acts in the name of God may give us a bad image.”

The kind of soft-glove language in the petition is not the way to communicate with young wild idiots who understand nothing but force.

The petition that states that rabbis “empathize” with attackers and sympathize with their being victims is a cop-out of responsibility.

Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun, unarguably one of the most passive and political compromising national religious rabbis, has been one of the few leaders to label the Jewish vandals for what they are. “Whoever does something like this cannot be included in a minyan or called to the Torah,” he stated.

That is the language these criminals understand.

But no group of rabbis in any of the regional councils of Judea and Samaria has taken the initiative to corner the price tag vandals and threatened them with ex-communication.

Price Tag Suspects Indicted for Arson Setting Arab Cars on Fire

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Three residents of the Gilad Farms outpost in Samaria were indicted Wednesday on charges of setting Arab vehicles on fire and spraying then with two Stars of David.

Police have been sharply criticized for not putting their hands on price tag vandals. Some leaders in the nationalist movement have been claiming that most or all of the alleged attacks never happened and were staged either by Arabs for propaganda or buy Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents trying to slander the outposts.

Indictments have been rare, and there have been no convictions.

US: Negotiations Resume Wednesday, ‘Outpost’ Construction Illegitimate

Friday, August 9th, 2013

In Thursday’s State department’s daily press briefing, Spokesperson Jen Psaki announced that the peace negotiations (lovingly nicknamed MEPP) between the Israelis and Palestinians will resume on August 14 in Jerusalem, to be followed by a meeting in Jericho.

In response to a question about the Israeli government’s decision to build between 800 and 1,000 more housing units on the wrong side of the “green line,” Psaki answered: “Our position on settlements has not changed. We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and oppose any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts.”

But she was quick to add that Secretary of State John Kerry still “believes both of the negotiating teams are at the table in good faith and are committed to working together to make progress.” Meaning, she thinks the announcement was little more than some muscle flexing in Jerusalem, in preparation for the next bout with the Palestinians, nothing that couldn’t be shut down in a phone call. Indeed, she added, “We are speaking to the Government of Israel and making our concerns known.”

According to Psaki, Ambassador Martin Indyk, who’s been not-achieving peace in the Middle East since late last century, and Deputy Special Envoy Frank Lowenstein, also known as a Kerry staffer, “will travel to the region to help facilitate negotiations.”

But lest you raise your hopes in vain, according to Psaki, Kerry does not expect to make any announcements in the aftermath of this round of talks.

As The Jewish Press reported earlier, Secretary Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice held roundtable discussions with Jewish American and Arab American community leaders last night, and there’s one coming this Friday morning, at the White House. These meetings are expected to serve as “an opportunity to update community leaders on the resumption of direct final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as to hear directly from these community leaders about their perspectives.”

Indyk and Lowenstein also attend these two meetings.

Before the first meeting, Psaki stated the Secretary is “looking forward to these discussions with leaders who have been deeply involved in these issues for many, many years, and who share our goal of achieving a final status agreement with two states living side by side in peace and security.”

Or, as our reporter Lori Lowenthal Marcus put it: “Kerry Briefs Jewish ‘Leaders’ (Cheerleaders?) on MidEast Talks.”

To remind you, the first release of Palestinian prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands is scheduled for Tuesday, on the eve of the talks in Jerusalem.

As to the construction in outposts, about which the U.S. is so upset – it began with an announcement by Minister Naftali Bennett earlier this week, about renewing construction in East Jerusalem, a legally annexed area under Israeli sovereignty. But, of course, none of it is happening any time soon. As we told you over these screens, Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home is the one coalition member which is not part of the peace negotiations “team.” By team, of course, they mean anyone but Bennett and Uri Ariel. So, the honorable minister’s ability to turn his promises about construction into actual construction is very similar to your and my ability in the same area.

So he might as well promise a million new uinit. Sounds better and has the same results.

US Implicitly Backs Peace Now Petition to Destroy Outpost

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

The United States pushed itself into the nitty-gritty of Israeli domestic procedures Wednesday by sending a United States embassy official to Supreme Court hearing on a Peace Now petition to destroy the Givat Assaf outpost in northern Samaria

Peace Now was thrilled at the unprecedented involvement in Israel’s domestic affair’s while nationalists were aghast at the implied pressure on Israel judges to approve the Peace Now appeal.

The United States considers a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria an international issue, but to actually attend a local court hearing, especially one initiated by the Peace Now organization, is implicit support for the leftwing group and could affect the court’s verdict.

It is clear that the embassy official, Andrew Schut, was not on an exercise in civics 101.

His appearance at the hearing, although he did not make any comments, comes three weeks after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry personally called Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, to complain about Israel’s recent decision to consider recognizing four Jewish communities in Samaria instead of destroying them.

The United States justifies its interference in anything concerning the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

How far can the American government plant delegates in Israel’s system to force its own policies on Israel?

Perhaps next week the Obama administration will send a representative to sit on a Knesset committee discussing Judea and Samaria.

The latest chutzpah is an escalation of a policy that is aimed at removing Jews from Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem where the Palestinian Authority wants sovereignty.

It started out in a much more subtle form.

Twenty years ago, when I was in charge of security in the community where I live in the southern Hevron Hills, an elderly couple – immigrants from South Africa who converted to Judaism at a relatively late age in life – moved a small housing unit to a deserted and barren hill across from the community where I live.

That was around 1993, after the Reagan administration backed the Madrid Conference that developed into what has been misnamed as the peace process.

One evening, I received a phone call from the U.S. Embassy.

“Hi, there,” said the friendly voice. After exchanging a few pleasantries that I started my journalism career not far from his home town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, he said, “Our satellite noticed that one of those ‘caravans’ on the hill, referring to a small three-room and pre-fab trailer home without wheels.

“I was just wondering where they get their water en electricity,” continued the good ‘ol boy from down south. “Do y’all provide them with that? he asked.

I usually am not at a loss for words, but I was flabbergasted that the U.S. Embassy would call me – at night, no less – about a lonely hill.   I eventually sputtered out that I did not have much information for him.

If the American people, even the leftists, knew how deeply their government is involved into building up an Arab-only presence in Judea and Samaria and “eastern Jerusalem, they would be screaming their lungs out.

Around three years ago, when I was writing for Arutz Sheva, a Jewish Press blogger, whose name I will keep anonymous, called me up one day with a shocking story.

She had bought some old file cabinets from the U.S. Embassy in an auction. When she brought them home, she found some of the drawers were filled to the gills with documents and letters from the U.S. Information Agency that exposed the American government’s attempts to undermine a Jewish presence and to help the Palestinian Authority create a “Palestinian” culture.

Given the history of the State Department’s disgust for  Jews living where the administration wants Arabs, and only Arabs, to live, Schut’s appearance at a Supreme Court is not surprising.

Peace Now chairman Yariv Oppenheimer was ecstatic.

He explicitly stated that he understood Schut’s presence at the hearing as a silent but clear statement to warn Israel to think twice before recognizing the outposts in question.

And although the word ”outpost” conjures up a few wild-eyed radicals living in a circle of wagons, Givat Assaf is a community of more than 20 families working and living like every other normal person in the world.  They live on land that was purchased from Arabs, but like all such purchases, Peace Now insists that the Arab sale was a forgery.

Activists Left Oz Etzion after the Shabbat Clashes

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Dozens of right-wing activists who arrived on Friday to spend Shabbat the Oz Etzion outpost, near Beit El, started to leave Saturday night. A few minutes after the end of Shabbat, the activists took their equipment and continued to the nearby outpost of Givat Assaf. Their departure was conducted under the watch of security forces.

Yesterday the activists clashed with security forces and prevented the evacuation of the Oz Zion residents. Five Border Policemen were slightly injured in the clashes. In addition, the tires of two Border Police vehicles were punctured. The evacuation attempt was launched by dozens of security personnel, including army troops, police forces, the special police force and the Border Patrol.

Some 150 youths were gathered at the outpost for a Shabbat assembly run by Rabbi Dov Lior, one of the leaders of the Jewish Home party, in what had been declared a closed military area.

A few participants have told Ynet that they “were able to activate government ministers to prevent the evacuation because of the Shabbat.”

Security forces claimed the youths threw stones at the soldiers. But the youths, for their part, complained about violence perpetrated by the police, which is why they closed the gates of nearby Givat Assaf.

The youths also reported that soldiers who entered Givat Assaf fired tear gas and used stun grenades. They also reported that Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu was slightly injured from tear gas. The security apparatus confirmed that riot control measures were being used. Israeli police is among the most violent and ruthless when it comes to “riot control measures” against right wing demonstrators.

At least one youth was arrested during the incident Friday. The Oz Zion outpost faced a number of evacuation attempts over the past year, but the residents have always returned shortly thereafter.

The political system wasted no time in launching its attack on Jewish Home and its leader, Naftali Bennett. “Bennett and extremist rabbis led people to that hill deliberately to create friction with the IDF and the state of disobeying orders,” Tzipi Livni of the Movement Headed by Tzipi Livni said in Kiryat Motzkin, where she was attending a public event.

Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz, whose party is expected to disappear in the coming election, responded sharply to the Oz Etzion incident, saying, “Anyone raising his hand against IDF soldiers and security forces it’s as if he raised his hand against the state of Israel, and should be imprisoned. We must treat such cases with a firm hand and not let go.”

Mofaz was Defense Minister during the Gush Katif expulsion of some 10,000 Jews from their homes in 2005.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/activists-left-oz-etzion-after-the-shabbat-clashes/2012/12/29/

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