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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘price tag’

Nazi Epithet Removes Amos Oz From Israeli Discourse

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

The true shame about Amos Oz’s epithet “neo-Nazi” to describe Israeli price-tag thugs is that the essence of his comments are important food for thought. But by choosing outrageous populist rhetoric over nuanced criticism, Oz essentially relegated his concerns to the wastebasket of history.

Before rejecting Oz’s comments, it is important to note that he could be an important social voice for Israelis of every stripe. His books, from My Michael to In the Land of Israel to A Tale of Love and Darkness reveal a passion for Israeli society, and for the Land of Israel, that few contemporary writers have managed to capture. Oz’s 1950s-era Jerusalem is a quiet border town where observant and secular Jews lived together as neighbors. His writing betrays a deep, emotional connection to the city, and to the Jerusalemites with whom he shared his adolescent years.

Oz’s relationship with Jewish tradition is less obvious, but a close reading of his work in Hebrew brings to mind another of Israel’s leading writers: Nobel laureate Shai Agnon. In contrast to Agnon, Oz’s work does not obviously draw on traditional sources or Jewish history. But he is clearly influenced by Agnon, and perhaps therefore by Agnon’s close relationship with Jewish sources. In short, it is simply impossible to dismiss Amos Oz as a “self-hating” Jew or Israeli.

All of which is what makes Oz’s absurd comparison of price tag vandals to European neo-Nazis so upsetting. Self-criticism is a sign of strength, not weakness, and many of Oz’s observations about the religious-Zionist world are deserving of consideration. Yes, many religious Zionist communities have failed to excise the price taggers from their midsts (public condemnations from religious Zionist leaders notwithstanding, does anyone doubt that price taggers would be awarded aliyot [Torah honors] at most synagogues in Judea and Samaria?). It is true that the price taggers enjoy a certain measure of backing, stated or implied, from rabbinic figures in Judea and Samaria and farther afield. Religious Zionist would do well to consider those facts.

Similarly, the need to denigrate Muslims or Christians in order to validate Judaism, settlement activity or our historic connection to the Land of Israel is a sad comment on the state of Torah Judaism. Is our belief in the Torah really that shaky that we feel a need to bring down other faiths, rather than rely on the validity of ours?

Our rights to and in the Land of Israel not dependent on rejecting other groups, and it does not do our community proud to be associated with pathetic grafitti. It is rightly a point of pride that Israel is a haven for religious freedom. It should go without saying that minority groups need not be made to feel subject to attack.

These criticisms are valid, or at least are important points for discussion, in our communities. Oz is correct to ask whether a Judaism that relies on insulting others is a Judaism we want to sustain.

But his use of the epithet “Nazi” effectively reduces his views to little more than the wild ranting of a hate-filled man. By equating graffiti on a mosque wall to the gas chambers for which real neo-Nazis clamor, Oz has taken himself out of the realm of legitimate social commentator. His comments are no longer astute, concerned observations about Israeli society, but rather venomous invective directed at a subset of that society that Oz has designated as “enemy.” If the settlement community are neo-Nazis, if Judea and Samaria Israelis – rather than the price tagging minority here – are the errant weed of Israeli society, it stands to reason there can be no compromise on the uprooting of their communities and of the total neutralization of their role in society.

Minister Warns ‘Don’t Confuse ‘Price Tag’ Vandalism with Terrorism

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) came out strongly Wednesday evening against lawmakers claiming that ‘price tag’ vandalism attacks were tantamount to terrorism.

The minister demanded at the emergency meeting that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch prove how ‘price tag’ attacks meet the definition of ‘terrorism.’

Ministers Livni and Aharonovitch had earlier Wednesday vowed a crackdown on the price tag attacks, referring to them as “terrorism.”

“Price tag” is something that is absolutely forbidden and should be not allowed to take root anywhere in our country,” Ariel said. “The criminals must be brought to justice,” he continued, but “terrorism is murder and [involves] intent to kill by throwing rocks, shooting, firebombing, car bombs and more.”

There is a difference, he said, and “the repeated failure of the police and Shin Bet to bring the perpetrators to justice does not turn these illegal acts into terrorism.”

Ariel called on lawmakers to clearly differentiate between murderous intent, and serious hate crimes that involve spray-painted graffiti and slashed tires.

Israeli-Arab Students Rebuild Shul in Response to Graffiti Attack

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Acts of vandalism and graffiti have been on the rise against both Jews and Arabs throughout Israel, as of late.

In response to anti-Arab graffiti and vandalism that has repeatedly hit the Northern Israeli-Arab town of Shfaram, 100 Israeli-Arab students decided the proper response would be to fix up the ancient synagogue in the town, according to a report on Israel’s Channel 2.

The directors of the project said, “This is our answer to the extremists who are trying to destroy the [Jewish-Arab] coexistence in our country.”

The Shul dates back to at least the early 1800′s, and possibly even earlier than that. The town was populated with Jews until the 1970′s, when the last Jewish family left the town.

The town of Shfaram became famous in 2005, when AWOL IDF soldier Eden Natan-Zada shot up a bus of Israeli-Arabs from Shfaram, killing 4 people and wounding 12. After being captured by police, he was lynched by Shfaram’s residents.

Some youths at the time wanted to also destroy the shul, but the mayor of the town forbade it.

One can certainly hope that this latest act and mindset of coexistence spreads wider.

Former Shabak Head Criticizes Organization’s Failures as Self-Imposed

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Former Shabak (Israel’s secret service) chief Carmi Gilon, speaking on the failure to stop “Tag Machir” (Price Tag) vandalism, said of the Shabak, “We don’t see results because we don’t have the intention to.”

Gilon added about the Shabak, “There’s no such thing as can’t – there’s don’t want to.”

Carmi Gilon was the head of the Shabak when it failed to prevent the assassination of PM Yitzchak Rabin.

Gilon also ran agent provocateur Avishai Raviv and aggressively went after Rabin’s grassroots civilian opponents who understood the dangers of the Oslo Accords.

Gilon’s agent, Avishai Raviv, instigated a number of high-profile provocations and tried to incite others to commit violent attacks against Arabs in order to lay the blame for these activities on Israel’s religious, settlers and all those who opposed the Oslo Accords.

One of Raviv’s more famous missions included creating and distributing the poster of Yitzchak Rabin in an SS uniform, which was then blamed on Rabin’s political enemies.

Police Arrest Boaz Albert on Suspicion of Attacking IDF Post

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Dozens of police pounced on the home of Boaz Albert in Yitzhar Wednesday afternoon and arrested him for allegedly participating in the rampage Tuesday on an IDF post in the community, according to the Hebrew-language Kol HaYehudi website.

The assault on the military post Tuesday caused widespread damage, as reported here.

Albert was arrested three month after he was released  from jail following his refusal to obey an administrative order to stay away from his home.

Police on Wednesday  also arrested a 25-year-old man at the Gilad Farm community on suspicion of involvement in Tuesday’s rampage.

The farm and Albert both have been become  symbols representing different images to different people – heroes of the settler movement who have not surrendered to violent midnight arrests and demolitions, and villains for anti-nationalists who see them as extremists who place themselves above the law.

Albert was in the headlines earlier this year after refusing to honor a military order that prohibited him from staying at his home but without any specific charges filed against him. Police arrested him several times for violating the order. During one arrest, it took police four hours to take him into custody because he had chained himself to floor.

Albert stayed in jail four months until he was finally freed.

Tuesday’s violence following the demolition of four homes in Yitzhar. The spokeswoman for the Shomron Regional Council called the destruction of the house a “price tag’ operation in revenge for a  Yitzhar youth having punctured the tires of an army vehicle.

Last August, a YouTube video showing the repeated use by police of a Taser gun on Albert shocked nationalist politicians as well as some leftist human rights activists. Police claimed the video was doctored and falsified the number of times Albert was tased.

Albert also is a symbol for many Israelis of a wild-eyed settler who puts God above the law. He has been quoted by Arutz Sheva as saying that during a stay in jail, he refused to be released because “every single second was part of the statement that the divine order is above the (IDF) commander’s order.”

The Gilad farm also has served as a symbol of the determination of Jews to remain in their community deposited dozens of raids  and demolition by police, but for anti-nationalists, it is a symbol of  an “illegal” outpost. The farm’s residents insist their community is on land that was privately owned by Gilda’s father Moshe Zar, who was a member of the Jewish Underground in the early 1980s and was sentenced to three years in jail. The elder Zar was known to have purchased land from Arabs, many of whom claim  that the purchases were phony

The cases of Albert and the Gilad Farm are those in which no one seems to be right and everyone seems to be wrong.

The police have repeatedly crossed all red lines of human rights in pre-dawn demolitions, often expelling young mothers and new-born babies in cold weather and then humiliating them by bulldozing homes and bringing in Arabs to walk away with anything that is usable.

Settlers also have been accused of constant violence against Arabs and police, and dozens of police officers were injured in one melee more than 10 years ago.

Below is video of the arrest of Albert, when police used a Taser gun on him.

Youth in Yitzhar Arrested for Throwing Rocks at Police

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Security police arrested a 16-year-old boy in Yitzhar on Wednesday for throwing rocks at police during the morning, one day after 50 young people went on a rampage, clashed with Border Police and ransacked a post manned by Israeli army reservists.

Leaders across the political spectrum have called for a stop to the violence by extreme settlers, and they want prompt and harsh action taken against troublemakers. Knesset Member Elazar Stern, one of six MKS in Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah party, said that security forces should treat Yitzhar like any other area that hosts terrorists.

Almost of Yitzhar’s 220 families are firmly against the violence and are frustrated that no one has been able to stop the “price tag” vandalism, a spokeswoman for the Shomron Regional Council told The Jewish Press Tuesday.

President Shimon Peres, who is visiting China said in a statement,  “Since the creation of the State of Israel, the IDF has been the most valuable thing to the Israeli people and we must not let a group of punks harm it.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon told Israel Radio that violence by extremist settlers hurts the movement for a strong Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Fifty Extremist Settlers Ransack IDF Post of Soldiers Defending Them

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Fifty settlers raided and ransacked on Tuesday an IDF outpost that was manned by six soldiers who were deployed there to defend their attackers and neighbors in the community of Yitzhar, in northern Samaria.

An IDF spokesman told The Jewish Press that the soldiers did not suffer any injuries, contrary to a report in Ynet that said two soldiers were “lightly injured.”

The attackers raided the military post in revenge for the destruction of four houses by soldiers and police earlier in the day. Violent youth demonstrated their belief in the Land of Israel by throwing stones at the soldiers and police, injuring at least two of them. The demolitions, not by coincidence, followed the second vandalism of army vehicles in two days.

In the first vandalism attack, a youth age 15 was arrested. He has taken out his anger on the army following last week’s demolition of a home in Yitzhar , four days before it weas to be dedicated.

As usual in Israel, and especially in Judea and Samaria, the facts are not exactly what they seem, but there is one clear and correct conclusion: A bunch of loonies who have settled in several hilltop outposts the past several years have justified their ideology for criminal activity that rabbis and leaders of Judea and Samaria have ignored.

They have done incredible damage to the reputation of the 300,000 settlers, like myself, who live ordinary lives like every other Israeli citizen. This bunch of hooligans, suffering from ADD, XYZ, PTS and perhaps LSD, have armed the anti-nationalists – liberal Jews, journalists and governments – with all they need to justify terming me and every other person in Judea and Samaria as “illegitimate.”

There are approximately 220 families in Yitzhar Regional Council spokeswoman Esther Allush told The Jewish Press, “They are angry at the perpetrators of the violence and are frustrated.”

She harshly criticized the military for the demolition of the houses but emphasized there is no justification for violence, whether against Arabs or Israeli soldiers.

The demolitions usually originate with the Defense Ministry and almost always are for political reasons, but that is a subject in and by itself.

Violence by “hilltop youth” has been tolerated for years by leaders of Judea and Samaria and by their rabbis. They almost never encourage it, but they do nothing to stop it. In most cases, they know who the criminals are.

One official in a community in Judea and Samaria, who would be fired on the spot if his name were used, told The Jewish Press, “The vandals are criminals who act in the name of ideology. Leaders of Yesha (The Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria) have a problem dealing with them.”

Why can’t someone simply stop providing them with water and electricity? Why don’t the rabbis take them to a Rabbinic Court? Why don’t the regional councils simply order them to get off the land?

The official’s answers to these questions were the same as received by other officials interviewed in the past by The Jewish Press.

In most cases, they knew who these demented imbeciles are. One rabbi told me he really doesn’t believe they are criminals and that the stories in the media are exaggerated. He added, “Every inch of land where they settle is holy and therefore the youth should be praised. The good rabbi is living day and night in the Talmud, but the hilltop youth are not. They are living in a movie, and it is getting uglier every day.

Another rabbi said that only a handful of people are involved.

That was a convenient excuse and may have been true five years ago. It no longer is valid. These young and budding criminals interpret the lack of action against them as a wink and a nod to do was they please, all in the name of God.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fifty-extremist-settlers-ransack-idf-post-of-soldiers-defending-them/2014/04/08/

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