Rabbi Dov Lior, the former Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba and head of the Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria, attended a conference in support of the religious Zionist community in Lod Wednesday night and told the audience, referring to the local Arab population following ten days of Arab pogroms in the city: “There are no innocents here, there are only those who protect criminals. There was a pogrom here, like in Kristallnacht. With these savages, there is no peace and there will be no peace. For them, peace is not like it is for us, it’s a break before the next round.”
Rabbi Lior used the Hebrew word “pra’im” for “savages,” referencing the Biblical verse describing Ishmael, father of the Arab nation (Genesis 16:12): “He shall be a wild ass of a man; his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him…” The term “wild ass of a man” in Hebrew is “pe’re adam.”
Rabbi Lior, like most of the religious Zionist rabbis, was critical of the unfortunate statement made two days ago by police commissioner Kobi Shabtai (Outraged Jews from Lod Boycott Police Commissioner for Saying There Are ‘Terrorists on Both Sides’), that he was prepared to deal with “terrorists on both sides.” They issued a statement on Wednesday saying, “There is no fairness and no truth in attempts to make a comparison between the Arabs’ riots against the Jews and the acts of defense by the Jews.”
The deputy mayor of Lod visited his son’s classroom the morning after Arabs had rioted in it:
On Jerusalem Day, May 10, Arab residents of Lod rioted and set fire to Jewish vehicles and Talmud Torah buildings, synagogues, and the municipality’s inspection department. The building of the pre-military preparatory school in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood was also set on fire. Cadets who were evacuated from the burning building rescued Torah scrolls that were miraculously unharmed.
During a long stretch of Arab rioting in the streets—without police intervention, a Jewish resident of Lod fired at a crowd of Arabs who were throwing Molotov cocktails at Jews. One of the Arabs, Musa Hasson, 34, was killed in the shooting and another was injured. Two Jews were arrested following the shooting but were released a few days later.
The mayor of Lod, Yair Revivo, tweeted: “70 years of coexistence have been trampled on.”
An eyewitness account of the first night of Arab riots in Lod:
On May 11, at Musa Hasson’s funeral, there were clashes between the Arabs and the police, and one policeman was slightly injured by stone-throwing. That day, rioters set fire to synagogues and dozens of cars.
On May 13, Yigal Yehoshua, 56, a resident of the Ganei Aviv neighborhood in Lod, was fatally injured by stones thrown by Arabs at his car and died in the hospital a few days later. Two Jews were shot and one was stabbed on the same day. Jewish families living in buildings near the conflict areas were evacuated to a safe place by the municipality, which also began evacuating Jewish residents from mixed residential buildings.
The Chicago community center in Lod was set on fire by Arab rioters, as well as an apartment in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood. Despite the curfew that night, dozens of Arabs committed acts of vandalism and burned down a truck. The Dosa Synagogue was set on fire.
At the same time, Jews from the extremist La Familia soccer fans set fire to an Arab grocery store, which was put out by Jewish residents. The same Jewish rioters attacked a vehicle, overturned and destroyed it.
Armed groups of Jews also came to Lod to help guard Jewish homes Jews in the city. Some of the Jews who came to Lod were settlers. The spokesman for the Yitzhar settlement, Zvi Sukkot, tweeted that he was proud that 70% of the men of Yitzhar went to support the Jews of Lod.
Yigal Yehoshua’s kidney was transplanted in Brenda Avis, 58, an Arab from eastern Jerusalem. She received the donation after a nine-year wait. Joshua’s heart was transplanted in a 49-year-old patient at Sheba hospital, his lungs in a 69-year-old man at Beilinson hospital, his liver was transplanted in a 22-year-old patient at Ichilov hospital, and another kidney in a 67-year-old man in Beilinson hospital.
Meanwhile, last Saturday, a police raid of the Great Mosque of Lod, uncovered a box containing 15 Molotov cocktails ready for ignition with a gallon of fuel nearby, alongside piles of stones.
Or, as John Oliver would probably put it: tit for tat.