Posts Tagged With: Shtika K’hodaah

Yachimovitch Condemns Monastery Attack. Do We?

On Tuesday morning , children arrived at the Max Rayne Hand to Hand school in Jerusalem to find graffitti painted on the outer wall of their school building: “Death to Arabs!” and “Kahane was right!”,. The Hand to Hand school is run by the Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel. It provides K-12 education to a religiously and ethnically diverse student body that includes Arab and Armenian Christians, secular and traditional Jews, as well as Muslim students. Its curriculum integrates peace education with regular academic studies.

That same morning at a Greek Orthodox Monastery in Emek haMatzleva (valley of the cross), near the Israel Museum, someone had painted “Death to Christains!”, “Jesus drop Dead!”, “Kehane was right”, “Price Tag” and “The Macabees of Migron” on two cars and a stone fence outside the monastery The car tires were also slashed. The Jerusalem Municipality removed the graffiti by 9AM.

Those working at the monaster were upset, but determined to stay true to their religious convictions. One of the priests at the monastery, Father Claudio, told reporters “I am a priest. I will forgive.”

Police are investigating both attacks. They suspect that both attacks were the work of settlers but they don’t know if they are connected to each other. Evidence pointing to settler involvement include the slogan “Price Tag” and the allusion to Migron painted on the monastery walls. The Israeli government is forcing the evacuation and demolition of the Migron settlement against the will of its residents.

These two attacks come on the heels of a wave of suspected settler attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem and on the West Bank.

  • Saturday night or early Sunday morning (February 5) vandals vandals slashed the tires of a taxi and painted “Death to Arabs!”, “revenge”, and “closed military zone” on a taxi and the steps of a house in Al-Janiya near Ramalla. (Sources: Reuters, Jerusalem Post)
  • The previous Thursday, February 2, settlers in K’far Etzion slashed tires of Arab cars and threw stones at passing cars in retalization for earlier stone throwing by their Arab neighbors. (Source: Kol haYehudi)
  • Also on Thursday, February 2, the tires were slashed on Seven Arab cars in Jerusalem in relation for property damage in the settlement of Mitzpeh AviChai. (Source: Kol haYehudi)
  • Wednesday, February 1, in Tzir Gilead in the West Bank, a 60 year old Palestinian woman was hit in the head when settlers threw stones at passing cars. Many of the cars were also damaged. The stone throwing was in retaliation for two Israelis who were lighly hurt by Arab stone throwing. (Source: Kol haYehudi)

Some of these incidents, like the K’far Etzion attack are part of an on-going feud with a neighboring Arab village. One could argue that both sides are acting abominably and giving as good as they get.

However, it is hard to make that case for the attacks on the school and monastery in Jerusalem. Continue reading

Categories: Jewish Ethics, Price Tag Violence | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

First Spit, Now Stones

Just when things seem to have quieted down a new report of bullying from Jewish extremists in Beit Shemesh. HaAretz reports that another Anglo third grader, this time a little boy, was spit on by teen bullies from the neighboring Haredi community.

HaAretz reports that the third grader was confronted by a group of Haredi teens who shouted at him and threw a large rock, hitting him in the back.

Last month, an 8 year old girl Naama Margolis was spit upon and cursed at by adult Haredi men on her way to school. The men doing the spitting claimed she was not modest enough. However, the willingness

The boy’s father, Jeff Klein, says that the incident with his son shows that the real issue is not modesty, but intolerance. The Klein and Margolis families live in a neighborhood adjacent to an isolationist Haredi community. In addition to attacking children, members of the community have objected to dogs and even televisions owned by their non-Haredi neighbors.

Attempts to pressure rabbis and parents within the community to reduce violence only seem to increase the violence. When Channel Two broke the story of Naama Margolis, Haredi men attacked reporters the following Monday. A demonstration against violence in the name of religion mid-week was followed by riots and stone throwing at Naama Margolise’s school.

Although rabbis on the fringes of the Beit Shemesh haredi community publicly protested, none of the major rabbinic leaders in Beit Shemesh did.  On the National level leadership was mixed with former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef condemning religiously motivated bullying,  current Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar keeping his silence, and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger blaming the press for making too much of an issue of things.

The Haredi community relies heavily on its rabbis to define social norms and their silence was painfully obvious, even to children.  When there is a strong conviction against some policy and behavior, they have no problem gathering hundreds and even thousands together for rallies.  But nothing of the sort has happened to protest bullying in the name of religion.

Some Haredi observers suggested that this reflected general approval for the goals of rioters and bullies, even if the means of accomplishing them was distasteful.   According to Rabbi Shmuel Pappenheim,  they operate in a zone between the forbidden and the permitted by taking an issue on which there is general consensus and then trying to enforce it in unacceptable ways.

Categories: Exclusion of Jews, Extremism | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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