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On This Day of Rededication of Holy Temple, Settlers Desecrate Palestinian Mosque

Library of Yasuf mosque containing burned pages of Qurans (Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)

Palestinians inspect burnt remains of copies of Koran in Yasuf mosque (Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)

Tonight is the first night of Hanukah.  As Ori Nir so aptly points out below, it is ironic that at the beginning of this holiday in which Jews celebrate the rededication of their Holy Temple after years of defilement at the hands of the Greeks, settlers from the extremist Tapuah settlement torched and desecrated a Palestinian mosque (not the first either):

Today, as Jews worldwide commemorate the desecration of the Temple and celebrate its rededication, Jewish extremists, most likely West Bank settlers, desecrated a mosque in a Palestinian village near Nablus.

The mosque, in the Palestinian village of  Yasuf, was torched. Copies of the Koran were burnt. Hateful graffiti in Hebrew was sprayed at the site referring to the settlers’ “Price Tag” vigilante operation to attack Palestinians and Israeli security forces to deter Israel’s authorities from enforcing the law on the settlers.

Michelsberg synagogue in flames, Kristallnacht 1938

Michelsberg synagogue in flames Kristallnacht 1938

Arab News and Yediot Achronot noted that one graffito said: “We will burn you all.”  Haaretz also notes that Nazi graffiti was inscribed as well.  Another irony.    Peace Now has quite rightly labelled this “a Jewish pogrom.”  During the Holocaust, the Germans defiled our synagogues and burned us in crematoria.  Now ‘our’ Jews defile mosques and threaten a Muslim Holocaust.  What they did to us we now do to others, never having learned a lesson from history.  We have become what we hated.  We have gone from being a “light unto the nations” to a charnel house unto the nations.  What gifts we offer to civilization!

Can there be any doubt why English anti-immigrant extremists wave Israeli flags during their demonstrations against Anglo-Muslims?  Can there be any doubt why Aipac seeks to make common cause with India’s Hindu nationalists who battle against that country’s Muslim minority?  Is that what Israel has come down to?  A holy war between Jew and Muslim?  When will the average Israeli say: “Dai kfar, these bastards don’t represent me!”  Ah yes, I know.  They may never do that.  That’s why it’s sometimes so lonely to be a critical Zionist.

Tzipi Livni opened her mouth and the right words came out, but we all know that they will lead to nothing:

“We must turn to introspection and contend with what is happening within Israeli society.”

Deeds not words, Ms. Livni.  We need acts as proof of commitment.  Words are worthless since so many have been spoken promising so much and producing so little.

This statement from Haaretz is also indicative:

Investigation into the incident points to the likelihood that settlers from nearby Tapuah are behind the attack, police said, but the vandals have not yet been caught.

Oh, yes, someone may eventually be arrested, maybe even prosecuted, maybe even put in jail.  But 100 others will take his place because Israel really doesn’t have its heart in this.  It is so ambivalent about protecting the rights of Palestinians under Occupation.  Why should the average Israeli care?  And they don’t.  So whether they catch the settler thug or not is immaterial to Israel or Israelis.  If they do it is not because anyone wishes to uphold the rule of law or protect anyone’s rights.  It is only to protect Israel’s image on the world stage.  To let the defilers go free would give Israel a black eye.  That’s all that the country and its people care about.

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Mary December 12, 2009, 6:01 AM

    Livni’s words are the equivalent of Hillary Clinton’s famous statement when she called the Israeli refusal to stop the settlements “unhelpful.”

    I hold the Israeli government responsible for settler violence. They created the climate for it, and fed it well. All those years of allowing illegal construction on illegally occupied land, knowing that someday it was all going to hit the fan, and what did Israel do to stop the construction all these years? Nothing. They turned a blind eye, even collaborated in the crime by building roads for settlers and providing utility services and water, and let’s not forget the wall that snaked through and sliced off more land for greedy Israelis.

    Since Netanyahu was elected, it’s worse than ever; the lunatics are running the asylum. He will do nothing about this, may possibly make a few tepid statements (Livni did, but where is Bibi denouncing this behavior?) tut-tutting at the not-niceness of this heinous act, may even mouth a few platitudes about bringing the perpetrators to justice. But as always, the Palestinians will see no justice.

    The settlers have taken over, they’re running the show and nothing will be done.

  • Shirin December 12, 2009, 11:13 AM

    Coincidentally, just yesterday I came across a discussion of Simone Weil’s writing on “uprootedness”. The author, Nissim Rejwan, is an Iraqi Jewish intellectual and writer who immigrated to Israel in the ’50′s. Among other topics, in the ’50′s and ’60′s he wrote critical pieces about Israeli society.

    I quote Simone Weil as saying that uprootedness is dangerous because it is a malady that tends to be self-propagating. “For people who are really uprooted there remain only two possible sorts of behaviour; either to fall into a spiritual lethargy resembling death, like the majority of the slaves in the days of the Roman Empire, or to hurl themselves into some form of activity necessarily designed to uproot, often by the most violent methods, those who are not yet uprooted, or only partly so.

    He goes on to quote Weil as stating that the Hebrews

    were escaped slaves, and they either exterminated or reduced to servitude all the peoples of Palestine.

    Seems appropriate to apply Weil’s thoughts on uprootedness to the modern-day Jewish State.

  • DICKERSON3870 December 12, 2009, 7:16 PM

    RE: “To let the defilers go free would give Israel a black eye. That’s all that the country and its people care about.

    MY COMMENT: Ditto for AIPAC, ZOA, AJC, ADL, CUFI, Cheney, Dershowitz, Kirk, Hatch, Boenher, Chambliss, Hagee, Voight, Schumer, Berman, Harmon etc.

  • DICKERSON3870 December 12, 2009, 7:32 PM

    FROM THE COMMENTS ON THE “HAARETZ” ARTICLE:
    #34
    Title: The Moslems have been vandalizing Jewish sites for decades
    Name: Michael A. Shoemaker
    City: Eugene State: Oregon, USA

    It`s good to finally see some justice in Israel; but a shame that the government isn`t meting it out. When were the perpetrators arrested, who daily vandalized the Temple Mount and Joseph`s tomb? Justice is a sham in Israel! Three cheers for the settlers!

    SOURCE (COMMENT #34) – http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1134455.h

  • myron joshua December 12, 2009, 11:36 PM

    I wish i could say that this horrendous act was the topic of discussion on my settlement.

    The silence is as heartbreaking as the act itself.

    • myron joshua December 13, 2009, 2:09 AM

      i have just been called by a friend, asking him to join him and other settlers, to travel to Kfar Yasuf to be together with the Palestinians there and to decry the attack.

      I can’t go..(work and my car is in the garage:-(

      He told me that there have been denunciations by settler leadership but without more aggressive display of disdain for this violence i fear the message will not get across.

      So i am happy that this initiative was taken.

      • Koshiro December 13, 2009, 5:35 PM

        If you want to do something impressive, limit your water consumption to about one third or one fourth of what you’re currently consuming, pump the rest into tanks and deliver it to Palestinians, all at your own expense.

        Otherwise: As long as you’re perfectly happy with occupation and oppression as long as it doesn’t become “too ugly”, don’t expect any respect from me.

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