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Senior Israeli Police Officer Brutally Assaulted Activists in Anatot Pogrom

Senior Israeli police officer incited pogrom in anatot

Hebrew caption: 'Police investigator Yossi Ben Arush grabs Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity leader, Assaf Sharon, by the shirt' (click to enlarge)

Israeli police riot in Anatot settlement

Ben Arush (restrained) assaults Reform movement activist and Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity member, Gil Gutenglick (Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty)

In Hebrew, it’s called a “lynch.”  No, not necessarily stringing a rope over a tree and hanging you.  Closer perhaps in meaning to “pogrom.”  But “lynch” gives you an idea of what it was like for those brave Israeli peace activists who tried to help a poor Palestinian farmer from having his land stolen from him by yet another Israeli settlement.  And that’s what any reasonable Israeli who cares about the mass hooliganism that occurred in the settlement of Anatot is calling it (in Hebrew), a “lynch.”

Now a Rotter member, posting authoritative photographs with specific senior police officers and Israeli victims identified by name, breaks a major story: a senior Israeli police officer played a major role in inciting the violence at Anatot, in which bones were broken, car windows smashed and tires slashed, and a skull was smashed landing the victim in Hadassah Ein Kerem.  I reported yesterday that off-duty police officers who live in Anatot were active participants in the violence.  Today, I’m told by an Israeli source that actually 70% of Anatot’s residents are police officers.  So it’s no wonder that not only was this a settler pogrom, it was a semi-official police pogrom.

There of course will be no investigation of this mayhem since these are police and intelligence officers doing Israel’s dirty work on behalf of its citizens.  As such, they’re given a free hand to do their jobs in whatever way they see fit, even if it involves breaking a few heads in the process.

Chaim Levinson published a shameful piece of pandering in Haaretz that masqueraded as journalism in which he actually published the lies of the settlements security coordinator and director in which they claimed (without a shred of supporting evidence) that peace activists had been the ones provoking the violence.  Levinson had the chutzpah to call this schandeh a mere “confrontation.”

What angered the “residents” of Anatot (read, police and intelligence officers) about this incursion is that they’re used to having carte blanche in carrying out their jobs.  They’re not used to anyone interfering, let alone getting in their face and shouting that they committing a crime or injustice.  That doesn’t sit well with the bull-headed macho, male security goon type in Israel.  So he roars in anger and takes it out on the protestors as happened in Anatot.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as accountability in Israel when it comes to the police, as I noted above.  They literally get away with murder and it’s only sheer luck that there wasn’t one at Anatot.  There easily could’ve been.

Here is the post translated into English:

Yosef Ben Arush, an investigator with the Judea/Samaria police and resident of Anatot, was photographed assaulting Israeli activists and, according to their claims, participated in a “brutal lynch” against three of them which required hospitalization.  He also smashed the windshields of their vehicles.  It’s reasonable to assume that many of the other “rioting settlers” (as portrayed by the media) were in fact Israeli police and Shin Bet officers who live in Anatot.

According to settlers, the senior police investigator Ben Arush is not known to be a fan of settlements, and the pro-settler advocacy group, Honenu complained about a false  harassment claim he made against a settler of Aley Ayin, whose home was destroyed.  Other settlers report similar acts of harassment and investigations which he initiated.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • yankel October 3, 2011, 2:52 AM

    Consider this report next time you read about any investigation involving Arabs (be they Palestinians Israeli citizens) done by Israeli police.

    Don’t forget: these pogromists’ word is always presumed as truth by the courts, unless undeniably proven otherwise (and Arabs’ evidence won’t count as proof against their word).

    And bear in mind that whoever suppresses peaceful resistance (and a protest can’t be any more peaceful than this one was) to the criminal landgrab in occupied Palestine, by definition supports violent resistance.

    These enforcers of the settlement apparatus are planting, watering and nurturing the hotbeds of terror.

  • pabelmont October 3, 2011, 7:27 AM

    Israel was founded by Jews who found violence acceptable (and made fun of diaspora Jews who wouldn’t do violence). The most violent joined the army adn police, as one would expect. The police are given carte blanche (as is the army — Gaza!). No law. Impunity and immunity. Friends/prisoners in Washington to keep it that way. International law suppressed.

    What would you expect to happen. (Oh, gee, gotta turn down the gas under the pressure cooker. Bye!)

  • Assaf Oron October 3, 2011, 11:03 AM

    Richard hi,

    Thanks for covering this. The Israeli MSM has been all but silent on the lynch.

    Personally I think it is a sign of vulnerability on behalf of the Occupation. It is clear that the regime doesn’t benefit from events of this type, at this point in time.

  • carly nason October 3, 2011, 8:24 PM

    Just out of curiousity – is it a fact that 70% of Anatot’s residents are police? Have you confirmed this? This is a very interesting story but rests a lot on the word of an unnamed Israeli source.

    • Richard Silverstein October 3, 2011, 8:55 PM

      The source is entirely reliable. The ethnic or professional composition of various Israeli towns & settlements is not a secret to most Israelis. Why do you think there were so many off duty police at the melee? Do you think they just happen to be there? No, they live there & felt they needed to defend their settlement from the bastard leftists who were interfering.

  • Piotr Berman October 4, 2011, 7:53 AM

    The coverage of the event in Ha’aretz is weird. First there was a piece of news that was almost hidden in electronic version (I found it by Google). As reports go, it was OK — reporter may choose the degree of detail — but it ended with a lengthy quote of the statement of the “Secretariat” of the settlement with the long list of grievances against “the individual from Jerusalem”, i.e. the Palestinian Arab whose land, by their own admission, is within the settlement.

    The Sekretariat statement is quite weird; more precisely, extremely different from reporting and begs for comments, of which there are none. To me, it looks like whoever composed the article was following a direct order ‘make it a balanced story, provide perspective of both sides’ and did not want to do it well.

    Now Ha’aretz added in “Opinion” an impassioned article by one of the activists that were involved, carefully labelled as such.

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