53 thoughts on “Indian Muslims Condemn Terror; After Hebron Settler Pogrom, Jewish-Right’s Silence – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Er -http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1227702466516&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    You might want to start to qualify the second line to the final paragraph (in both cases I’d suggest adding a ‘some’ to the gleeful generalisations). Then you could take a look through the Israeli press for some more condemnations; then watch some Israeli television, look on Israeli blogs etc etc.
    It’s also important to point out that none of the terrorists seem to have come from India, so I don’t see why you’re getting so excited about the issue of condemnation – they have as much responsibility for the violence of Pakistani Muslims as you do for the perpetrators of the pogrom in Hebron.

  2. @Alex Stein: I should clarify my intent. You are right & some Israeli politicians (though very few) have criticized the attacks. But I was really referring specifically to Israel lobby groups like the ADL, Aipac, Conference of Presidents, and even more importantly the Orthodox community. I am interested in who denounces the pogrom both as an act inimical to Zionism and Judaism.

  3. What about the second issue I raised? The point about Indian Muslims? To make a more accurate comparison you should examine the statements coming out of religious institutions in Pakistan.

  4. Richard, I think you’ll find that if a Jewish terrroist group had attacked Mumbai, the local Mumbai Jewish community would want to distance themselves as much as possible from it.

    You’re trying to compare two separate things in order to score politcial points. It works on a very superficial level, but comparing a pogrom like event in which nobody died with the pre-meditated slaughter of almost 200 people is, ultimately, a little bit grasping.

    How about a feature on the Christian-Muslim pogroms in Nigeria last week in which hundreds died? Lets hear who condemned what and then draw some more silly conclusions.

  5. I was googling around to see who condemned the Mumbai attack assuming everyone has. Even I was surprised to read this: “In the Gaza Strip, the territory’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers declined comment. Hamas has carried out scores of suicide attacks in Israel, killing hundreds of civilians in recent years. However, Hamas has said it does not want to get involved in conflicts elsewhere.”

  6. Who really owns this house in Hebron? If the Arabs own it, the Jews should be removed as trespassers. If the Jews own it, why cant they stay there?

  7. @amir: Do you think, God forbid, if a Jew in America killed a Muslim, that Israeli political parties would fall all over themselves to denounce the attack? Of course not. They’d probably say something similar to what Hamas said.

  8. @Alex Stein: Sorry, I didn’t see your last comment made a day or so ago till now.

    I don’t see it the same way. A more apt comparison would be between the Hebron settlers and Orthodox Israeli Jews, none of whom as far as I know have criticized the riots nor supported the government’s position.

    I DO see American Jews as having a certain level of responsibility for the heinous acts of the settlers because huge amounts of money are raised here in the U.S. by Orthodox right wing groups to support the Hebronistas. The Hebron Fund, but one of many, raises $1.5 million every yr. in this endeavor.

    As far as Pakistani Muslims, I’m not familiar enough with Pakistan to know whether any Muslim leaders have criticized the attacks. I would hope so. But the country seems such an utter mess, I wouldn’t expect much on that score.

  9. @Mark Gardner:

    a pogrom like event in which nobody died

    So shall we wait until Baruch Goldstein II comes along with weaponry more powerful than an AK 47, or whatever he used, & does kill 200 Palestinians before we expect Jews to condemn settler atrocities? Just how far would the settlers need to go before you’d be willing to demand that Jews take responsibility for acts of their own that victimize Muslims?

  10. I thought that Mumbai attack was so heinous that even Hamas would condemn it, but I guess no attack is so heinous for the Hamas if Jews or Israelis are targeted.
    “Hamas has said it does not want to get involved in conflicts elsewhere” but this is a lie because if you google the words “Hamas condemns” you will find that the Hamas condemned the London bombings for example. Also, Hamas should state their position on the Mumbai attack since one of it’s perpetrators said they did it to avenge Palestinian suffering. As a group which represents the Palestinians, their silence is a signal to other terrorists that they feel these acts help the cause. And lastly, since Hamas defines itself as a Muslim movement they have an obligation to state their position since these acts were done m/p by an Islamic organization. Their silence should tell you about Hamas what you should already know but apparently refuse to accept.
    And yes, if a Jewish terrorist group anywhere in the world took Muslim worshipers hostage and murdered them to avenge Israeli suffering, every representative of Israel in the world would rush to the nearest microphone to condemn it.

  11. @amir:

    if a Jewish terrorist group anywhere in the world took Muslim worshipers hostage and murdered them to avenge Israeli suffering, every representative of Israel in the world would rush to the nearest microphone to condemn it.

    That is one of the sillier things you’ve said here esp. because you didn’t say “should” as you should have; you said “would” thereby speaking on behalf of “every representative of Israel in the world” as if you could predict their actions. It’s clearly ridiculous to make such a claim since not only do you not know whether this would be the case, but any reasonable observer knows that it wouldn’t be the case. There are many in Israel and the Diaspora who would not comment at all. Some might even excuse the deed by claiming it’s in reaction to Muslim atrocities against Jews (this is what the settler right & other nationalist Israeli elements do consistently).

  12. First of all they should and would (that’s what I believe) and second of all I specifically referred to “representatives” of Israel – the government, embassadors, etc. Hamas even at an official level didn’t condemn the atrocity. If you google the words “condemn mumbai” you will find a long list of nations or organizations wihout any connection condemning the attack. Except for Hamas apparently.

  13. Richard, the reason I have spent so much time over the last week corresponding with you is because I believed from your website that you and I could have a productive and respectful conversation.

    I’m afraid I no longer have that respect for you, not after the way you have de-contextualised my remark above about this ‘pogrom like event in which nobody died’. You don’t answer my question – fair enough, you are not obliged to do so. But to de-contextualise what I say and then twist it to infer something that I do not mean is not the behaviour I would expect from someone running a site called Tikkun Olam.

    I should have already come to that conclusion after you wrote to Engage website, calling those who disagreed with you “my little Jewish holy warriors”. What a demeaning, diminutive, catch all offensive phrase to a website and group that is comprised of Jews and non Jews, fully committed to Palestinian and Jewish rights, and not at all afraid to condemn settler outrages & ideology.

    How about you take your own advice for how Jews should engage with Muslims, and start utlising it for how you yourself should engage with fellow Jews? You may find that speeds the path to Tikkun Olam, enabling dialogue rather than causing further & entirely unecessary ruptures. Please.

  14. And, to reply to your offensive question Richard, (So shall we wait until Baruch Goldstein II comes along… & does kill 200 Palestinians before we expect Jews to condemn settler atrocities? Just how far would the settlers need to go before you’d be willing to demand that Jews take responsibility for acts of their own that victimize Muslims?)

    1. This isn’t about what I would condemn. Besides, I’ve already condemned it on your site. (I dont recall the exact words I used, look it up on other threads if you like).

    2. Your posting and my comment were both in relation to who would condemn what, & in what circumstances. Yet, suddenly, you’re pitching me in with the Israeli right wingers whom you’re demanding should have condemned the Hebron pogrom like event. You know that ADL and Olmert both condemned it, so you must be pigeon holing me as further to the right than either of them – despite the fact that by now you know I am nothing of the sort.

    3. Get real. People condemn real events – not what the event might have looked like. Yes, if 200 Palestinians were murdered then of course there would be more protests than if the outside of a house gets set on fire and a family’s life is endangered. At the most extreme, look at the contemporary Israeli responses to Sabra and Shatilla – you expect that to happen every time there’s a settler ‘pogrom’?

    4. All of a sudden, the settler ‘pogrom’, is, in your definition, “Jews take responsibility for acts of their own that victimize Muslims”. Surely by your own philosophy as expressed re Mumbai, this is an anti-Palestinian act by Israeli extremists? If we start defining it in terms of Jews vs Muslims then what hope is there for both our peoples? Doesn’t it only benefit the holy warriors on both sides?

    (Or am I missing something here? After all, you can’t have it both ways? Can you?)

  15. A Palestinian owned it and sold it to someone he thought was a fellow Palestinian, but wasn’t….Why cant a Palestinian sell it to anyone?
    The deed was forged….how was it forged?
    The transaction was a sham as ruled by the Israeli Supreme Court….did the settlers get their money back?

  16. @Mark Gardner:

    fully committed to Palestinian and Jewish rights,

    Do please show me anything Engage has written that displays their “full commitment” to Palestinian rights. And I assume by “full commitment” that Engage agrees that Israel should withdraw to pre 67 borders, withdraw from the major West Bank settlements, and end the Occupation now. Because this is what a true “full commitment” to Palestinian rights entails. If they disagree w. any of these provisions then their commitment is less than “full.”

    Perhaps you’d like to have a word with those at Engage, Harry’s Place & in this thread who called me a “moral imbecile” and otherwise savaged, distorted & delberately misconstrued my arguments? When you do let me know & I’d then be happy to engage in a civil discourse with them.

    Until then, if you don’t like my style of discourse you’ll prob. feel more at home at those sites which have engaged in precisely the same type of invective you find objectionable here.

    I object to your attempt to minimize the severity of the Hebron riot by claiming because no one was killed it was somehow less troubling than attacks by Muslims on Jews. That’s not the way I look at it & I call ’em as I see ’em. Did you read Avi Issacharoff’s terrifying account of the ordeal of that family? If not, don’t say another word about this incident in this thread until you do. You simply don’t understand the terror that that family felt & therefore have no right to say a word about it till you do. If reporters had not intervened and made numerous calls to the authorities (most of which were ignored), then there would have been outright murder & this would not be what you so dismissively imply is a “theoretical” conversation.

    And if you’re claiming that the settlers are only opposed to the Palestinians as Palestinians & not as Muslims, perhaps you can explain the graffiti writtten by some of these same souls on the local Hebron mosque: “Mohammed pig?”

  17. @Acai Berri: The real buyer wasn’t a Palestinian. The alleged Palestinian buyer was a sham front for the settlers.

    how was it forged?

    The signature.

    One of my readers informs me that the Supreme Court decision directed the settlers to vacate the building until the questions about the transactions could be adjuticated. So no, I don’t presume the settlers got their money back, yet.

  18. The property s bought by a Jewish man for 700,000 dollars I believe. The Palestinian reneged on the deal, I thnk, after he got the money. At that point the settlers broke into the house and occupied it. The police ordered the to evacuate the house until the issue was settled. It was the settlers who petitioned the court to prevent the evacuation. They presented a video where the seller was filmed admitting he sold them the property. The court did not determine the sale was a sham and did not order the settlers to evict. The court merely determined that the police had the right to evict the settlers, if they wanted to, until the issue was settled in the lower courts. That’s it more or less. I may have some minor mistakes in the details but that’s more or less it.

  19. @Alex Stein: Yes. I’ve been e mailing with a Palestinian-Australian friend about this & I may write something soon describing a certain change of heart I’ve had about my views of Lashkar’s alleged anti-Semitism & choice of Chabad House. Stay tuned.

  20. Richard –

    Engage and Harrys Place were upset by your depiction on Guardian CiF of the Mumbai Chabad massacre as anti-Israel, not antisemitic.

    For this, you called Engage “little Jewish holy warriors”. You could have called them mistaken, paranoid, self-deluded etc, but instead you called them “little Jewish holy warriors” – something that their ideology and behaviour do not justify in any way whatsoever. The fact that you won’t even call pro Al Qaeda terrorists “little Muslim holy warriors” is tough to comprehend in that context.

    As for you expecting people to react to Hebron as if it had been on the scale of Mumbai – this is weird. You expect people to react to what might have happened rather than what did?

    Ok, how about you show us the way by reacting to the attempts by Al Qaeda to murder Jews across the world. Begin with an article that mourns for the thousands of British Jews killed by the Al Qaeda cell who’s list of British synagogues was revealed in the opening day’s evidence of Britain’s largest ever terror trial. (Operation Crevice if you want to check).

    Regarding the disgraceful scenes in Hebron, you write to me: “And if you’re claiming that the settlers are only opposed to the Palestinians as Palestinians & not as Muslims, perhaps you can explain the graffiti writtten by some of these same souls on the local Hebron mosque: “Mohammed pig?”

    My reply to you: And if you’re claiming that the Mumbai terrorists are attacking the Chabad House as an anti-Israel act, perhaps you can explain the bound, tortured, dead non-Israeli Jews”.

    Finally, I note that in your reply to Alex Stein you hint at a change of heart over what has made your detractors so angry in the first place. Great, I look forward to you writing about that change of heart in one of your forthcoming Guardian CiF columns.

    And if you’re claiming that the settlers are only opposed to the Palestinians as Palestinians & not as Muslims, perhaps you can explain the graffiti writtten by some of these same souls on the local Hebron mosque: “Mohammed pig?”

  21. Why does it matter who the buyer is? If a house in seattle was sold to a black person thru a white intermediate, would that be a problem?

  22. @Mark Gardner:

    You expect people to react to what might have happened rather than what did?

    A responsible religious and national leadership would respond to such a pogrom with all the power at its disposal commensurate to neutralize the danger to Israeli democracy. And yes, I expect them to react AS IF this event could’ve actually happened because it came within a hair’s breath of doing so.

    You have your head firmly stuck up the rear part of yr anatomy if you think the Hebronistas aren’t capable of & willing to carry out such mass murder in the future. And if they do I’ll be calling on you & reminding you of yr foolish words here.

  23. @Acai Berri: If the deed contained a fraudulent signature it would. That is one of the claims against the transaction. If the buyer claimed he was Palestinian and was in reality a Syrian Jew who intended to hand over the building to the exteme settler movement, that might be grounds for invoking fraud.

  24. @amir: Talk about off topic. Whenever you don’t like a claim made against Israeli policy your side always invokes something you despise about the other side as if the two balance ea. other out somehow.

  25. @ “Talk about off topic. Whenever you don’t like a claim made against Israeli policy your side always invokes something you despise about the other side as if the two balance ea. other out somehow.”
    As opposed to you, Richard, who avoids answering critical questions about Mumbai by invoking the settlers. Your double-standards here are frequently astounding.

  26. Since you said “Muslims DO denounce terror when it comes from within their ranks” I think the Hamas response is very on-topic. And Hamas is a major player in the Arab-Israeli conflict so their reaction gives us some insight into the nature of their organization and is of great importance. The sme cannot be said of “Young Israel,” a group I heard of for the first time when I read this post.

  27. @amir: I didn’t say EVERY Muslim or every Muslim group denounces terror. I said Muslims denounce terror.

    Young Israel is one of the major Orthodox groups in the U.S. Just because you have never heard of it does not mean that it’s not a significant player in the Orthodox community.

  28. @Alex Stein: I think it’s the right & even responsibility of a blogger to make connections bet. events they see as relevant to ea. other in some way. Bloggers create the topics. That’s our job. It’s our blog. It’s also our right & responsibility to determine when a comment goes off topic. Otherwise conversation meanders into murky meaningless tangents.

    Commenters often make connections bet. events I never thought of & take conversations in interesting new directions. I don’t have a problem w. that. But other commenters are merely trying to score propaganda pts for their side by veering from a discussion of Mumbai terror & Muslim denunciation of it into a denunciation of Hamas because it allegedly hasn’t done so. That’s what I define as “off topic.” And yes, as disappointing as this may be to you, I’m the one who distinguishes bet. what’s off & on-topic.

    You’re perfectly free to set that agenda & make yr own distinctions at yr own blog & I’ll do that for myself here. And like the typical backseat driver, my skeptical opponents can’t help but add their two cents & critique my editorial decisions. They’d be far better off sitting back & enjoying the ride or getting in their own car & driving themselves in their own fashion.

  29. @Alex Stein: If exercising editorial control over one’s blog is authoritarian then it’s what many of the world’s best editors do every day & they too must be authoritarians. That’s what editing & authorship is about–taking responsibility for yr content & that of others writing in your space.

    If I wrote about food or parenting I might be able to have a laissez faire attitude toward these things. But experience has unfortunately taught me that exercising control is very important as far as this blog is concerned.

    It may interest you to know that today alone a commenter called me a “monster” and threatened to “section” me. In another thread, a pro-settler extremist accused my mother of sleeping with an Arab thus making me half Arab. When those types of issues happen at yr blog then we can talk about what philosophy of editing you adopt to deal with it. One thing I won’t do though is accuse you of being authoritarian if you decide you need to shape the direction of discussion in some of yr threads.

    I wanted to clarify a sentence I wrote above regarding this subject. I don’t regard all people who comment here in a style that indicates they are trying to score propaganda points as being ‘off-topic.’ I regard commenters like Amir as off-topic, they always seem to be hankering to inject a pet peeve anti-Palestinian agenda into discussions having little or nothing to do with the subject. In his case, it was a discussion of Mumbai terror & Muslim denunciation of it, into which he attempted to inject a denunciation of Hamas because they allegedly did not denounce the Mumbai attack. That’s what I meant by “off topic.”

  30. Richard – I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t ban abusive posters. But to complain when someone invokes Hamas in a discussion about settlers when you are happy to invoke the settlers in a discussion about Mumbai is plain chutzpa.

  31. RS: “commenters like Amir … always seem to be hankering to inject a pet peeve anti-Palestinian agenda”
    I’ve posted stuff against Hamas and Fatah on your blog but I don’t think I’ve posted anything anti-Palestinian. Calling me anti-Palestinian or an Islamophobe for things I’ve posted against their leadership is as unfair as calling someone anti-American for being critical of the Republican party, for example. Just to make things clear, I look forward to the day when Jews and Arabs may live side by side respecting each others human dignity. As far as the likes of Hamas goes, it’s them I can do without.

  32. @amir: Since Hamas & Fatah essentially ARE the Palestinian people, you’ve insulted their only political manifestations. Besides, I’ve NEVER seen you write anything positive or sympathetic toward anything Palestinians whether it be Fatah, Hamas or anything else Palestinian.

  33. Richard, you wrote to me: “You have your head firmly stuck up the rear part of yr anatomy if you think the Hebronistas aren’t capable of & willing to carry out such mass murder in the future. And if they do I’ll be calling on you & reminding you of yr foolish words here”.

    I’ve already said they are capable of it, and I’ve already condemned their attempts. Check your site, Dec 5th, 4.02pm.

    How about you show me 10% of the respect you show for Mumbai jiahdis?

  34. @Mark Gardner: You claimed that the Hebronistas who attempted to immolate the Palestinians inside their home didn’t succeed in their criminal intent & therefore shouldn’t be equated with the Mumbai terrorists. That’s what I objected to.

  35. @amir: Hating Fatah and hating Hamas is like a foreigner saying they hate Democrats AND Republicans but don’t necessarily hate American politics or America. Doesn’t leave you much to like. I’d still challenge you to say anything positive about Palestinians. I haven’t heard it.

  36. So which one do you like, Richard, Fatah or Hamas?

    I don’t have to make some sort of “some of my best friends are Palestinians” statement to prove that I’m not anti-Palestinian. I’m not anti-Palestinian and there is no evidence to indicate that I am.

  37. @amir: I don’t “like” either of them. Fatah is corrupt & rudderless. Hamas is intolerant & extremist. But Hamas strikes me as a more authentic Palestinian voice & not afraid of running in an election to determine who was most popular. I respect that though I certainly have many problems w. Hamas.

    You don’t need to make a statement about having anything positive to say about Palestinians because you can’t & you haven’t. BTW, in the law silence may be construed as assent.

  38. According to your own logic you would be considered anti-Palestinian because you don’t like either Fatah or Hama. “Doesn’t leave you much to like.”
    I’m not sure what you mean by “silence may be construed as assent”. You’ve accused me at various times of being racist, an islamophobe, anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab and I have never been silent or assented to this vile accusation.

  39. @Alex Stein: Considering that I don’t believe I’ve ever asked Amir to answer such a question in the years he’s commented here and that readers demand I answer their claims virtually every week here & excoriate me if I don’t, I’d say the terms are a little different. Besides, my question should be very easy to answer. Either he’s said or written positive things about Palestinians or he hasn’t. Shouldn’t be too hard to answer.

    The scenarios, lists of questions/demands, hypotheticals that are posed to me are quite a bit more complicated besides the fact that they arise, as I wrote, almost every week if not more often.

  40. If you’re asking have I written anything positive about Palestinians then the answer is probably no. I never claimed to be pro-Palestinian. But that doesn’t make me anti-Palestinian either, which I define as being prejudiced against them or hateful.

  41. @amir: So you’ve finally answered the question. Thank God for that. You haven’t written anything favorable about Palestinians, yet you claim not to be prejudiced against them.

    Well I’ve read every comment you’ve written here & I say you are. And most reasonable readers here would agree. I’m not going to spend a lot of time going back over yr past comments to pt. out the bile you’ve written about Palestinians (besides I think I already did that once before when we had a similar interaction). If you can’t find anything positive you’ve ever written about Palestinians I’m going to interpret that as confirmation that you are hostile to them & their interests.

    And once again, I invite you to produce anything you’ve written that proves you are not.

  42. I disagree.

    And the last time you called me a racist I challenged you to prove it and you said that would be as easy as finding a drop of water in Lake Michigan (or something like that) yet even that was too difficult for you beause you didn’t do it. You might want to try to follow your own comment rules. Argue all you want but why resort to name calling if your arguments are so strong?

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