The Israeli far-right is sniffing at what it hopes will be its own Eden Aberjil Facebook controversy. This one involves a 19 year-old sports reporter for the IDF’s radio station, Galey Tzahal, whose name is Ariel Chamish. The reporter is quite the non-conformist acknowledging on his Facebook page that he’s a pacifist (perhaps explaining why the IDF has assigned him to be a reporter rather than a field grunt). Ariel, who was born in Glasgow, commented on his Facebook profile about the recent Hamas terror attack which killed four settlers in the Hebron Hills. Here he is noting the extremism, violence and anti-Palestinian racism of many of these Hebron settlers:
For sure they don’t murder those who are innocent. Only those who burn their fields and slaughter their sheep…
You [the settlers] don’t build [settlements] because they murder [a reference to the price tag policy which proclaims new outposts in response to acts of Palestinian terror]. They murder because you build. Keep building and they will keep murdering. Just don’t come to us with claims that the occupied [“conquered”] and robbed people lacking human rights seeks to battle against you on its land.
Like Ahmed Tibi’s statement which earned him a death wish from one of his Kahanist fellow MKs, but perhaps even more acidly, Chamish cuts to the heart of the matter. And in the face of these murders, the Israeli right is howling mad at whoever brooks them. Several settler advocacy groups have set their sights on Chamish. One released a press statement accusing him of supporting terror (apparently the Israeli right forgot that Israelis, even those in the IDF, do have a right to express their opinions of political issues affecting them and Israel):
Attorney Hila Cohen of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel has applied to the Chief Military Prosecutor requesting that the soldier be prosecuted for violating the Staff Orders that prohibit “public expressions on military and state matters without the authorization of the COS, head of the IDF Personnel Directorate or IDF Spokesperson.”
The letter also say he should be prosecuted for “violating the prohibition on supporting terror organizations in accordance with Section 4B and 4C of the Order to Prevent Terror, 1948, as well as violation of Incitement for Violence or Terror in accordance with Section 144D2 of the Criminal Law 1977. Likewise it is possible that his comments even fit the legal definition of sedition.”
Apparently too, any statement by any soldier critical of the Occupation and not sufficiently apoplectic over Palestinian terror attacks warrants the charge of “supporting terror organizations.” How a statement criticizing Israel’s most violent settlers becomes an incitement to violence against them is mystifying. Does the settler right think that Hamas is not motivated enough to hate them that they need Ariel Chamish’s “incitement” as a catalyst to spark it?
Ariel says on his Facebook Wall that the entire episode is a “tempest in a teacup.” Let’s hope he’s right. H/t to reader Lally.