An Israeli source has told me there is a gag order concerning any reporting on the Shin Bet’s investigation into the mosque burning in the Israeli Palestinian village, Tuba-Zangariyye, just outside Safed. This is the fifth or sixth mosque arson attack in recent past and no charges have been brought in any cases. Despite a recent Israeli police claim, there are no legitimate suspects for the recent attack either.
Just after the arson attack, at about 5AM police in Ariel arrested a settler named Yisrael Katz, age 18 or 19 and a resident of Yitzhar, one of the most radical of the West Bank settlements. Though he’d started his trip from a town not far from Tuba Zangariyye, given that it would’ve taken him two or perhaps three hours to make the drive, it means he likely could not have been present when the arson began.
But he was wanted for investigation on a different matter and the police arrested him. He and twelve other Yitzhar residents had been under a police restraining order forbidding them from entering Yitzhar for four months, due to suspicion that he’d been involved with several mosque fires allegedly set by residents of the settlement. Once the police discovered the mosque attack, they attempted to link him to it.
In attempting to make their case, the police and Shin Bet requested that his remand be extended by ten days, but the judge only agreed to a three-day extension. My source tells me that it’s clear to anyone who knows the facts about this case that the alleged suspect isn’t connected to the case. But since the police need to say they have a suspect in custody, he’s the patsy they picked. In a few days, as soon as the furor surrounding the incident dies down, he’ll be released.
The police have also impounded a vehicle from Yitzhar that may (or may not) be connected to the latest mosque arson.
This village is near Safed, whose chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, is known as one of the most strident of the Muslim-hating rabbis in Israel. When asked about this attack, he pointedly said he could not criticize such an act.
Israeli police and Shin Bet are notoriously bad at solving cases involving Jewish terror. Partly this is due to the fact that the Jewish underground is locked up tight and hard to penetrate. Partly it is due to a lack of will or even sympathy the security services may have with the general goals (though perhaps not the tactics) of the radical settler right. Note that no one has been arrested for the terror spree at the Tel Aviv gay community center a few years ago, though I’ve heard they suspect Jack Teitel‘s involvement in that. You’ll recall that Jack conveniently and rather suddenly developed a serious “mental condition” that freed Israel from actually trying or convicting him for any crime.
At any rate, this most recent mosque torching is unlikely to be solved, and such hooliganism will continue unabated until one of the perpetrators does something really stupid that brings him to the attention of the police. In Teitel’s case, he was found putting up incendiary fliers on a public street calling for a bounty on the heads of Peace Now activists. If the terrorists are smart they may never be caught, and who knows to what level of proficiency and mayhem their acts will rise in the interim.
Bibi Netanyahu, Shimon Peres and Abe Foxman have all decried the mosque arson since it happened within the Green Line. When such arsons happen in settler land outside the Green Line, there is less enthusiasm for defending Muslim holy places. If these three Jewish eminences really want to make a statement, let them join Ahmed Tibi in a pilgrimage to this village where they should pay their respects at the mosque that was attacked. This would speak volumes to Jewish terrorists and Israeli Palestinians. I’ve e-mailed Tibi to suggest this.
Jewish terrorists like this not only want to annex the West Bank and drive its Palestinians residents out, they want to do the same for Israel’s Palestinian citizens. That’s what a pogrom like this means. Israel has to decide whether it wants its Arab citizens or not. If it does, then it will have to give them full, equal rights with Jewish citizens and protect them as well as it does Jews. If it does any less, then incidents like this will continue ad infinitum.
Off topic if ever there was one (or not so…):
In Idan landau’s penultimate post (Oct 2nd)
( http://idanlandau.com/2011/10/02/anatot/ )
there are YouTube links to 2 parts of a MUST VIEW (Hebrew) monologue by a Palestinian.
Whoever posses the technical skills to record and English-subtitle these video documents and will take the trouble to do it, deserves the Nobel Prize for peace (certainly more than Bibi’s White House poodle), let alone a divine signature for life this weekend.
Oops, the links are:
I don’t know about Bibi or Abe Foxman, but I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that President Shimon Peres DID visit the desecrated mosque at Tuba Zangariyye, where he condemned the attack in no uncertain terms. He did this on the very day of the attack, without any urging from you or your friend Ahmed Tibi.
Oh, and just for the record – I, too, condemn the attack unreservedly.