- Virtually daily, Israeli security forces attack, kill,
or injure Palestinian civilians with impunity. They also destroy their
property by bombing, shelling, bulldozing and uprooting it.
- At the same time, Israeli authorities wink and nod, occasionally
decry, yet do nothing to deter extremist settler crimes against Palestinian
- Most often, they're given license to terrorize, vandalize
and commit physical violence with impunity. Rarely ever is anyone held
accountable. The same holds for its own security forces, no matter how
outrageous their crimes.
- So imagine Defense Minister Ehud Barak's hypocrisy. In
response to days of settler attacks against Palestinian property, he shamelessly
called them "Jewish terrorists."
- B'Tselem responded, saying "this is an illegitimate
way to deal with the phenomenon of violence by Israeli citizens in the
Occupied Territories. Instead, this phenomenon must be dealt with through
the criminal justice system."
- Netanyahu disagreed, stopping well short of condemning
settler attacks and ordering arrests. Instead, he described them as a "small
group that does not represent the public that lives in Judea and Samaria."
- For years, radical settlers terrorized Palestinians with
impunity. In the past two years alone, six mosques in Palestine and Israel
(belonging to peace and other activist groups) were burned or otherwise
- More recently in early October, settlers torched a Galilee
mosque in Toba Zanghriyya village, then wrote "Price Tag" and
"Revenge" on its walls. Despite efforts by residents to extinguish
the blaze, destruction was extensive, including holy books consumed.
- Northern Branch on the Islamic Movement deputy head,
Sheikh Kamal Khatib, said "racism is controlling the Jewish sector
in Israel." He also held Netanyahu's government responsible for "encourag(ing)
hatred toward Muslims."
- In June, another mosque was targeted, and "(u)nder
the Price Tag campaign, Israeli settlers....attacked and torched several
others, in addition to setting Palestinian orchards and farmlands"
- Each time, Israeli police say they'll investigate. Arrests
and prosecutions rarely follow. Settlers have virtual impunity to terrorize
Palestinian civilians as do Israeli security forces. They take full advantage.
- On December 14, settlers overnight torched the historic
Jerusalem Okasha mosque. They also defaced walls with Star of David images
and graffiti, saying "Muhammad is a pig" and "A good Arab
is a dead Arab" in Hebrew.
- In addition, they spray-painted their "Price Tag"
identity on exterior surfaces, knowing they can act with virtual impunity.
- The Al Aqsa Foundation denounced the attack, saying:
- "We condemn the torching of the mosque and hold
Israel fully responsible for this terrible crime and all its aggressions
against our holy sites and that it is enacting racist laws and not doing
anything against those who commit these crimes."
- On the same day, northern West Bank settlers torched
cars and a water tanker in Nablus and Salfit districts. They tried, but
failed, to set a bus ablaze.
- In 1948, West Jerusalem's Okasha mosque was closed when
Israel was established. It's remained a historic site, though Israel denied
Al Aqsa Foundation requests to renovate it.
- Similar incidents happen regularly. Targets include mosques,
homes, cars, olive trees, farmland, and civilians, including women and
- Authorities say they'll investigate. Occasionally settlers
are interrogated and at times briefly detained. However, prosecutions rarely
follow. At most, Israel decries the acts, but does nothing to deter them.
- On December 15, a Burqa village West Bank mosque near
Ramallah was torched and defaced. An eyewitness said armed settlers entered
before dawn, set it ablaze, and caused considerable damage.
- After the Jerusalem mosque attack, MK Mohammed Barake
condemned extremist parliamentarians for drafting and enacting racist and
other anti-democratic laws, saying:
- "Responsibility for the mosque burning does not
only lie with the gang of fascists who carried it out, but also with some
of the scumbags among the (MKs) and ministers. (They) should not pretend
they are shocked when the draft laws they back become a raging fire that
devours mosques" and other Palestinian property.
- Other moderate MKs, analysts and activists also condemned
racist legislation and policies. They're causing Palestinians, human rights
groups and others great harm.
- Supportively, Emek Shaveh, an archeological and community
activist organization, also denounced the Jerusalem mosque attack, saying:
- "The destruction of the antiquities, in this case
probably by Israelis, is part of the process of erasure of 'the other"
- of everything that doesn't suit the extremist and one-dimentional ideology
of certain Israeli groups."
- The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned
racist settler attacks, including houses south of Nablus.
- Windows were smashed and Molotov cocktails thrown. Women
and children especially were terrorized. One house was set ablaze. Israel
security forces provide no security for Palestinians and did nothing against
- On December 15, Haaretz writer Ari Shavit headlined,
"Israel has never been so ugly," saying:
- Natanyahu wants to silence Muslim calls to prayer, shut
down the Palestinian/Israeli peace radio station, and effectively support
settler vandalism by doing nothing to stop it.
- Moreover, "Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman is trying
to turn the Supreme Court into another one of his subsidiaries. Attorney
General Yehuda Weinstein is working to prevent the media from reporting
on investigations against public figures. Deputy Health Minister Yaakov
Litziman excludes women from participation in an official award ceremony."
- "Coalition chairman Zeev Elkin undermines and neuters
civil society. Religious fanatics exclude women, tryannize secular citizens
and spit at priests. Jewish terrorists burn Muslim houses of worship, invade
Israeli Defense Force bases and attack soldiers."
- "We see what we would never believe with our own
eyes. Darkness at noon, a dark Israel snuffing out" a once more enlightened
society, though never one treating Arabs like Jews.
- Under Netanyahu and MK hard-liners, extremism and moral
cowardice rose to unprecedented levels. Anything now goes, including police
state laws and failing to stop increasing numbers of violent attacks on
Palestinians for being Arabs, not Jews.
- A Historic Analog - Nazi 1930s Violence Against Jews
- Nazis institutionalized violence to solidify power and
establish despotic rule. The Gestapo and SS enforced it against declared
enemies of the state, including communists, social democrats, gypsies,
homosexuals, and, of course, Jews.
- After the March 1933 elections, Nazis institutionalized
violence. Riots in the Ruhr spread nationally. Jewish businesses, enterprises
and stores were picketed. Handbills said: "Germans, don't buy at Jewish
shops." SA stormtroopers broke into Jewish homes, mistreating and
- Hitler launched a nationwide boycott against Jewish enterprises,
doctors and lawyers. Entrances to their establishments and offices were
blocked. Anti-semitic graffiti was displayed and windows smashed. Racist
propaganda institutionalized public anger against Jews as enemies of the
- By 1935, they were publicly humiliated, banned from certain
towns, and party activists assaulted the orthodox. Their beards were cut
off and heads shaved to humiliate them and Judaism.
- Racist legislation followed, including the infamous "Nuremberg
Laws." More on them below. Landlords were forced to break leases with
Jewish tenants. By 1936, harming Jews physically and using legal measures
destructively against their businesses and livelihoods were commonplace.
- By 1938, violence escalated. It intensified with the
March Austrian Anschluss. A wave of anti-Jewish measures followed, aimed
at Austrian Jews. Nazi policy enforced "Aryanizations," confiscations,
arrests, and physical violence.
- In November, the infamous Kristallnacht pogrom occurred.
Hitler and Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda, incited it.
- They exploited the November 7 attempted assassination
of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath in Paris. Violent riots followed. The
entire party apparatus was involved.
- In most German cities and towns, enterprises and Jewish
homes were looted. Over 200 synagogues and 7,500 Jewish enterprises were
attacked, burned and destroyed, and, when it ended, 680 Jews were dead
and nearly 30,000 interned in concentration camps.
- In addition, the ministerial bureaucracy and Gestapo
intensified enforcement of Jewish emigration and keeping Jews and Aryans
apart. German law exempted violent anti-Jewish acts.
- Many occurred, including murders, rapes, other sexual
assaults, organized pogroms, public humiliations, vandalism, anti-semitic
graffiti, boycotts, confiscations, looting and other forms of theft. Virtually
anything was permitted to vilify and remove German Jewry.
- On WW II's eve, German society was accustomed to anti-semitic
violence. It was the genesis of the 1941-45 holocaust, facilitated by the
1935 "Nuremberg Laws" that:"
- protected "German Blood and German Honour";
- prevented marriage or sexual relations between Jews and
- declared persons with any Jewish blood no longer citizens
and denied all rights;
- banned Jews from holding professional jobs to exclude
them from education, politics and industry;
- segregated Jews from Aryans;
- punished them financially, effectively bankrupting Jewish
- prohibited Aryan doctors from treating them;
- prevented Jews from becoming doctors;
- excluded Jewish children from state-run schools; and
- effectively denied Jews all rights afforded Aryans.
- Nazi genocide followed. For decades, Palestinians have
endured similar abuses from racist laws, persecution, land theft, lost
homes, dispossessions, exclusion, isolation, mass imprisonments, torture,
targeted assassinations, violence, wartime slaughter, and Gazans suffocating
- Nazi Germany's historic analog shows how extreme racist
persecution can become. Unless checked, genocide may annihilate a population
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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