Never any downtime for ‘settler’ bashing

Israeli scrutiny of other Jews common place among media, leaders; "appeases" PA.

Israeli flag 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
Israeli flag 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
It seems that hardly a week passes without one entity or another, whether foreign leaders, our own (at times backed by the muscle of our security forces) or journalists aren’t guilty of singling out the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria for scrutiny, investigations, or in extreme cases even justifying or encouraging acts of violence directed against us.
Take for example a JTA article published this week in The Jerusalem Post, in which more than 100 US Jewish leaders signed a letter urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make clear “Israel’s readiness to make painful territorial sacrifices for the sake of peace.” In other words, from their pedestals in the “Golden Medina” more than 5,000 miles away, these power-wielding and influential know-it-alls are recommending that the prime minister ignore the disaster brought upon Israel as a result of the 2005 Gush Katif expulsion, and instead should express a willingness to relinquish more land in Judea and Samaria to our enemies.
Not only are these leaders showing that they couldn’t care less about the immense suffering still experienced by the Jews from Gaza to this very day and what certainly would be intense trauma for an additional tens of thousands of Israelis forced out of their homes, they’re willing to ignore the results of that move – namely a 500 percent increase in rocket attacks and a Hamas takeover.
All of this simply to appease the Palestinian Authority, which time after times prove its core mandate, as indicated by its official logo and daily incitement, is the establishment of the State of Palestine replacing the entire Jewish state.
I would like to personally invite the signatories of this letter to either visit displaced Gush Katif families living in caravans in places like Nitzan to hear their stories firsthand, or perhaps to spend a day in Sderot where as we’ve seen the rocket threat still exists. Or maybe I’ll offer to chauffeur them through specific hotspots in Judea and Samaria, where rock/boulder attacks are a daily occurrence. Perhaps after they witness these realities for themselves they would erase their names from the letter.
But maybe I’m being too hard on these naive foreign leaders when members of our government still believe that throwing Jews out of their homes is the key to peace. Our own Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is slated to be in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians (should they ever occur – talk about putting the cart before the horse), also still believes that a two-state solution with the removal of Jews from their homes based on their ethnicity and geography is the way to go.
While currently a minister in the Netanyahu government, Livni ironically told an audience at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot before our most recent election that “Netanyahu will be the demise of the Jewish state... The choice faced by Israeli citizens [in the upcoming elections] is between Zionism and extremism.” Her comments were obviously suggesting that Netanyahu wasn’t serious about negotiations toward a two-state solution.
It’s funny how being awarded a top ministerial position can quiet one’s rhetoric.
While talk might be cheap, it’s events on the ground that better define the realities. In a predawn raid on April 2, police forces were sent to the community of Eish Kodesh near Shilo, to forcibly take five members of the community who were involved in an altercation with neighboring Arabs in late February in for questioning.
According to community spokesman Aron Yosef Katsof, at 4 a.m., 50-60 armed riot police arrived at Eish Kodesh waking up members of the community – who feared they were being targeted in a terror attack – and after handcuffing the five men in front of their children took them in for questioning about the February incident.
Katsof says that while the settlers were taken in (they subsequently released), no Arabs were questioned in connection with the incident.
This despite Katsof’s claim that authorities have seen video evidence proving that during the melee, local Arabs throwing stones attacked the community’s residents and uprooted more than 2,000 grape vines in an act of agricultural terrorism. The Eish Kodesh residents who arrived on the scene, he says, were acting in self-defense.
So why was it deemed necessary to raid the community in the middle of the night? Katsof says that he was told off the record by one of the investigators that the reason for the 4 a.m. commotion was because of “pressure from Obama.”
He explained that when President Obama addressed college students at the Jerusalem International Convention Center on his recent trip to Israel he referenced “settler violence against Palestinians [which] goes unpunished.”
Therefore Katsof feels that the raid, which would not have drawn as much media attention if it happened at a normal hour, was a public relations stunt to appease the American administration. He adds that on the other hand the Arab agitators who have been regularly attacking the community members and destroying their agriculture in recent months have yet to be punished.
And finally, the most outlandish item in recent memory against us settlers is is the oped penned by Amira Hass in last week’s Haaretz newspaper, which can explicitly be viewed as incitement to violence against the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.
In Hass’ nefarious piece she justifies Palestinian rock throwing against Israelis beyond the “Green Line” by saying that “throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance.”
The Yesha Council filed a police report against the article accusing Hass of encouraging rock attacks against Jews, which can cause severe wounds and even fatalities.
At the same time Adva Biton, the mother of Adele, the three-year-old Yakir girl still in critical condition at a Petah Tikvah hospital due to wounds received in a stoning incident near Ariel last month, invited Hass to visit her daughter in the intensive care unit to “see my Adele, a three-year-old girl, attached to tubes.”
Biton’s letter to Hass, published on the Hebrew news website NRG, goes on to state, “Experience with me the difficult trial with which I am coping. Amira, a rock does not distinguish between blood and blood, or between an adult and a three-year-old girl. A rock kills. A rock is a deadly weapon in every way... your words, Amira, are horrific words of incitement. Words that encourage the cutting off of life.”
As of this writing there have not been any formal charges issued against Hass or Haaretz, and certainly no apology has come from the writer or the publication.
So examining the news over just a relatively short period of time it is obvious from the items above that the vendetta against settlers in Israel is alive and well.
Gaining inspiration while I spent several days in Itamar over Passover vacation, a town which has seen more terror deaths percentage-wise than any other community in Israel, I know that despite all the hostility against us, at the end of the day, make no mistake about it – our communities will continue to grow, thrive and flourish.
The writer is a media expert, freelance journalist, and host of Reality Bytes Radio, on