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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not in my name (redux)

Back in 2004 I wrote a post entitled 'Not in my name' in which I denounced violence perpetrated by right wing individuals /groups.

At the time I felt it was important to point out that, while the left-wing crowd may view all 'settlers' as a unified, monolithic block, we are every bit as fragmented / diverse as any other part of Israeli society... and that many (if not most) of us are anxious to disassociate ourselves from the tiny minority of settlers who are behaving badly/criminally.

Yesterday I was horrified to read about some residents of Yitzhar who decided that Israel Independence Day would be a good time to go over to the neighboring Arab village and hold an impromptu demonstration.

No permits, no planning, no coordination with the army... nothing.  Some idiot(s) just decided that if a bunch of Israelis went over to vent their spleen in the neighboring village on what they (the Arabs) consider Nabqa Day, it would all end well.  Idiots!

Thankfully a local army patrol (i.e. soldiers who risk their lives to keep all of the area safe and secure for both Jews and Arabs), showed up and tried to head them off... explaining that it was not only a closed military zone, but also a very bad idea.

Sadly, the small group of Yitzhar residents did not take the hint, turn around and go home, but rather summoned a much larger group from their town.  This mob [a word I use advisedly] of settlers began pelting the soldiers with rocks, fists, and anything else handy.  One enterprising young boy even found the means to slash the tires of several of the army vehicles. 

I have no words to describe how I hate hearing about something like this.  These are our soldiers... our sons and daughters... the people's army.  We pray for the safety of these holy men and women with the sefer Torah in our arms, and we rely on them to guard us from our enemies as we enjoy our incredible good fortune to live in this country they have secured for us.  How dare an Israeli of any stripe raise a hand against these soldiers?!

I have spoken out repeatedly here against the government's ill advised use of soldiers to remove illegal settlements and perform 'disengagement' duties for exactly this reason.  The people's army must never be used against the people.  But by the same token, the people must never raise a hand against their army.  Because the moment the IDF ceases to be the army of all the people... we are all lost.

Just as with leftist/anarchist criminals who attack IDF troops at protests over the security barrier, I strongly urge the police to arrest anyone linked with right-wing violence against soldiers... and I urge the Justice Ministry to see that such acts are prosecute to the fullest extent allowed by law without regard to the political affiliation of the perpetrators.

Lastly, the leaders of Yitzhar, the regional council heads throughout Judea and Samaria, and anyone else with a public voice (i.e. bloggers, journalists, etc.), must speak out unequivocally against such violent acts.  Every such act that takes place without our immediate and complete condemnation lends credence to the countless fabricated, fraudulently reported complaints of settler wrong-doing. 

It is incumbent on those with a public voice to state loud and clear that criminals do not act in anyone's name but their own. 

Posted by David Bogner on April 21, 2010 | Permalink


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Quite right. I totally agree with you.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Apr 21, 2010 11:52:04 AM

Well put. Thank you.

Posted by: LARRY | Apr 21, 2010 7:17:05 PM

I completely agree!

Posted by: Mark | Apr 21, 2010 8:42:53 PM

Thank you for your blog. Really - thank you, not just for this entry, but in general - I commented here already a few times (probably some of them not very well received), but I never remembered to simply thank you providing me with a little insight into a perspective I didn't even know I had any interest in.

And there goes the original intent of this comment - finding out whether Arabs serve in/are conscribed for the IDF, too. I just read it on Wikipedia.

Nevertheless - thanks!

Posted by: Carsten | Apr 21, 2010 11:05:43 PM


There are a large number of Druze who serve or have served. As well as Bedouin ('Badwi').
Note that 'Druze' is considered a nationality/ethnic term, whereas 'Bedouin' means nomadic Arab - though to many Arabs, the Bedouin are 'real' Arabs, and their settled kin are merely 'Bani Arab' (descended from Arabs).

See this article: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/934698.html
As well as this one:

Understandably, Israeli Arab members of the IDF aren't too happy with the standard non-Israeli press coverage that describes them as traitors - that may have played a part in the case of Taysir Hayb.

Posted by: At The back of the Hill | Apr 21, 2010 11:52:51 PM

Well put & Amen.

Posted by: LakewoodFallingDown | Apr 22, 2010 1:50:42 AM

Yes, David -- shout it from the rooftops!!

Posted by: Alisha | Apr 22, 2010 3:02:06 PM

More severe punishment(Jail terms and fines)in cases of Left and Right violence.Mob rule and attacks on the IDF should not be tolerated.

Posted by: Ed | Apr 22, 2010 3:40:10 PM

V'nomar, Amein!

Posted by: marsha | Apr 22, 2010 8:45:06 PM

According to Haaretz and other sources, the reason the youth of Yitzhar reacted the way they did is because soldiers tried to prevent them from hiking to a local spring. When the youth did not leave as requested, a soldier fired a live bullet in the air. Did the headlines read "IDF soldier fires at Yitzhar Youth"? No, the headlines only said that a Yitzhar teenager ALLEGEDLY punched a tire of an army vehicle.

Posted by: ami | Apr 23, 2010 11:36:53 AM

I realized that I have one question following what you wrote in this post.
I have spoken out repeatedly here against the government's ill advised use of soldiers to remove illegal settlements and perform 'disengagement' duties for exactly this reason.
Then if not soldiers, who should do it?

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Apr 25, 2010 10:55:38 AM

Ilana-Davita ... The Israel Police. This is a law & order issue, not a military/security one.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 25, 2010 11:10:51 AM

Thank you for your answer. It makes sense; not that you doubt it. :-)

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Apr 25, 2010 11:14:02 AM

Excellent post. Violence must be strongly denounced by all reasonable people. Whether Left or Right, violence cannot be tolerated and those who use violence should be severely punished---jail and fines.

Posted by: Lynne | Apr 25, 2010 7:24:07 PM

just wondering if you spoke with anyone from Yitzhar who confirmed the accuracy of that article.

Posted by: RivkA | Apr 26, 2010 12:55:44 AM

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