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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Will we answer silence with silence?

One of the things which begs explanation, if not outrage, is the near total silence from the so-called moderate Palestinians and the Palestinian 'street' in the face of Arab incitement and terror attacks. 

I've often said that if anyone could point out a viable Palestinian 'Peace Camp' that was shown to be loudly and consistenatly condemning terror & incitement, and working to build bridges with Israel, I'd join the Israeli peace camp (of which there are several, actually) and work tirelessly to convince Israeli leaders to sit down and engage them.

Needless to say, nobody has been able to show me this mythical Palestinian 'Peace Camp', or any semblance of a strong, stable peace partner with whom we could safely negotiate peace.

But that doesn't mean that Israel can exempt itself from self-criticism and outrage at the behavior of extremists on our side of the fence.

So-called 'Price-Tag' attacks - acts of vandalism and terror allegedly carried out by Jewish settlers - have been a staple of the news here for the past few years.  No doubt, there are Jewish extremists, and some have certainly been acting exactly as the media alleges.   But so far, few if any have actually been caught red handed. 

Additionally, many of the 'Price-Tag' attacks have been proven to be the work of Palestinians and their international supporters; designed to vilify Israel in general, and settlers in particular.  Many videos have been captured of Palestinians and their supporters deliberately cutting down / uprooting their own olive trees in order to blame Jews, so I have to believe that with the easy availability of spray paint and gasoline, a portion of the vandalism and arson attributed to Jews is being carried out by others.

However, it is being reported today that three Israelis have been arrested for carrying out 'Price-Tag' attacks, and at least according to the news and police reports, the evidence seems quite compelling:

"The men โ€“ Aaron Sadigurky (21), Yehiel Lex (22) and Nathanael Kellerman (19) were arrested some two weeks ago for allegedly setting fire to a car in the village of Dhahiriya near Hebron and spraying graffiti on a mosque.

Pricetag suspects
    Lex, Sadigurky and Kellerman looking quite pleased with themselves. [my caption]

Not long after the wall of a mosque was desecrated, an IDF unit identified the perpetrators Subaru in a nearby village. The police then started trailing the vehicle, consequently linking it to the crime in Dhahiriya, where a cab was set on fire and a graffiti referencing to a rightwing activist โ€“ arrested for a different act of vandalism โ€“ was sprayed.

According to details revealed in the arraignment, Sadigurky, Lex and Kellerman were the subjects of a lengthy police investigation, as the car with which they were systematically vandalizing property was known to the police. The car, a red Subaru, had given the case the nickname "The Red Japanese," and is now key evidence in the case.

When intelligence information pertaining to the suspects' intention to harm Palestinians reached police forces in early December, a Central Control Unit force was sent after them and arrested them near Samua.

The force found flammable substances in the suspects' car, along with cans of spray-paint and fake weapons, apparently used for deterrence in case of need."  [source]

Contents of the car at the time of the arrest, including a very real looking toy assault rifle.

Some of you may have read a news item last week about a 17 year old Palestinian being shot to death when he approached a Border Patrol post and brandished a weapon very similar to what was found in the car of the three suspects above.  I consider that dead 17 year old Palestinian a terrorist and have no doubt that his own actions were to blame for his death.

By the same token, I consider these three Israelis to be terror suspects, and if proven guilty, I feel strongly that they should be sentenced as terrorists.

Incitement and terror carried out by extremists is a lopsided equation, to be sure, with Israel/Israelis being the victim in the vast majority of reported cases.  But it is not a one-sided equation. 

There are misguided, self-deluded people on the Jewish side, and it is up to everyone to show that, unlike the Palestinians, we Israelis are willing to shun, shame and condemn bad actors in our midst, and will not be silent in the face of something that threatens to extinguish any spark of hope for quiet... if not peace. 

Posted by David Bogner on December 19, 2012 | Permalink


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Thank you for this. It is so great when the voices of nuance, intellectual honesty, and integrity speak loudly and clearly.

Posted by: sarah bronson | Dec 19, 2012 12:32:34 PM

What Sarah said.

Posted by: Alisha | Dec 19, 2012 2:56:38 PM

yep, exactly. it would also give out position more credibility if we demonstrate our belief in the rule of law.
aside for law enforcement, i think social services needs to get involved. these guys are often minors.

Posted by: fred | Dec 19, 2012 4:37:04 PM

It's essential to condemn these terrorists and extremists. There is no justification for their activities. I suspect - or fear - that somewhere along the line, there is a clear failure of rabbinic leadership responsible for this mindset. (I hope not, but there you go.)

Posted by: Ellis | Dec 19, 2012 7:45:37 PM

All it takes is a few idiots.

I hope the government makes an example of these morons.

Posted by: psachya | Dec 19, 2012 9:46:20 PM

I'm waiting. But if they are convicted, I will join your argument, for the very reasons you have listed.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Dec 19, 2012 9:58:39 PM

I`ll be interested in their punishment, including compensation for damages if convicted.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 20, 2012 5:12:55 PM

Ahhhhhhhhh, and you had me right up to your closing statement and then you lost it.

There are misguided, self-deluded people on the Jewish side, and it is up to everyone to show that, unlike the Palestinians, we Israelis are willing to shun, shame and condemn bad actors in our midst, and will not be silent in the face of something that threatens to extinguish any spark of hope for quiet... if not peace.

If only you had left the self righteous comparison of Jews to Palestinians out, I could see your moral support to peace. But using the misguided Jews to take a shot at all Palestinians doesnt allow room for any for growth.

seeing our nemesis in a kinder light allows for the peace we seek. It is in All of our nature

Posted by: Woodrow Fowler | Jan 19, 2013 8:38:32 PM

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