Friday, July 25, 2008

The Zionist "S" word

Nothing gets the Israeli media feeling all warm, cosy and ready for a bloodletting than tales of “settler” violence. Earlier in the week the Ynet News ran this story on ‘settler violence’:
A series of violent incidents involving settlers swept through the West Bank Thursday, as dozens of settlers clashed with IDF and police forces, stoned cars and vandalized Palestinian property.

The gravest incident of the day occurred in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, when during the riot a settler was able to snatch a weapon away from an IDF soldier standing next to him and began firing in midair. A second settler began firing in midair as well. No injuries or damage were reported; both men were arrested.

Sounds bad, nu? Well, here is the Arutz Sheva report of the same incident:
In another confrontation at Adei Ad, two Jewish men were arrested by Israeli forces after one of them snatched a rifle from a soldier and fired it into the air. IDF spokesmen described the incident as another violent act committed by ‘settlers,’ and denied any wrongdoing in the incident. The civilian involved in the incident claimed that he took the weapon to save his life from Arab assailants, while the soldiers did nothing to protect him.

Homesh First said the man who took the gun was an air-conditioning technician from Jerusalem who was travelling with a passenger from the town of Kedumim to Itamar in Samaria. The two were attacked by dozens of Arabs who pelted his car with rocks and then attempted to extract him from the car to lynch him. Panic-stricken, he ran to a group of IDF soldiers standing nearby who refused to do anything. Desperate for the soldiers to do their job, he gave up trying to convince them, took the weapon of one of the soldiers, fired in the air and then gave it back. It remains unclear whether the civilian took the rifle forcibly or the soldier agreed to let the civilian use it.

After the initial statements from the IDF accusing the Jewish civilians, police determined that the lives of the two men had truly been in danger, and that their car had indeed been seriously damaged by rocks thrown by Arab rioters. The two were released immediately.

So far no apology for the false report has come from the IDF spokesman’s office. Nor has there been any investigation into why the soldiers, who saw two Jewish civilians in mortal danger at the hands of an Arab mob, failed to act to protect them, even when the Jews begged them to.
I doubt there is a more demonized group in Israeli society than members of the settler movement – even the Palestinians and Arab Israelis have their vociferous defenders...while it is always open season on the settlers - and I guess that can be taken literally as well.

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