Testimony of an Israeli activist who was robbed and beaten by settlers while attempting to assist the olive harvest

Israel/Palestine
on 61 Comments

The settlers arrive.

This is a testimony of A’, a 61 year old peace activist, who was beaten badly with clubs on his head and entire body by Jewish settlers during an olive harvest in the Palestinian village of Jalud; his ribs and several fingers were broken, and his camera and personal belongings were robbed:

Last Friday we arrived at the Palestinian village of Jalud to participate in an olive harvest with a group of Palestinian farmers from the village. Joining us were a group of international peace activists and a group of members from a Palestinian agricultural cooperative from the Hebron area. We climbed a hill in order to begin with the harvest; it is about a kilometer from the village. We went to the terraces where the olive trees were – some ladders and a tractor which came before us to unload the equipment required for the harvest were already there.

No more than five minutes passed from the time of our arrival, when four or five masked Jewish settelers arrived on the scene, accompanied by an armed guard in civilian clothes. Except for the guard, they all covered their faces with cloths – all white except one who covered his face with a black cloth. Seeing the direction that they came from, I assumed that they came from the illegal Jewish outpost of Esh Kodesh (“Holy fire”).

Upon their arrival, I immediately started filming them. They started arguing with the Palestinian farmers and shouted: “Get out of here! This is our land!”, “You haven’t been here for 10 years, haven’t farmed the lands, now they belong to us”. A shouting match developed, but at that point it did not become anything more than that.

Settlers surround the activists.

After the shouting ceased a bit, the farmers returned to the olive harvest. I continued filming, when suddenly I saw the armed guard and one of the masked men approaching me. I heard a sudden, loud explosion and I realized that one of them threw a shock grenade to where the people were harvesting. Immediately after the explosion I heard a round of shooting. At this point people started to disperse and I too began walking in the opposite direction. Stones were being thrown by both sides and the masked men started to cruelly beat the people left in the area. I distanced myself to about 20 meters from the area and went to a lower terrace, to avoid being in the range of the rocks being thrown, after I felt a rock hit my backpack. At this point I was about 50-60 meters away and quite far from the harvest area. In any case, everyone was already escaping in the direction of the village.

At this point three or four of the masked men approached me quickly. I was convinced that when they would realize I was an older man and that if I would identify myself as Israeli, nothing would happen. When they approached me, they initially thought I was Arab and told me: “Jib al-hawiya” (“Give your I.D”). I tried to tell them: “Calm down, guys, I’m Israeli, no need for violence”. At this point the man with the black cloth pulled my camera and tried to take it. I argued with him: “Aren’t you ashamed? Why do you act violently? I’m old enough to be your father!”. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I felt a blow to my head, followed by the feeling of blood gushing out of the wound. I fell to the ground and they continued to beat me with clubs. I yelled at the top of my voice: “Help! Someone stop this!”, but no one heard me.

The masked men managed to grab the stills camera from my hand, and took my backpack which had the video camera, cassettes and my glasses in it. When I tried to fight back to take my camera, I was again beaten, this time on my wrist. At this point they ran away with my belongings, while I was left bleeding and beaten, but with full consciousness and completely aware of my situation and of what had just happened. The truth is that at this point the actual beatings didn’t hurt as badly, and I was more worried about the amount of bleeding. In addition, I was completely in shock, and was in disbelief that this had just happened to me.

Settlers throw a sounds grenade.

I got up and started running up the hill. On the way I met A’ and M’, who was also covered in blood, and I realized that she had been beaten by the masked men at the beginning, right after the shock grenade exploded. After we met, we started walking down the hill, towards the village, while tear gas grenades were falling all around us, shot from a military jeep which was parked under the hill. I believe a second jeep was firing at us from the left side of the hill; we saw this other jeep only later on.

Somehow, between the falling grenades, we managed to get of the hill and we stopped about 50 meters from the military jeep. A’, who was with us, kept yelling at the IDF soldiers to stop firing at us and that people were wounded – but they just kept firing. When we arrived at the edge of the field, close to the road which leads to the village, the second military jeep approached. It was a border police jeep with the word “Police” on it, and it stopped about 20 meters from us. E’ or A’ yelled: “Come help us, there are wounded people here!”. A soldier emerged from the jeep, I was sure he was coming to help us. But instead, he walked to the back of the jeep, extracted a tear gas grenade and shot it at us. The grenade fell about five meters from us, but the wind was blowing in the other direction and the Palestinians told us to stay where we were and let the gas blow in the other direction. At this point I was continuing to bleed from the wound in my head and one of the Palestinians tied his kaffiyah (head cloth) around my head in order to stop the bleeding. M’, who was standing next to us, was also bleeding profusely.

A wounded Palestinian is evacuated.

After the gas blew away, we continued walking towards the village and A’ hurried forward in order to bring his vehicle from the village. We entered his car and M’, H’ and I drove to look for the Palestinian ambulance which was in the village. The ambulance took us to the clinic in the Palestinian village of Qablan, where they disinfected our wounds, cleaned the blood and the Palestinian paramedic instructed me to call Madah (Israeli emergency medical services) and to call an ambulance for ourselves. We called, and Madah instructed us to reach the Tapuach junction and that the ambulance would be waiting for us there.

When we arrived at the Tapuach junction, we waited for some time before the military ambulance arrived. An Israeli police car arrived with it and the policeman started to ask questions about what happened. The military paramedic tried to speed up the questioning, so the policeman came on to the ambulance with us in order to continue with the questioning until we arrived to the Ariel junction. The policeman, accompanied by an officer, followed us in a car to the Ariel junction and informed us that an investigator had already been sent to the area of Esh Kodesh to investigate. One of the policemen said that after we receive medical treatment, they will contact us to continue collecting our testimonies. From there we were evacuated to Belinson hospital in the Madah ambulance.

About Ofer Neiman

Israeli citizen

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61 Responses

  1. lobewyper
    October 25, 2011, 9:31 pm

    “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it. ”

    Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a

  2. Inanna
    October 25, 2011, 10:33 pm

    Do the settlers have impunity from arrest when they beat up an Israeli Jew?

    • annie
      October 25, 2011, 10:46 pm

      i think so

    • CloakAndDagger
      October 26, 2011, 9:49 am

      It is only a matter of time, We become those whom we loathe and abhor.

      As Israel races to become the personification of their oppressors during WW2, we here in the states are rapidly becoming as Israel. I live in San Francisco, a stone’s throw from Oakland, as I watched in horror as the streets erupted in a fashion not seen since the Kent State days. In a very real and tangible way, we get a small taste of what the Palestinians endure every day – and like them, there is a sense of hopelessness and the nation spirals into the abyss.

      Whither tomorrow?

  3. Bumblebye
    October 25, 2011, 10:37 pm

    These settlers have already stolen land, they covet more and will undoubtedly lie about their actions towards the activists and Palestinians, including the theft of A’s camera, backpack, etc. Doesn’t that break several commandments, as they would normally be understood? But these are fanatics, who follow a twisted version of faith which turns them back to front, inside out and upside down until the meaning is entirely reversed.

  4. annie
    October 25, 2011, 10:47 pm

    the first video, those white head coverings reminded me of the KKK

    • Chaos4700
      October 25, 2011, 10:56 pm

      At some point, it ceases to be irony.

    • yourstruly
      October 25, 2011, 11:38 pm

      shades of the nazi brownshirts as well as the kkk

      the moment palestine is admitted to the u.n.?

      krystalnacht revisited?

      while the world stands by?

      not this time

      based on?

      occupy the world

      • Chaos4700
        October 26, 2011, 12:47 am

        I think the Palestinians have already been victimized by an ongoing Krystalnacht by Israel. How many Palestinian legislators are in Israeli prisons?

      • yourstruly
        October 26, 2011, 9:35 am

        agree, should have made this clear

  5. Elliot
    October 25, 2011, 11:22 pm

    I understand why the assailants hide their identity but why do A. (and E. and M.) need to remain unidentified. Israel should be ashamed that the victims need to hide their identity.

    • yourstruly
      October 26, 2011, 12:03 am

      america too should be ashamed that so many of us who support justice for palestine need to hide our identity

      • Elliot
        October 26, 2011, 12:45 am

        I think that’s different. There is a general blog etiquette that allows/encourages anonymity. Most of us choose to take advantage of that here too.
        But, if I attended a demo and was physically attacked by thugs as was A., I do not think I would hide my identity.

      • Avi_G.
        October 26, 2011, 3:38 am

        Elliot October 26, 2011 at 12:45 am

        But, if I attended a demo and was physically attacked by thugs as was A., I do not think I would hide my identity.

        Don’t take this personally, but this only goes to show that you have had very little to no experience in advocating for civil or human rights for Palestinians, let alone justice.

        Here’s a random example of such advocacy; the Israeli group Women in Black who historically have merely stood at major intersections with signs calling for an end to the occupation have been meted with physical attacks throughout the years. But, this is a best case scenario.

        Others have had their lives destroyed courtesy of the Israeli revenue service for speaking against the occupation or in advocacy of equal rights for Palestinian citizens.

        These are not isolated cases. These are policies.

        If you think that A’ would benefit from publishing his name, then a rational person might conclude that you have no idea what vigilantes or the Israeli Shabak or police are capable of.

        Interestingly enough, recent Israeli press reports have provided details about the Shabak’s recent campaign where they setup so-called magnet organizations — like honeypots — to attract people they want to persecute. By the way, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Shabak monitors this website, as well, or, that one of the commenters is a Shabaknik.

      • Elliot
        October 26, 2011, 8:24 am

        Avi G –
        None of what you said – wild assumptions as they are – actually addresses my point:
        it is shameful that people like A. have to hide their identities.
        It makes my work as their Shabaknik agent so much harder.

      • Mooser
        October 26, 2011, 12:30 pm

        “It makes my work as their Shabaknik agent so much harder.”

        You are the “internal security officer” for the settlement?

      • Elliot
        October 26, 2011, 2:00 pm

        Mooser –
        I report on Avi aka Avi G. The guy in the next cubicle is responsible for you.

      • Avi_G.
        October 26, 2011, 3:19 pm

        Elliot,

        I have no idea what your problem is, but if you read my post again you might actually learn a thing or two.

        It makes my work as their Shabaknik agent so much harder.

        Huh?

      • Elliot
        October 26, 2011, 4:34 pm

        Avi_G –
        My point, which I hope you might agree to, is that Israel is a more difficult place to be an activist that the U.S. – where we both chose to live. If I were attacked at an action here in the States, I would have no qualms about publicizing that. I know I would count on the general public’s rejection of the attackers.
        As evidenced in this report, that is not the case in Israel.
        And for that, Israel should be ashamed.

        For what it matters, your mistake was that you read my second comment without reading my first. The comment that you read was specifically about whether Americans should be as ashamed as Israelis.

        I also don’t know why you persist in assuming that you are more knowledgeable than others. Although, I know from personal experience, the information in your posting was correct, it’s certainly not new information.

      • Avi_G.
        October 26, 2011, 11:48 pm

        For what it matters, your mistake was…

        For what it matters, you need to have the integrity to admit when its time to put your foot in your mouth and move on.

        I also don’t know why you persist in assuming that you are more knowledgeable than others.

        What’s there to assume? You thrash about like a whiny kid and then instead of apologizing for writing gibberish — or as politicians like to say, “I misspoke” — you blame others. It sounds like you have a problem.

      • Elliot
        October 27, 2011, 4:21 am

        Avi – your insults do not substance make.
        you need to have the integrity to admit when its time to put your foot in your mouth and move on
        Don’t try this at home.
        The last guy who tried this, tripped over.

  6. ToivoS
    October 26, 2011, 12:42 am

    Somehow this feels like there might be some kind of change happening inside Israel. There was a time that Israelis did not assault other Israelis. They would argue and yell at each other but these kinds of physical attacks were not part of the game.

    It does look like the ultra rightists are engaging in physical beatings. The next step I suppose is that the Settlement thugs will start to kill left wing Israelis. It seems to be happening — what will the NY Times have to say when that happens. Let me guess — Israel has the right to defend itself.

    • Mooser
      October 26, 2011, 12:32 pm

      “There was a time that Israelis did not assault other Israelis.”

      Please do a little reading about how the Zionists treated the “Arab Jews” and other non-Ashkenazi Jews in Israel.

  7. Avi_G.
    October 26, 2011, 12:51 am

    I tried to tell them: “Calm down, guys, I’m Israeli, no need for violence”.

    With all due respect, saying that and then admitting it in writing to boot seems slightly unseemly. But, I can appreciate where that defense mechanism comes from.

    At the same time, that a Jewish Israeli can avoid senseless beatings by declaring that he is Jewish, is testament to the reality on the ground, the apartheid system where non-Jews are considered less than human.

    Finally, it used to be that Israelis, especially Israeli Jews were immune to colonist violence. Even five years ago, the colonists would have thought twice about attacking a pro-Palestinian Jew in the occupied West Bank or Gaza.

    Nowadays, they’re not afraid of anyone. And that is a good indicator of how volatile the situation has become, not that it hasn’t been volatile for the last 60 years. One proverbial spark could blow up the entire region.

    I suppose by now, the question on everyone’s mind must be: How much longer before these conditions escalate to a full blown bloodbath? And what or who will put a stop to it all?

    • Mooser
      October 26, 2011, 12:34 pm

      “And what or who will put a stop to it all?”

      Don’t worry, the IDF will be sent in to restore order and the rule of law.
      (Hey I figured maybe I’m not the only one who needs a good laugh in the morning.)

  8. RoHa
    October 26, 2011, 1:26 am

    ‘they initially thought I was Arab and told me: “Jib al-hawiya”‘

    So settlers have the right to see people’s ID on demand?

    • marc b.
      October 26, 2011, 8:19 am

      So settlers have the right to see people’s ID on demand?

      they do in brooklyn.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 26, 2011, 10:51 am

      “So settlers have the right to see people’s ID on demand?”

      Sure. It’s just one of the perks to being a member of the Master Race Chosen People*.

      (*at least the Zionist [i.e. political] version of the concept, not the religious one.)

  9. Jan
    October 26, 2011, 1:27 am

    With their white head coverings these damnable settlers remind me of the Ku Klux Klan. Thier mentality is no different.

    Unfortunately they will never spend time behind bars where they so deservedly belong.

    • justicewillprevail
      October 26, 2011, 4:52 pm

      Absolutely the Klan, with all its (bogus) race and religious ideology. However, what’s worse in Israel is that the Klan is indulged, their actions condoned and approved of by the highest echelons of the government. They are the outriders for the Jewish state in its drive to take all of the land. Not only do they deny Palestinians the right to their own land, they are very keen to destroy every cultural and social symbol of Palestinian heritage (like the centuries old olive harvest). They are protected and encouraged by the state security apparatus, whilst the so-called ‘liberal’ zionists turn their heads, and pretend it doesn’t exist, or is only the work of a few extremists. Where are ee and all the other apologists and fabricators when the evidence is presented of their ideology and its consequences for innocent people who are born to the wrong parents? It is abhorrent, repulsive and vile; but silence reigns in the worldwide echo chamber of zionist propaganda which we hear every day. Because it shows them up to be the liars and racists that they are concerning their own longterm goals.

  10. seafoid
    October 26, 2011, 2:29 am

    The interaction between the Palestinian activists and the foreigners is interesting. English is the language until something serious happens. The lady in the sunhat looks like it’s all over her head.

    It’s a pity there are no videos of the cossacks attacking the shtetls. I wonder if they were also disguised.

  11. seafoid
    October 26, 2011, 2:30 am

    Meanwhile the great fathers over the sea are busy

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/focus-u-s-a/adl-bid-for-u-s-bipartisan-support-for-israel-faces-staunch-resistance-1.391990

    But that didn’t prevent the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) from offering Jewish organizations and individuals to join them in signing the “National Pledge for Unity on Israel,” aimed, as it stated, “to rally bipartisan support for Israel while preventing the Jewish State from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season.”

  12. ToivoS
    October 26, 2011, 4:03 am

    This story is new. Israeli Jews do not physically attack other Israelis Jews. These are right wing thugs attacking non-Zionist Jews. But this is new. Jews do not kill other Jews, at least not since 1947.

    If this begins to happen what a dilemma it will be for the US State Dept. What will they say? Israel has the right to defend itself? Against its own Jewish citizens? What side do we take as they start killing each other? Do we support the rightest Zionist or those on the left?

    • Mooser
      October 26, 2011, 12:36 pm

      “What side do we take as they start killing each other?”

      I don’t really care, but make sure we sit on the aisle. Easier to get popcorn and hit the bathroom without missing any of the action.

  13. eljay
    October 26, 2011, 7:57 am

    All together now, with the Zio-supremacists leading the chant: “Live #AND# let live!”

  14. proudzionist777
    October 26, 2011, 8:25 am

    Where in what video do we actually see someone beaten? I watched the videos several times but seem to have missed that altercation.

    • Chaos4700
      October 26, 2011, 8:57 am

      Wow, another Zionist using Holocaust denial tactics, gee how unprecedented.

    • marc b.
      October 26, 2011, 9:07 am

      proud777, the title of the post is ‘testimony of an israeli activist who was . . ..’ i am not certain what your point is. there are things in this world that occur off camera. and there is uncontrovertible evidence of settlers attacking and injuring jewish israel peace activists, quite regularly. so, again, what is your point?

    • seafoid
      October 26, 2011, 11:46 am

      “I watched the videos several times but seem to have missed that altercation.”

      Here is some alternative Zioporn for you

    • justicewillprevail
      October 26, 2011, 4:55 pm

      all zionists have heavily censored and highly selective vision in order to get them off the hook.

  15. marc b.
    October 26, 2011, 8:40 am

    this conduct is inevitable. i am surprised that weiss has not posted on the recent articles in the NYRB on Saul Bellow, the second of which discusses Zionism as the movement that would restore Jewish “manliness” after the ’embarassment’ of WWII.

    In reading Lionel Abel’s memoir, The Intellectual Follies, I came upon an arresting passage in his chapter on the Jews. During the war he had heard accounts of the Nazi terror, Abel says, and reports of extermination camps in Eastern Europe.

    “But I had no real revelation of what had occurred until sometime in 1946, more than a year after the German surrender, when I took my mother to a motion picture and we saw in a newsreel some details of the entrance of the American army into the concentration camp at Buchenwald. We witnessed the discovery of the mounds of dead bodies, the emaciated, wasted, but still living prisoners who were now being liberated, and of the various means of extermination in the camp, the various gallows, and also the buildings where gas was employed to kill the Nazis’ victims en masse.

    It was an unforgettable sight on the screen, but as remarkable was what my mother said to me when we left the theatre: She said, “I don’t think the Jews can ever get over the disgrace of this.” She said nothing about the moral disgrace to the German nation…, only about…a more than moral disgrace, and one incurred by the Jews. How did they ever get over it? By succeeding in emigrating to Palestine and setting up the state of Israel.”

    I too had seen newsreels of the camps. In one of them, American bulldozers pushed naked corpses toward a mass grave ditch. Limbs fell away and heads dropped from disintegrating bodies. My reaction to this was similar to that of Mrs. Abel—a deeply troubling sense of disgrace or human demotion, as if by such afflictions the Jews had lost the respect of the rest of humankind, as if they might now be regarded as hopeless victims, incapable of honorable self- defense, and, arising from this, probably the common instinctive revulsion or loathing of the extremities of suffering—a sense of personal contamination and aversion. The world would see these dead with a pity that placed them at the margin of humanity.

    it isn’t hyperbole when people compare israeli conduct to the european fascists. that is who they are fighting in their collective mind, and make explicit reference to (erroneous) nazi ties to the muslim world to put a finer point on it. in this framework, the israelis are justified in doing whatever is necessary to strike down the evil of islamism (and its fellow travellers) and restore the lost ‘manliness’ of jews. you just get a more crude, honest depiction of this psychosis in ‘art’, from bellow, who was truly an artist, and from b-grade crap like ‘the debt’ and whatever that tarantino movie was, with the certifiable eli roth playing ‘jew bear’, or something like that.

    • seafoid
      October 26, 2011, 11:50 am

      Israel and by extension (whether voluntary, passive or involuntary) the Jewish tribe has spent 70 years self medicating the trauma of the Holocaust
      and it has been a disaster. How did the community end up , often in silence, backing the use of white phosphorous on children ?

      The children of the settlers of Hebron are obviously in need of therapy but there are so many others in denial.

    • MRW
      October 26, 2011, 7:26 pm

      marc b.,

      In the summer of 1991, I was in (German & Jewish Hollywood) Director Billy Wilder’s second-floor office on the corner of Rodeo Drive in ‘downtown’ Beverley Hills. (Think it was Rodeo, could have been the other main street or North Canon. Can’t remember) He had a photo still on a table with the back of a truck in the left of the image with piles of naked stiffs, and a military officer with a coat draped over his shoulders walking among tables piled high with naked stiffs in the rest of the image. It was a horrifying sight.

      I asked him what movie that was from. He said it wasn’t a movie. The psy-ops division from the German military high command hired him in April 1945 to make newsreels so that ordinary Germans wouldn’t glorify Hitler after they heard he was dead. He was given carte-blanche and all the money he needed. He said he worked on the job for months.

      I asked him about the photo. There were a few others lying there as well. He said they were shots of the typhoid victims that the military had to cover with lye and get buried as fast as possible to avoid an epidemic, which was their biggest fear from all the camps at the time (they didn’t have the resources if typhoid spread across rural Germany). I asked if they were all Jews. He said no. Typhoid hit everyone, but he said he let the images speak to peoples’ imaginations.

      • marc b.
        October 27, 2011, 8:53 am

        mrw, that is the most infuriating, insulting part of the myopia of the holocaust: this calculus of suffering, in which jewish victims must be awarded superlative status, often to the complete exclusion of the millions of other victims. unless the conversation is strictly related to the nazi program to murder jews specifically, i avoid use of the word holocaust. not because millions of jews weren’t murdered, but because it denigrates the memory of the suffering of non-jews.

        i like gore vidal’s memory of isherwood’s comment on the subject:

        Jews, blacks, and homosexuals are despised by the Christian…majorities of East and West. Also, as a result of the invention of Israel, Jews can now count on the hatred of the Islamic world. Since our own Christian majority looks to be getting ready for great adventures at home and abroad, I would suggest that the three despised minorities join forces in order not to be destroyed. This seems an obvious thing to do. Unfortunately, most Jews refuse to see any similarity between their special situations and that of the same-sexers.

        At one level, the Jews are perfectly correct. A racial or religious or tribal identity is a kind of fact. Although sexual preference is an even more powerful fact, it is not one that creates any particular social or cultural or religious bond between those so-minded. Although Jews would doubtless be Jews if there was no anti-Semitism, same-sexers would think little or nothing at all about their preference if society ignored it. So there is a difference between the two estates. But there is no difference in the degree of hatred felt by the Christian majority for Christ-killers and Sodomites. In the German concentration camps, Jews wore yellow stars while homosexuals wore pink triangles. I was present when Christopher Isherwood tried to make this point to a young Jewish movie producer. “After all,” said Isherwood, “Hitler killed six hundred thousand homosexuals.” The young man was not impressed. “But Hitler killed six million Jews,” he said sternly. “What are you?” asked Isherwood. “In real estate?”

      • MRW
        October 27, 2011, 8:24 pm

        Thanks, marc b.

  16. yourstruly
    October 26, 2011, 9:50 am

    jews redeeming themselves by beating up on the palestinians? how disgusting. as for jews going quietly into the gas chambers, exactly how much did armenians resist earlier in the twentieth century during their genocide? romantic notions about how one would have reacted to the nazi or turkish terror come easy from afar.

    • seafoid
      October 26, 2011, 4:57 pm

      http://www.newevangelicalpartnership.org/?q=node/139

      Let us now assume that God indeed promised the offspring of Abraham and Sarah via Isaac and Jacob a portion of the land between the Nile and the Euphrates. Let us even assume that this promise was intended by God to extend even to our own day and beyond. And let us further assume that in the dark shadow of the Holocaust it was an act of divine grace for a substantial portion of the surviving remnant of the Jewish people to have a modern-day homeland in the contemporary state of Israel. These are substantial assumptions that could be challenged for many reasons, but we are prepared to accept them, along with you.

      But we do so while keeping in front of us another strand of relevant biblical teaching. The prophets, writing much later in Israel’s history, long after Israel had established substantial political kingdoms, warned repeatedly that God’s covenant with Israel has a dimension of conditionality to it. Whether preaching in the northern kingdom of Israel prior to the Assyrian conquest, or the southern kingdom of Judah prior to the Babylonian conquest and exile, Israel’s prophets repeatedly warned that God’s covenant promise of the land was conditional on her moral performance. In particular, the prophets warned that, in keeping with the stipulations of the Law, Israel would be judged by her treatment of the aliens in the land, of the poor, the widows, and the orphans.

      The 7th/6th century BC prophet Jeremiah sounded such themes consistently. We see it in Jeremiah 6:6-8: “This city must be punished; it is filled with oppression…Violence and destruction resound in her…Take warning, O Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you and make your land desolate so no one can live in it.” Jeremiah 7 is a hugely important passage, in which the prophet warns the complacent worshippers at the seemingly impregnable Temple that it and they would be ruined if they did not “amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place” (Jer 7:3). Jeremiah warned: “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely…then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are safe!”—only to go on doing all these abominations?” (7:9-10). And the climax: “I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim” (7:15).

      Old Testament scholars have long recognized that a powerful, important, and dynamic tension exists in the OT between themes of a conditional and unconditional covenant between God and Israel. God has chosen Israel and made binding promises to her; and yet God has warned Israel that her persistent violation of her part of that covenant could trigger God’s judgment, including in war and in exile. And anyone who reads the Old Testament knows that war and exile came to Israel, that it was prophesied in advance as divine judgment, and described in retrospect in the same way.

      At a theological level, we are claiming that even if one accepts a) a divine promise of land to the Jewish people as recorded in scripture, b) a belief that this promise extends even to this day, and c) the modern state of Israel as, in part, God’s gracious fulfillment of this promise, one must also say d) the Bible, in the prophetic writings, also teaches that persistent injustice on the part of Israel has evoked, and still can bring, God’s judgment, which can extend even to war and exile. Israel’s remaining in the land depends on Israel’s now doing justice to Palestinians and making peace with its Arab neighbors that surround Israel. Indeed, Jesus, as prophet and Savior, also prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed because they did not know the practices that make for peace (Lk 19:41-44). And Jerusalem was destroyed, 40 years later. Do you not fear that it could happen again? Does not your love of Israel make you want to do all you can to prevent that from happening? And yet your actions actually make it more likely to happen!

      • MRW
        October 27, 2011, 8:26 pm

        Let us now assume that God indeed promised the offspring of Abraham and Sarah via Isaac and Jacob a portion of the land between the Nile and the Euphrates.

        Let us also assume some of us are not so stupid to accept that is was possible to name descendants who weren’t born yet, so when was this tract written? And why?

  17. Elliot
    October 26, 2011, 9:51 am

    Avi_G: on re-reading my post, I think I understand where you read my comment as an attack on Israeli activists. Clarification: I was speaking about demos in the US. If I were still living in Israel and demonstrating with Women in Black and similar work, I would also hide my identity on the web.

  18. pjdude
    October 26, 2011, 11:11 am

    no surprise that the citizens of a state founded on theft continue to steal

  19. Mooser
    October 26, 2011, 12:41 pm

    I wish some well-informed person would post an article de-bunking the myth that Israeli Jews don’t attack other Jews.
    I suppose the statement ‘Israeli Jews who are basically Askenazi Europeans don’t attack other Israeli Jews who are Ashkenazi Europeans, or Americans’ might fly, but unless my memory fails me isn’t there a rich history of Israelis mistreating non-Ashkenazi or non-Western Jews?

  20. Justice Please
    October 26, 2011, 2:26 pm

    Whenever Israels soldiers or citizens attack other Jews, Zionism proves itself to be indeed the biggest enemy of all Jews in the world. It’s a most dangerous political doctrine, which only on the outside cares about “protecting Jews from harm”.

    • justicewillprevail
      October 26, 2011, 4:58 pm

      Clearly Israel isn’t the ‘safe haven’ for all Jews then, but only for those who dutifully swallow the myth of exceptionalism and privilege

  21. thetumta
    October 26, 2011, 10:00 pm

    If he shot someone there would be a different story line, don’t you think? As long as the killing is one sided comment, all you want. The debate is over.
    Hej!

  22. NorthOfFortyNine
    October 26, 2011, 11:12 pm

    Test.

  23. Watcher465
    October 26, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Please understand people, every country has it’s criminals. It’s just that in Israel they are given guns and told to go for it! Mafia in the USA? Bullshit, the money men were Jews! Look at the history and who went to gaol, and what for. Hasbarats please reply. Please!

    • Avi_G.
      October 27, 2011, 12:20 am

      The colonists wouldn’t dare attack anyone if they didn’t know for sure they would get away with it.

      The Israeli government created this monster, now they have to live with the fruits of their labor. The colonists have already attacked Israeli soldiers in recent weeks.

    • annie
      October 27, 2011, 12:25 am

      Mafia in the USA? Bullshit, the money men were Jews!

      do you mean Meyer Lansky, Abner “Longie” Zwillman, and Louis “Lepke” Buchalter funded al capone?

      • annie
        October 27, 2011, 12:32 am

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Mafia

        goodness gracious, i’m shocked

        one could say that Jewish American organized crime played a role in the emancipation of the Jewish American community from the ancient stereotypes. However, Cohen’s description of Jewish gangsters ignores their criminality and immorality. These tough characters were still gangsters who extorted, exploited and murdered other members of the American Jewish community for profit. They forced Jewish women into the sex industry,[4] and were generally considered a scourge within their own community.[11] The Yiddish press and literature of the 1920s and 30s was resolute in its condemnation of Jewish mobsters.[citation needed]

        (my bold)

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