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Very far from paradise: Palestinians from Fureidis protest ‘price tag’ attack

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Palestinians demonstrate against Jewish political violence and hate. One Israeli source put the number of protesters at 4000. (Photo: Yoav Etiel)

If you want to see apartheid in Israel, go to Fureidis.  This rural northern coastal town of 12,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel with not a single Jew, is surrounded by many all-Jewish settlements.   Most notable among them is Zichron Ya’akov, which was founded in 1882, as one of the first colonies in what has become known to Jewish Israelis  as the first aliyah or immigration.

graffito

“We close mosques and build yeshivas in their place.”

Yesterday (April 29), Fureidis was the scene of a so-called “price tag attack,” by Jewish vandals, three of whom were filmed by a security video camera.  During the attack, dozens of vehicles had their tires slashed and graffiti was spray painted on numerous walls, including those of a mosque.

The Jerusalem Post, quoting Fureidis Village Chairman Yonas Marai on Israel Radio, reported:

“They wrote many things on the mosque wall. They wrote that we have to close down the mosques and build yeshivas in their place. We live here in the State of Israel, a democratic state, we do not live in the West Bank and not in the [Gaza] Strip.”

On the day of the attack residents quickly organized a protest march against “price tag attacks,” which had been mostly limited to the West Bank until recently.  There have been at least six other reports of such attacks on Palestinian towns inside the “green line” since December.  The news media estimated that between 1500 to 4000 demonstrators participated in the march.

Thursday, most Fureidis residents went on strike to protest the political violence and the lack of a sufficient response from the government to these acts of vandalism and hatred.  The commercial center was shuttered  as stores closed their doors in solidarity with the protest.  In an unusual occurrence, even the banks closed their doors.  Schools also were closed for the day.

The name Fureidis is said to come from the Arabic word for “little Garden of Eden” and by extension from the term “paradise.”   In the early 70s, this fact was a source of never- ending amusement for the residents of the neighboring Kibbutz Ma’ayan Tzvi, a place at which I briefly lived as a volunteer worker and Hebrew student.

Furiedis was the subject of the brilliant documentary “Paradise Lost” directed by Ebtisam Mara’ana who grew up in the town.  The film is a meditation both on occupation and feminism in a Palestinian context.

Palestinian political organizing and protest has been brutally suppressed from the beginning of the state until the present.  Maybe this protest is a sign that the long suppressed anger of Israel’s Palestinian citizens will be heard in surprising ways in the near future.

Ira Glunts
About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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27 Responses

  1. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw on April 30, 2014, 12:50 pm

    Ira.
    You failed to mention that many of the protesters were Jews from nearby Zichron Yaakov who came out to support their Arab neighbors.

    You also fail to explain why it is that there are no Jews living in Fureidis.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka on April 30, 2014, 1:14 pm

      “You failed to mention that many of the protesters were Jews from nearby Zichron Yaakov who came out to support their Arab neighbors.”

      And if some did, then good for them. Too bad they are badly outnumbered by the Jews in that state who overtly or covertly support and empower the price tag terrorists.

      “You also fail to explain why it is that there are no Jews living in Fureidis.”

      You mean, other than the fact that the Israelis were unable to ethnically cleanse it of its Arab population during the Israeli reign of terror in the late 1940’s??

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on April 30, 2014, 6:59 pm

      It’s a bit funny how strong nationalists have morphed over the last century. 100 years ago, it sounded like something some of the more progressive folks could get around: “Look, every nationality has a country, our religious community has been given second rate status, and in notable cases underwent persecution”

      Now the nationalists sound much different. To achieve a nationalist state 75% of the population of other religions was banned from living in their own homeland, a society began where villages are divided among communal lines, the building of new villages of the conquered communities was prevented, and when the latter get vandalized and abused, the question is put accusingly why none of the victors’ population lives in the latter. What a sharp turn of events. What happened to all those progressive values about equal rights?

      Are people able to have self-reflection outside of national consciousness? Americans have had enough difficulty with that at times.

    • Hostage
      Hostage on May 1, 2014, 1:22 am

      “You also fail to explain why it is that there are no Jews living in Fureidis.”

      Because the Zionists and the State of Israel don’t covet it enough just yet. They are busy re-writing the Prawer plan and will deal with these protesters later.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on May 1, 2014, 2:31 pm

        @Hostage

        The facts are that Jews and Arabs living in Israel have a ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’. Arabs with Arabs, Jews with Jews, and it holds up fine.
        There are exceptions, like in Haifa, a mixed city.

        Gentrification is occurring too, like in Lod, but the local Arabs there are none to happy with Jews moving into their neighborhoods.

        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4325694,00.html

      • Hostage
        Hostage on May 1, 2014, 8:03 pm

        The facts are that Jews and Arabs living in Israel have a ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’. Arabs with Arabs, Jews with Jews, and it holds up fine.

        Citation please. An unwritten agreement that is backed only by the integrity of a Zionist is nothing but a delusion.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw on May 2, 2014, 12:21 am

        @Hostage

        “An unwritten agreement that is backed only by the integrity of a Zionist is nothing but a delusion.” I can’t tell whether this is folderol or blather?

        With the exception of yourself, most Jews in America choose to live near or among other Jews, though there is nothing preventing them these days from moving anywhere else. Same as for Arab-Americans who choose to live among themselves. Every hear of Little Italy or Chinatown?

        BTW, Pisgat Zeev is a ‘settlement’ in annexed East Jerusalem. Mostly Jewish, but Arabs are moving there to live as well

      • Hostage
        Hostage on May 2, 2014, 9:07 am

        @Hostage “An unwritten agreement that is backed only by the integrity of a Zionist is nothing but a delusion.” I can’t tell whether this is folderol or blather?

        No. Mark Twain is credited for the old maxim that oral agreements are not worth the paper they are written on. I was serious about the request for a citation. A well-publicized or well-documented “gentleman’s agreement” can be legally enforceable in certain circumstances. But the one you mentioned isn’t well known or widely reported. If Zionists respected their agreements on non-aggression, Deir Yassin would still exist. http://web.archive.org/web/20080208024823/http://www.ariga.com/peacewatch/levitza.htm

  2. Kay24
    Kay24 on April 30, 2014, 12:56 pm

    These illegal settlers have a vicious streak in their DNA. How much more should these poor Palestinian people endure? Their Mosques have been attacked, tires slashed, racist graffiti spray painted on Mosques and other structures, and have been spat on, and orchards destroyed, by those who should be rightfully called Israel’s front line terrorists and thugs. According to many reports hardly any of these barbarians are held accountable for these crimes, nor face any kind of sentence, for what can be considered serious crimes. The Israeli government knows how to flex it’s muscles at unarmed neighbors and use brute force on them, but strangely cannot control their criminals. What we sometimes forget is, that these Palestinians have been abused for so long, and it is no wonder they want to retaliate in some way or the other. If Americans were treated this way, I know they will want to retaliate in ways that will make the occupiers head spin.

    • biorabbi
      biorabbi on April 30, 2014, 11:38 pm

      Maybe the Palestinians will so tire of their horrific abuse, they might move to Syria? Then again, Kay, even if one accepts your truth, line by line, it still makes the Jews into a fairy god mother contrasted to B. Assad, head of “the resistance”

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on May 1, 2014, 1:16 pm

        Are you comparing the “only” democracy in the ME to a brutal dictator?
        Does it make you feel better that there are worse criminals in the region? Fairy god mother? No way, more like the wicked witch of the Middle East, after all we are pouring in billions of dollars, weapons, and support to the only democracy in the ME, and it keep ill treating it’s unarmed neighbors, or looks the other way when their criminals attack them. One does not have to accept what I say, let them however take the word of the UN and NGO sources, and even the Israeli Justice Minister:
        “”Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank continued and were largely unprosecuted according to UN and NGO sources,” says the State Department’s annual Country Report on Terrorism.

        Justice Minister Tzipi Livni responded to the report Wednesday saying, “Hate crimes that have rode into Israel from Yitzhar destroys us from within and disfigures our impression on the outside world.”

        Livni said that the report, “unveils what we already knew: these crimes, known as ‘price tag’ crimes, inflict massive damage in Israel… as a nation that must bring these criminals to justice.”

        The report states that attacks of this nature number in the hundreds.

        “The UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs reported 399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage. Violent extremists, including Israeli settlers, vandalized five mosques and three churches in Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to data compiled by the UN.”

        The paper also notes that the phenomenon has spilled over into Israel, where Muslim and Christian sites have been targeted.”-Ynet news.

      • Walid
        Walid on May 2, 2014, 5:43 am

        “Are you comparing the “only” democracy in the ME to a brutal dictator?
        Does it make you feel better that there are worse criminals in the region?

        Kay, Assad is not a brutal dictator, he’s simply the figurehead of a not very benevolent regime; he didn’t really want the job but was forced into it when his father died in 2000. He’s actually a mild mannered ophthalmologist that would probably happier running an eye clinic.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on May 2, 2014, 6:18 am

        I agree that Assad was thrust into this position, and really, who knows what happens there, it is all murky, with the situation made worse, by interference from the US and Israel. Also, for their devious reasons, they even trained the rebels, and arm them. Nothing is what is seems to be in Syria.

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick on May 1, 2014, 8:38 pm

        Why do they have to move to Syria? Why doesn’t Zionism stop its abuses.

        Also why is it that Zionist like you cannot justify your positions without engaging in either lies or misdirection? I would have more respect for you if you would just admit to being a Jewish supremacist.

        And stop using the victims of the Syrian conflict, you don’t give a damn about them.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on May 2, 2014, 6:35 am

        Well, abc, I suppose that those who can’t find any good arguments try bad ones.
        I doubt if anyone here thinks that the Zionist project has never done anything good, or anything from which non-Jewish people have gained benefit. Still less would that be true of the historic wider Jewish presence in the ME. Non-Jewish forces have certainly done horrible things.
        However, I for one would say that Zionism is a false principle, bound to work out in cruel ways – which means that comparison, quite disturbing comparison, with other cruel deeds is not excluded but in all fairness and logic demanded. Moreover nothing ceases to be bad because something else is bad too. ‘Not as bad as something else’ is in any case rather cold comfort.
        Mind you, false propositions are in the most important sense all false equally. They attract attention for different reasons – one very good reason is the strength of support they receive. That they are widely and strongly supported, as Zionism is, is an excellent reason for making a point of denying them. I would add that I also think that the cruel and dangerous consequences of Zionist practice are very, very great, not minimal by comparison with anything.

      • amigo
        amigo on May 2, 2014, 6:42 am

        For jackduh above!!!

        “BTW, Pisgat Zeev is a ‘settlement’ in annexed East Jerusalem.”Jackduh.

        You mean “Illegally”annexed East Jerusalem.

        Trouble with you zionist apologists is you think you are the worlds greatest victims who are without sin or blame.

        Below is the link to Mickey Rosenfeld claiming the Price tag terroreeeests should not be on the US terrorist list as they are just vandals and not the same as Palestinian terrorists.

        Have you not figured it out yet jackdaw.The game is up.The zionist project is over

        http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/Israel-Palestinians-US-attacks/2014/05/01/id/568825/?promo_code=1488E-1&utm_source=1488Ehaaretz&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont on April 30, 2014, 2:03 pm

    This “price tag” attack may not clearly be a “price” for anything in particular, merely a showing of vicious cruelty on the part of the (apparently photographed) attackers. The villagers should go for justice and let the world know what result they have in democratic (the only! if only!) Israel.

    The importance of this episode (for me) is that it shows that all Palestine is one and the (bad) Jews treat it all the same way. Green Line is erased, giving color-blindness a new meaning.

    So, that means (to me) that apartheid is the same, or sufficiently the same, throughout Israel/Palestine. While Kerry dithers, these brave and demonstrative “price tag” folks have shown the world (or anyone watching anyway) that apartheid is universal in Greater Israel. It is no longer two states but one state.

  4. Kate
    Kate on April 30, 2014, 2:50 pm

    And then there is this. Seems like the poison is spreading.

    http://www.imemc.org/article/67671

    [Tuesday, April 29, 2014] In a letter delivered to the Latin Patriarch in the Holy Land, Paul Marcuzzo of Nazareth, an Israeli man has said that all Christian priests, and Christians in Israel, must leave the country “or else a 100 Christians will be killed every hour of delay”.

    The Israeli police in the northern part of historic Palestine said that a 40-year old Israeli man, from Safad, was apprehended.

    The police added that the man actually went to the home of Marcuzzo, and handed one of his housekeepers a letter containing death threats to Christians, priests and every person who works for a church in the country.

    The letter demanded Marcuzzo to inform all priests, except for Protestants and Evangelicals, to leave the country by sunset of May 5, 2014.

    • Walid
      Walid on May 2, 2014, 5:57 am

      “… an Israeli man has said that all Christian priests, and Christians in Israel, must leave the country “or else a 100 Christians will be killed every hour of delay”.

      Maybe the threat will be enough to make the Lebanese Patriarch, Cardinal al-Ra’i, to change his mind about joining the Pope’s trip to the apartheid state to visit his Maronite flock there. This decision for a Lebanese Patriarch is unprecedented and it’s causing a stir because the man is admired by Christians and Muslims alike and while most are unhappy about his planned trip, they are reticent to criticize him for it. They are concerned about the political and propaganda capital the Zionists will be making of his trip and of which Zionist hand he will have to shake.

      • JeffB
        JeffB on May 2, 2014, 11:10 am

        @Walid

        He hasn’t said that much on Israel but he is pro-SCAF and anti-MB. Its entirely possible that he is looking to act as a bridge where just as in Egypt there was a diverse coalition against “Islam is the answer” politics, perhaps there could be such a thing in the middle east.

        He is someone who sees Israel as part of the region. I think he just rejects your framework that Jews are aliens and Israel is just some “Zionist entity” that needs to be destroyed. He most certainly has proposed for, “A radical solution ought to be adopted in the countries of the Middle East which consists in convincing Jews and Muslims to separate Religion and Politics, as is the case with Christianity.” That isn’t a rejection of Israel/Israelis/Jews but rather an acceptance while pushing for a policy adjustment. Notice that he considers Judaism intrinsic the same way Islam is. He considers state churches illegitimate but doesn’t consider the Jewish state to be anymore illegitimate than Islamic states.

        His position is anti-Zionist in that he wants secular states everywhere but he wants them on an equal basis. At core I’d say that position is is Zionism. That Jews are a people like any other and deserve the same rights as any other people.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on May 2, 2014, 12:16 pm

        Were Protestants excepted because they are thought to be 100% Zionists? I must say that my own branch of Protestantism, the CofE, doesn’t do much to refute that idea, but our Scottish cousins do better.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24 on April 30, 2014, 4:21 pm

    It seems the US State Department is keeping track of these heinous crimes:

    “Crimes by Israeli extremists against Palestinians spread into Israel and went largely unpunished last year, according to the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2013, released on Wednesday.

    Within the chapter on Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem is a sub-section dedicated to “price tag” attacks, defined as “property crimes and violent acts by extremist Jewish individuals and groups in retaliation for activity they deemed to be anti-settlement.” According to the report, citing the United Nations and NGO sources, such acts were “largely unprosecuted.”

    There were 399 attacks by Israeli settler extremists that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage, including five vandalized mosques and there churches in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.588285

    Oh they know that such crimes go on, yet we keep supporting these criminals with aid.
    How about insisting that the charity receiver, do something to stop these crimes?
    Why do we keep showering this rogue state with unwavering support, knowing that it is guilty of numerous crimes against powerless civilians, the true victims?

    • talknic
      talknic on May 1, 2014, 1:50 am

      “It seems the US State Department is keeping track of these heinous crimes”

      http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224823.htm Price Tag Attacks:

      “Price tag” attacks (property crimes and violent acts by extremist Jewish individuals and groups in retaliation for activity they deemed to be anti-settlement) expanded into Israel from the West Bank in 2013. The Israeli government formed a new unit of the national police designated specifically to investigate these crimes in both Israel and the West Bank and in June the Security Cabinet authorized the Ministry of Defense to classify groups that perpetrated “price tag” attacks as “illegal associations,” which allowed security authorities greater leeway in collecting information on and seizing the property of groups, and of their members, that perpetrated “price tag” attacks. Incidents included:

      In July, gravestones in a Christian Orthodox cemetery in Jaffa were vandalized with the words “revenge” and “price tag.” Price tag graffiti was also found on a residential building near the cemetery.
      In August, the Beit Jamal Monastery near Jerusalem was firebombed and spray-painted with the words “death to the Gentiles” and other slogans.

      No mention of shootings by illegal settlers as the IDF watched etc… The US is &*&^%^ pathetic

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on May 1, 2014, 1:20 pm

        They have eerily become filled with hatred and arrogance, just like those who once treated their people badly. They must have evil within them, to keep these criminal hate crimes going, and arrogance to think they are entitled to act like terrorists, and no one should stop them. All this, and they keep crying victim too!

  6. Cina
    Cina on May 1, 2014, 7:00 pm

    Good for them. Thanks for the report.

    Btw this is completely off topic, but I am looking to learn modern Hebrew. I subscribed to HebrewPod101 because I like the online school idea, but they feel much more like a propaganda entity for the Israeli state than a Hebrew language instruction program. I don’t want to give them my money. Anyone has any idea of where I can find Modern Hebrew instruction by progressive teachers or companies?.

    • Walid
      Walid on May 2, 2014, 7:26 am

      Maybe Taxi could ask around for you, Cina, most men in her neighbourhood speak it fluently. A couple of universities teach it in Lebanon but it’s Biblical Hebrew, not the modern one that you want.

  7. brenda
    brenda on May 2, 2014, 8:22 am

    a smidgeon of good news:

    “Israeli police on Thursday challenged Washington’s inclusion of Jewish extremist attacks on Palestinians in a global terror report, saying such incidents could not be likened to militant attacks.

    “For the first time, the State Department’s 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism, published Wednesday, included a reference to a growing wave of racist anti-Palestinian vandalism, euphemistically known as “price tag” attacks.

    “Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank continued and were largely unprosecuted,” the report said, citing UN and NGO data.

    Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Israel-Palestinians-US-attacks/2014/05/01/id/568825#ixzz30YmPQkMG

    “The US report noted that “the UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs reported 399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage.

    “Violent extremists, including Israeli settlers, vandalised five mosques and three churches in Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

    “Defining price tag attacks as “property crimes and violent acts by extremist Jewish individuals and groups in retaliation for activity they deemed to be anti-settlement,” the report said that over the year, the phenomenon had spread into Israel from the occupied West Bank.”

    …the big question is: can the US State Dept. stand against the Israeli police? Stay tuned…

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