The Jewish settler pogrom against Palestinians must be stopped now

06/08/2008

By Khalid Amayreh

Nazi-like Jewish settlers have of late stepped up their
indiscriminate attacks on Palestinian civilians and their
property throughout the West Bank.

In some areas, like in the Hebron region, settler attacks
have assumed pogrom-like proportions. What is particularly
outrageous is that most of these attacks take place in full
view of Israeli soldiers who watch passively as heavily
armed settlers gang up on helpless Palestinian civilians.

The latest acts of savagery included an assault on a
Palestinian wedding party and the attempted lynching of an
Arab boy near Hebron, an attack on a civilian car near
Nablus that caused a massive brain hemorrhage to a
6-year-old girl who is now fighting for her life, beating
up and stoning Arab children near Tuwwani in the southern
West Bank and setting fire to Palestinian groves and fields
in several parts of the occupied territories.

A Christian Peace-making Team (CPT) member was also
assaulted and badly injured by Jewish settlers in southern
Hebron hills last week.

“We were driving from our home in Ramallah to a cousin’s
wedding in Jenin, with our three daughters sitting in the
back. We had to turn around because of engine trouble, and
as we passed the Yitzhar settlement junction, we saw four
people on the road. My wife said, ‘watch out!’ But it was
too late, a large slab had been thrown through our
windshield,” said Hazem Ma’ali, father of the injured girl.

“He (the settler) dropped it right on us. My wife made a
sound and began bleeding. I stopped and then decided to
continue to Hiwwara checkpoint outside of Nablus. As I
opened the car doors, my daughter fell out, injured. The
slab had made it all the way to the back windscreens.” He
added.

A few weeks ago, settler thugs attacked and badly injured
several Palestinian peasants and shepherds in the Yatta
region. In one instance, settlers beat up a Palestinian man
and tied him up to a power pole outside their settlement
outpost.

These are not isolated incidents, nor do they represent ‘a
few rotten tomatoes’ as Israeli government spokespersons
would claim.

These are deliberate and well-planned acts of terror
carried out by settlers who are following general
instructions from their rabbis and community leaders. The
settlers, who claim to be religious Jews, think they are
doing a ‘mitzvah’ or a good religious deed, when they
murder or lynch an Arab child or shepherd or when they burn
down or destroy Arab property.

And there is no doubt that the vast bulk of these criminal
activities are approved and encouraged by so-called
‘Talmudic sages’ who inculcate these criminals with the
hateful ideology of religious Zionism according to which
all means, including genocide, ought to be adopted in order
to ethnically cleanse the ‘Land of Israel’ of all goyim.

This is not a matter of speculation or prognostication.
Prominent rabbis from the Merkaz Harav Talmudic college in
West Jerusalem(the Central Nervous System of religious
Zionism in Israel) have repeatedly issued edicts, or
religious rulings, permitting settlers to murder innocent
Palestinians and steal or destroy their property. The
Israeli press has published numerous reports on prominent
religious leaders who call on Jews to adopt a
‘no-holds-barred approach’ toward the Palestinians. (This
is the same approach that the Nazis adopted toward Jews
prior and during WWII).

Nonetheless, the Zionist-religious camp is by no means the
sole villain in this episode of terror and murder.

The Israeli state and army often connive and conspire with
the settlers against the virtually completely unprotected
Palestinian civilians, especially in the so-called area C
where the army is supposed to provide protection for all
inhabitants, including Palestinian inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the Israeli occupation army itself has
become very much an army of the settlers, for the settlers,
and by the settlers. There are two main expressions of this
criminal collusion: first, the army itself deploys
settler-soldiers to patrol the vicinity of Arab hamlets and
villages. These ‘soldiers’, who serve as informers and
spies for the settlers, regularly brief settler thugs on
army patrol movement so that when the army leaves a given
area, the settlers attack the nearby Arab community and
then flee back to their respective settlements without
being noticed by the soldiers

And when Palestinian victims submit a complaint to the
Israeli authorities, they are asked to produce impossible
evidence concerning the perpetrators such as their names,
descriptions and even their photographs.

Second, settler-soldiers serving in the occupation army
themselves indulge in acts of murder against innocent
Palestinians such as shooting and killing innocent
Palestinian demonstrators, often against specific army
instructions.

A few days ago, an Israeli settler soldier shot and killed
a 10-year-old Palestinian boy who was among a group of boys
watching Israeli bulldozers crush Palestinian orchards near
Ni’ilin in the West Bank.

Mousa Ahmed Mousa was murdered in cold blood when the
soldier shot him in the forehead at close range.

Unfortunately, the murderer was questioned for five minutes
before he was released to house arrest.

In light of past experience, however, it is unlikely that
he will be punished for his crime.

Today, the settlers, who really have the mindset of the
Gestapo, feel they have a free rein to terrorize, torment
and murder Palestinians and vandalize their property with
virtual impunity.

The settlers also know that there are powerful politicians,
ministers and even army commanders that would get them
released in case they were arrested or imprisoned for their
crimes.

This explains why the Israeli army and police refrain from
carrying out court orders with regard to the settlers, such
as forcing them to leave an Arab property they had seized
by force.

Protection

The settler reign of terror, along with the Israeli
government’s apparent connivance with these criminals,
poses a challenge to those concerned about the increasingly
diabolical treatment meted out to the Palestinians by the
Israeli state.

I believe that in order to prevent settler terror from
reaching unthinkable levels, thousands of international
observers, including conscientious Jews, would have to be
permanently stationed all over the West Bank in order to
demonstrate to these thugs and those who stand behind them
that the Palestinians are not alone.

The presence of international observers may not succeed in
stopping all settler crimes; but it can succeed in
deterring and discouraging the perpetration of some of the
uglier crimes against innocent Palestinians.

The forces of peace from around the world should also
provide Palestinians, especially in remote areas, with
high-resolution cameras to film and document settler
attacks and savagery.

This particular method has been proven effective in
exposing the criminal behavior of Israeli settlers and
soldiers against innocent Palestinians in recent weeks.

We all know that had it not been for that young girl who
filmed an Israeli soldier shooting a handcuffed and
blindfolded Palestinian near Nil’iln a few weeks ago, we
probably wouldn’t have heard about that incident.

In the end, we must leave no stone unturned until we
isolate these thugs who think they are carrying God’s
instructions by murdering and terrorizing innocent people.

They must not be allowed to win. Because if they do, the
entire humanity will lose.

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