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The topic of this article is so disturbing, that I found myself searching for exact definitions of certain terms and historical antecedents. I was aware I may be targeted once again by Israel for its interpretation. If they decide to hit me again, then be it for the correct phrasing. On January 20, 2010, the online Hebrew version of Haaretz – widely considered as the most serious Israeli newspaper – published an article called “Bin Laden Palestine – On Muslim Graves in the West Bank.” The semantic error refers to a graffiti that would be mentioned later.
Pogrom is defined as a form of riot directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious, or other, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes, businesses, and religious centers, either spontaneous or premeditated. The term was originally used to denote extensive violence against Jews. Many of these incidents have dubious origins – some of them even bearing signs of having been incited and coordinated by the Mossad or other Jewish organizations; the events in Iraq that caused the immigration of Iraqi Jews to Israel soon after the foundation of that state are a good example of this last category.
I can imagine Pharisaic-Zionists planning an answer (and probably a violent one) to this last comment of mine. Yet, as recently as on September 15, 2008 former Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert criticized Yitzhar settlers who launched a revenge attack in a Palestinian village in the West Bank where a Palestinian youth was killed and eight Palestinians were injured by saying "This phenomenon of taking the law into their own hands and of brutal and violent attacks is intolerable... There will be no pogroms against non-Jewish residents." Later, on December 7, 2008, Olmert used again the term while denouncing a group of Jewish settlers residing in a disputed building in Hebron: "As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term 'pogrom' to describe what I have seen." Jewish pogroms are a fact.
Olmert’s comments got my attention back then. The Prime Minister was making a sensible statement, though it was not clear from them if legal action toward the settlers followed them. I kept looking for related events until the abovementioned article appeared this week.
It claims that on January 19, a group of settlers visited a village near Nablus for the sake of visiting a Muslim old cemetery, where it is believed several Biblical figures are buried – the sons of Aharon among them. Access to Muslim villages in the West Bank is restricted to Israeli citizens; they need to get a special permit from the IDF. In this case it was not only given, but the IDF sent soldiers to protect the settlers during their visit to the cemetery.
Next day, the village inhabitants found their cemetery had been vandalized in yet another Jewish pogrom. Three gravestones were broken. On two other graves half-consumed food and water bottles were left. On other graves were graffiti – an Israeli terrorizing technique recently described by Justice Goldstone in his report to the United Nations. The graffiti contained highly graphic sexual insults toward the Muslim inhabitants of the area; I apologize for not translating them – simply they are too embarrassing. Some of the graffiti contained texts using military acronyms identifying the IDF unit that protected the settlers. The photographs appearing in Haaretz show texts in Hebrew written with a confident hand, there is little chance they were written by the Muslim residents – Arabic uses a completely different alphabet.
Haim Reicher – the settler responsible for the group – claimed among other things to the Haaretz journalist that “we love them,” while referring to the Arab residents. I’ll skip the rest of his reaction.
The main issue here is not related to the settlers, their inhuman violence and disrespect towards the law system is well known. However, at the moment IDF soldiers participated in this event, the State of Israel became responsible for it. And if we won’t see the event repudiated by the government, the responsible persons punished, the cemetery restored to its former conditions and the villagers asked for forgiveness, then we can say with confidence to have witnessed a state-sanctioned pogrom.
Justice Goldstone described Israel as a terrorist organization (article 1690 of his report); events like this last one only reinforce his verdict.
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