Friday, May 02, 2014

Price tag attacks

"Price tag" (tag machir) attacks by right-wing Jewish extremists on Islamic sites are completely unacceptable - but they are not terrorism.  In the recent attack on a mosque in Fureidis, where the door was burnt, some books desecrated and some tires punctured, no one was hurt.  A similar attack happened in Uhm-al Fahm recently and today a Jewish couple were arrested for that incident.  There were no suicide bombings, no Molotov cocktails thrown at cars or people and no deaths or injuries.  The perpetrators are in fact "militants," what the international media call Arabs when they actually are "terrorists."
I deplore this kind of attack in Israel against Arab Israeli sites.  Fureidis is an Arab town adjcent to the Jewish city of Zichron Yaakov.  Its inhabitants are the descendents of the Arabs who were recruited to build Zichron Yaakov, founded in 1882.  As far as I know they have always been friendly to the Jews and I have never heard of any anti-Israel activities emanating from Fureidis.  In fact the name is Arabic for "Paradise", which is what the Arabs named it, so it must not have been so bad for them (note that the word paradise comes from the Hebrew pardess, meaning "orchard").  
It might not be surprising that Jewish militants carry out revenge attacks against the Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank who attack them and kill their neighbors.  But, taking these revenge attacks to innocent Israeli Arab civilians is completely unacceptable.  As PM Netanyahu said, it goes against our moral values.  But, the idiots who carry out these attracks are not only attacking the Arabs, they are in effect attacking the Israeli state that they blame for sending the Army and Police in to stop their illegal building activities.  All construction on the West Bank must be approved by a lengthy process that includes the Housing Ministry, etc.  All illegal building, Arab and Jewish, can be destroyed on the authority of the security administration. 
Note that both Defense Minister Ya'alon and the US State Dept. has labelled these price tag attacks "terrorism."  Once again, let me repeat that they are wrong.  These attacks are criminal, wrong and unjustified, but they have so far not used any vioence against civlians.  For example, did you know that five Arab men from the village of Isawiya near Jerusalem were arrested by the police and Shin Bet for carrying out attacks against Jewish civilians in theFrench Hill area, including throwing firebombs and Molotov cocktails at a synagogue, an apartment and a night club when all were fuill of people as well as throwing stones and firebombs at cars being driven in the neighborhood.  It is noteworthy that this item was a very small one in the "News in Brief " section of the Jerusalem Post, while the Price Tag attack on Fureidis was on the front page.Terrorism by Arabs is not news, but criminal attacks by Jewish militants is news.


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