February 22, 2022
“This, We Must Win!!”
We must secure our rights to our Land – our rights not only to possess the Land, but to live in it peacefully. Nothing else can be tolerated. We have not waited for 2,000 years to come home, prayed for 2,000 years to be here, only to surrender what is ours.
The battle is not yet won and we must keep going.
We have reached a place in this battle that requires the involvement of every single person who is devoted to Israel as the Jewish State. That means being informed on the issues, and it requires speaking out. There are many forces arrayed against us.
And so, you will continue to hear from me on issues that are pertinent to this battle.
The charge of “increased settler violence” continues to be utilized as a weapon again the right of Jews to live in Judea & Samaria, while the nature and extent of Arab attacks on Jews in these areas is often ignored or downplayed.
Unfortunately, as I have noted previously, some of these fallacious charges against settlers come from left-wing members of the current government – sufficient reason in-and-of itself for the government to come down. Now we learn of Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) who declared at a Security Cabinet meeting: “Settler violence is a national strategic threat, planned actions aimed at causing bloodshed.” Shameful, and totally fallacious. Send this man packing.
Reportedly, Prime Minister Bennett did not respond, which if true, is also shameful.
Last Friday, residents of Karmei Tzur — a community under the jurisdiction of the Gush Etzion Regional Council in Judea – took to the streets to protest the failure of the government to respond adequately to an increase in Arab terror attacks.
“The government must take responsibility and create meaningful deterrence via the IDF against those who try to murder Israelis on the roads in Judea and Samaria,” said Gush Etzion Regional Council Spokesman spokesman Josh Hasten.
The protesters insisted that delaying a serious response until someone is seriously wounded or killed was not an option. They demanded that the government instruct the security forces to clamp down on the terrorists immediately, without waiting for things to get even worse.
We can get a better sense of what the Jewish residents of Judea & Samaria are contending with by reviewing the statistics put out by the NGO Rescuers Without Borders (SSF – Sauveteurs Sans Frontiers), a medical relief agency dedicated to saving lives. SSF keeps track of Arab terrorism against Jews in Judea & Samaria, and says it can provide documentation for each incident, including date, time, and location.
There were over 400 incidents of Arab attacks on Jews in Judea-Samaria for the month of January alone:
Rock-throwing – 300
Tire-burning – 59
Molotov Cocktails – 89
bottles of paint – 3
blinding drivers with laser – 3
car ramming – 1
setting fires, including a synagogue – 6
attempted stabbing – 1
road blocks with rocks – 6
car theft – 3
fireworks – 1
shooting attacks against soldiers next to major road ways – 2
Sheri Oz, who put up this information, also provides a break-down by region:
The above figures are just for one month. The IDF puts out an annual statistic: There were 5,532 rock-throwing attacks in Judea & Samaria in 2021. This represents an increase of 38% over 2020, when there were 4,002 attacks. In 2019, there were 3,805 attacks; and 1,881 in 2018.
Matan Asher, spokesperson for the NGO Im Tirtzu, believes that there is a connection between the increase in attacks and the 2018 expiration of a law – brought forward in 2015 by Ayelet Shaked, who was then Justice Minister — that set a ten-year minimum sentence for rock-throwing. IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (pictured) agrees that “there appears to be a correlation between the sunset of Shaked’s law and the spike in stone-throwing attacks.”
“The problem is that 99% of the people who are indicted receive a punishment more suited for a child than a grown man,” said Asher.
Kupperwasser concurs: “It’s clear that the current punishment is not enough to deter them.” Military courts hearing these cases are not taking full advantage of the punishments at their disposal.
Bitchonistim, a group of former Israeli military and security officials, released a report in January indicating that the average sentence in Judea & Samaria was 8.3 months in prison for throwing stones and 13 months for throwing Molotov cocktails. (This covered the period from January 1, 2019 to October 12, 2020.)
The courts are lenient in part because the perpetrators of these crimes are youth – they are cut slack. In the vast majority of cases, there is no indictment at all, according to the Knesset Research and Information Center. And then in cases where there is an indictment, punishment is lax. Friends of the perpetrators see that repercussions are small and they are encouraged to go out and throw stones as well. And let us be clear: we are not talking about pebbles here, but massive stones, bricks, pieces of concrete that can kill.
See this windshield damaged outside of Tekoa three years ago:
Observed Kuperwasser: “…you pay very little, if at all, and you gain a lot because you will be seen by your peers, by your entire village, as a hero.”
And that, my friends, may be the single most important sentence in this report. Violence towards Jews is seen as a positive within the Palestinian Arab culture.
At the heart of this attitude is Palestinian Authority incitement, geared especially towards the youth.
“Textbooks are just getting worse and worse. No wonder you have more people carrying out these kinds of attacks,” Kuperwasser said.
“The Palestinians indoctrinate their children that they are in some sort of ongoing battle against the Zionists. … They’re telling them that the best tool to fight against Zionism is what they call popular resistance.”
And now they have added the idea of “‘peaceful popular resistance.’ In their understanding, ‘peaceful’ includes stone-throwing, Molotov cocktails, and sometimes stabbings and car-rammings.” (Emphasis added here and above)
Earlier this month, MK Keti Shitrit (Likud) introduced a bill from the Opposition that would address this problem by setting a minimum punishment of one-fifth of the maximum sentence (20 years) for throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails. It is not considered likely to pass, more’s the shame.
Meanwhile, in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood in Jerusalem, during recent rioting by Arabs because of the presence of Jews, two cries were heard that should be noted:
“Jews, remember Khaybar! Muhammad’s army will return!” This is a Muslim battle cry that refers to Mohammad’s destruction of the Jews of Khaybar. The implications here are serious.
And then, “Disciples of Ayyash take action – put a rifle next to your Quran!” A call to Hamas to attack. The reference is to Yahya Ayyash, chief Hamas bomb-maker and leader of the West Bank battalion of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (until he was assassinated).
We should never discount the connection between Hamas and Arab unrest inside of Israel.
There are several ways in which Arabs steal Jewish land. One is via erecting illegal buildings, and another via agricultural theft. (I will be writing about this extensively soon.) They plant on Israeli state land, thereby co-opting it as their own.
Jewish residents of the Dagan neighborhood of Efrat, in Gush Etzion, had been watching Arabs do this:
“We’ve been watching the Arabs around us planting trees, building houses on state land, on archaeological land. We’ve reported these things to the army but the army has come down maybe two out of ten times,” a spokesperson said. (Emphasis added)
The Jews of Dagan decided to counter by planting a park, Dagan Slopes, just outside of the fence around Dagan. This land is state land, and two-thirds of it actually belongs to the municipality of Efrat.
Over the past several weeks, the residents of Dagan planted some 150 – 200 trees there, and put out benches. They are planning pathways within the park, and will encourage Efrat residents to come out.
Last Friday residents of Efrat planted 50 citrus fruit trees and 30 more trees of different types; on Monday, security cameras picked up an Arab woman and four children ripping out saplings that had just been planted.
The IDF was contacted, but the Arabs had disappeared before security forces arrived. They had succeeded in ripping out eight trees, which are gone.
A quick note here: We are in the midst of shmita year, during which planting is forbidden. But Rabbi
Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba-Hebron granted permission in order to protect the land, a commandment from the Torah.
There are many Israelis who are doing on a far larger scale what the residents of Efrat are doing to protect the land. They are among Israel’s finest and most committed. See here a video about Pnei Kedem Farm in the Judean Desert, which is being established to prevent Arab takeover of the Land and to provide security for the yishuv (community).
There is an appeal for funds in this video. That is not the main reason I have provided the link – I saw this as informative. But if you feel inclined to donate in order to help protect the Land, bless you.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.