When Jewish Terrorists Attack
My my, Netanyahu had an interesting day yesterday:
In an attack Tuesday — which an Israeli official termed an act of Jewish terrorism — around 50 right-wing Israeli extremists infiltrated and attacked the Ephraim Regional Division Headquarters, an Israel Defense Forces military base in the West Bank.
The activists entered the base, damaged property, set tires on fire, threw stones and damaged vehicles according to a statement released by the IDF.
The right-wing extremists also tried to attack the commander of the area, Col. Ran Kahana, by throwing stones at his vehicle.
“I intend to fight this phenomenon with all the force available to me as prime minister of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “No person can raise his hand against IDF soldiers and police.”
In a separate incident around 50 right-wing activists arrived Monday night at the closed military area on the Israeli Jordanian border. They cut the security fence and occupied a structure near the Qasr el Yahud baptism site.
Haaretz reports that he calls this situation “intolerable” and that “we must take care of these rioters with a firm hand”. Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima), also took the opportunity to speak out:
The prime minister treats the incidents as matters of law enforcement rather than ideology, because “he feels uncomfortable confronting his natural allies.”
Yossi Gurvitz, a blogger for 972Mag, says the government has not been treating self-described acts of “Jewish terrorism” serious at all, and the military-police is complicent:
“I assume, Carmela, that you wouldn’t expect the brigade commander to open fire at a Jew standing in front of him, I am certain you didn’t mean that.”
Central Command Chief, General Mizrahi said that “I’ve never seen such hatred against soldiers”:
“I have yet to hear any harsh condemnation from the settler leadership, which is mostly normative and Zionist,” he added. “In my 30 years in the IDF I have yet to see such Jewish hatred like the one directed at our soldiers.”
Mizrahi continued to say that the violence was “planned, not sporadic,” adding that it had erupted “in light of the government’s order to evict West Bank outposts by the end of the year, in accordance with its pledge to the High Court of Justice.”
The Central Command chief said Ephraim Brigade commander Ran Kahana was injured when a settler hit him with a stone at close range. Mizrahi said the settler called Kahana a “Nazi.” “The brigade commander’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor,” Mizrahi told the press conference. Red lines have been crossed.
“We must stop this thing at once, we cannot carry on as normal. I am calling on educators in Judea and Samaria, and on heads of settlements, to meet and see what they should do, it is impossible to continue like this… I am telling you something from my gut. If this reality will govern here, then I have no more place here, I will not stay in this place”
“The Brigade Commander described an appalling incident to me – they opened the door of the jeep and threw a concrete block that passed between the brigade commander and the driver, it could have killed him,” he said.
National Union party member MK Katz, however, said the attackers were “planted” by the government to discredit the settler movement.
We will wait and see what Netanyahu’s decision is, but the IDF is mulling evicting all the attackers from the West Bank, permanently:
Defense officials were critical Tuesday of the legal system in Israel that has until now only prosecuted a small number of those involved in so-called “price tag” attacks against IDF soldiers and Palestinians.
On Tuesday, for example, the IDF failed to arrest even a single attacker involved in the infiltration and vandalizing of the Efriam Regional Brigade base near Kedumim.
IDF officers have held talks recently with judges from courts throughout the country in an effort to explain the difficulty in collecting evidence that can be used against the perpetrators and how the light punishments, which those arrested received, was not deterring future attacks.
Even JPost’s editorial team took these attacks harshly.