Tuesday, August 16, 2005

You asked for violence? You get it

The extremists who oppose the disengagement have been encouraging especially the youth to become violent. Slashing tires, burning tires, making threats, so is it any wonder that they turned on a rabbi as well? Some are shocked, but really if you encourage these kids to break the law why should this come as a shock? From today's haaretz linked above.

Suddenly the concern was real that the extremists in the large knitted skullcaps would take their wrath out not on the soldiers trapped in their tire-punctured vehicle, but on the adults who tried to gain control over what was happening. It was Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of the religious public's most prominent figures, who tried to persuade a handful of hotheads to unblock the road, and found himself in the eye of the storm. There ensued a shoving match with the rabbi, and even after the fight broke up, someone sought revenge, and tried to get to Aviner "to let him have it." Several yeshiva boys stopped the guy, while others stood by shouting at Aviner: "You're not a rabbi, you're a dog."

The settlers allowed these people to come in that do not even live in the settlements to protest this, so they are ultimately responsible. You can pretend you are non-violent, however if you allow those who have been encouraged to violence? Becareful what you ask for.

Even more disturbing was this article in the Jerusalem Post

Lord of the Flies has arrived in Shirat Hayam.

The group of several hundred youths that have gathered here over the past month some of the as many as 8,000 that have snuck into the Gaza Strip, making their way into Gush Katif, to help bolster settlers against disengagement. They come from all over the country and, parentless, they fend for themselves, rolling out their sleeping bags on lawns and beaches and eating whatever comes their way. It is summer camp with no counselors and yeshiva with no rabbis – the rules are what they make them.

In Shirat Hayam, a 20-something figure they call "Melech" (king) leads the group into action. His eyes dart quickly underneath the mop of dark brown curls that reaches down his neck. He scans the crowd, finding a few boys who are exchanging words with the journalists and quickly darts over.

"Remember, we are not talking to them. That is the position, we don't say anything," he says.
Most of the boys quickly follow their guide, turning their backs on reporters and refusing to say another word.

For many, talking with reporters is impossible. Melech tells them that Hebrew is a "holy language" and that they should speak it to people who are capable of appreciating it.

They also have agreed not to use violence, although puncturing tires and setting them on fire "are okay." "We were told we could make a mess somehow, create a little chaos," she says. "This won't be quiet."

There are, however, a few in Shirat Hayam who plan to take the mess a step further and engage in real violence, she whispers.

Among those is a 16-year-old who sits in a seaside shack, several hundred meters away from the gaze of the media, with the one source he says he will talk with – an automatic rifle. He will not say where he got it or how he plans to use it. But he proudly holds it up before slipping it beneath the red flannel blanket covering his bag.


faith said...

On target, as usual. In spite of good intent, best foot forward, concessions, peace talks, what not ... I fear there is never going to be peace in the Middle East. A new generation, mayhaps worse than those prior, cropping up. I thought of Jim Jones while reading this at first glance but no comparison. Not really. 'Tis true, I think, everybody is looking for something and violence is now a way of life. And not for the asking.

faith said...

I was able to access link, Jerusaleum ....thanks. Did I mis-s[ell that ? usa in it ? Wouls seem Israel's disengagement prone to become engagement. Read they do not wish to harm their own. Has a familiar Arabic ring to it. Chocolate cake thick with sprinkles ? American. Interesting. Thank you Lisa.

Christopher Trottier said...

Really, this is a very human thing to have happened -- whether one is liberal or conservative, nobody wants to be removed from the place they know as home. Mix in sloganeering, and viola, you got this scene.

Lisa Renee said...

Valid point Christopher, but most of those who are predisposed to violence have not lived there, did not live there and have come from other areas at the urging of some of the more extreme religious groups.

I separate the emotions/reactions of those who are actually being evicted from those who have made it clear their goal is to disrupt.

faith, that is the Jerusalem Post and it is not written in the US, it is an Israeli newspaper. Thanks to online access it's one of the papers I read from outside the states.

Lisa Renee said...

This update from Haaretz

One police officer was wounded when settlers threw acid in his eyes. The officer began shouting, "I can't see!" Rioters sprayed another policeman with gas and he suffered from burns on his back.

Youths also assaulted senior officers and journalists present at the scene, destroying a camera of a Reuters photographer, throwing paint and cleaning fluids at an army colonel, and breaking the glasses of another journalist. Two settlers were also lightly wounded during in the clashes.

In a parallel escalation of protest, settlers set fire to seven structures. In one of the cases, a resident of Gan Or suffered burns to his legs after setting fire to his evacuated home Tuesday afternoon. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

Three Pe'at Sadeh evacuees torched their homes with firebombs before leaving the houses. In the settlement of Bedolah three packinghouses were burnt.

Brew said...

What the Gaza withdrawal has shown me is that senseless violence is not merely the province of the Palestinian state. Not that that's something I've really believed . . .

I have friends who've grown up in Israel, others who've made aliyah, and in at the Quaker college I attended quite some time back, I knew quite a few Palestinian students who'd come from the Friends' Schools in Ramalah or Gaza. Israel and Palestine are still fighting over the mistakes of WWII - post cold war, perhaps the only place that is. Neither side will let itself make the peace, neither side will let the other . . . Palestine and Israel mostly just make me sad . . .

Me4Prez said...

I think if any good comes out of this it is that maybe Israelis and supporters of Israel will see that there are extremists on the Jewish side also. Even after a Jew killed Rabin, I don't think people got that there are people on both sides of the conflict who will never be happy until the other side is annihilated. Both sides need to control these elements for true peace to occur