Monday, September 7, 2015

Israeli terrorists, born in the USA - a NYT article

SARA YAEL HIRSCHHORN is a research lecturer and fellow at the University of Oxford and the author of the forthcoming book “City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement Since 1967.”

She writes"ON July 31, in the West Bank village of Duma, 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive in a fire. All available evidence suggests that the blaze was a deliberate act of settler terrorism. More disturbingly, several of the alleged instigators, currently being detained indefinitely, are not native-born Israelis — they have American roots.
But there has been little outcry in their communities. Settler rabbis and the leaders of American immigrant communities in the West Bank have either played down their crime or offered muted criticism," in the New York Times.

Most of the Jewish terrorists have western - or more specifically, American - root. “most wanted” Jewish extremist is 24-year-old Meir Ettinger, who has an august pedigree in racist and violent circles. He is a grandson of Meir Kahane, a radical American rabbi who in 1971 immigrated to Israel, established the Kach party and served as its lone Knesset member until it was banned in 1988. (Kahane was assassinated in New York in 1990, but his career laid the groundwork for ultranationalist and antidemocratic parties in Israel.)

Another is Mordechai Meyer, 18, from the settlement of Maale Adumim outside Jerusalem. He is the son of American immigrants who claimed he simply wanted to study the Torah and have an adventure in the West Bank. Another American settler, Ephraim Khantsis, was detained for threatening Shin Bet agents in court. The fourth, Eviatar Slonim, is the child of Australian Jews.

Mr. Ettinger, Mr. Meyer and Mr. Khantsis join a long list of settler extremists with American roots. A Brooklyn-born settler, Era Rapaport, played a prominent role in the car-bombing of the mayor of Nablus in 1980. In 1982, a Baltimore transplant, Alan Goodman, opened fire at the Dome of the Rock, killing two Palestinians and wounding 11. That same year, a former Brooklynite, Yoel Lerner, was jailed for leading a movement to overthrow the Israeli government and blow up the Temple Mount.

These days, rabbis like the St. Louis-born Yitzhak Ginsburg, who heads a yeshiva in the radical settlement of Yizhar, are inculcating the next generation.

"For four decades, their condemnation has often been either muted or tempered by attempts to play down Jewish terrorism by framing it as an issue of “understanding the context” — a euphemism for reacting to Palestinian violence. And while there is absolutely no justification for Palestinian terrorism, it is not enough for Jews to preach to Palestinians that moderates must speak out, murderers must be cast out, and incitement must be stopped without taking the same aggressive steps within their own communities. American Jews at home and abroad can no longer condone these blind spots and damning silences when it comes to Jewish extremism in Israel. It is the obligation of all who seek peace and justice to take up Mr. Rabin’s clarion call to spit out the terrorists and their sympathizers in our midst," writes Sara.

You can read the full text of her article by clicking here.

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