Monday, March 17, 2008

Planning for a Purim Pogrom and Police Passivity

Sunday's pogrom against the Jerusalem residents of Jabel Mukaber, a Palestinian neighborhood of "united and undivided" Jerusalem, was announced last week by its organizers in posters and leaflets. To be precise, the organizations behind the pogrom announced that they were going to hold a demonstration at 5 pm on Sunday, and from the demonstration would go to the house of the Palestinian who gunned down eight yeshiva students and tear it down. (As is well-known, Arab terrorists get their houses torn down, whereas Jewish terrorists get monuments built in their honor; the loonies of the right were protesting the government's delay in tearing down the house, which will occur once the court gives its ok to collectively punishing innocents. It will.)

After the right-wingers distributed leaflets last week announcing their action, one of the organizers, Nadia Matar, threw dust in the eyes of the public by saying that they would only hold a demonstration. After all, she said, if we wanted to tear down somebody's house, we would do it, and not announce it in the media.

Well, the demonstration was held (without a permit), and then the demonstrators went to Jabel Mukaber and decided to let the government tear down the murderer's house, while they would just smash cars and windows of as many Arab houses as they could. After all, if you an Arab, you are of the seed of Amalek (well, metaphorically speaking, anyway), and there is a commandment to destroy you, right?

Didn't we read about it last Shabbat in Shul?

In the hate poster the organizers declare their intention "to destroy the house of the murderer and to drive out his family and his supporters". They then go on to rant about the Arab fifth column living in the state of Israel.

By the way, I received the image of the leaflet from Prof. Eliot Horowitz, who has studied Jewish violence (and the Jewish desire to cause violence) to gentiles during the Purim holiday in his book, Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence. The last line of the leaflet quotes Esther 9:1 , "...whereas it was reversed -- the Jews ruled over those who hated them."

The Jerusalem police, who were supposed to protect the Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem, were unable to prevent the pogrom while it happened, although they did arrest twenty-two pogromists. The police spokesman, I believe, said that they were surprised by the violent actions of the protesters.

Considering that everybody in the country knew about the planned pogram, which had been publicized in all the media, that's pretty funny. I am glad that the police of the Jewish state know how to tell a good Purim joke!


Utopian Yuri said...

the law under which the government tears down the houses of palestinian terrorists would be unconstitutional in the US, as denial of equal protection and probably as cruel and unusual punishment. but it seems that what really upsets the rioters is that the terrorist's family gets due process.

Jerry Haber said...

The fact that Arabs have any legal rights upset the rioters, who divide the world between good Arabs (water-drawers and woodchoppers who are allowed to stay in the Land of Israel provided that they don't get too uppity) and bad Arabs (the rest).

Richard said...

Thanks for providing the image of this poster. Gershom Gorenberg wrote about the poster but didn't display the image. Seeing it really does the trick. Notice the bold red lettering promising blood?

I thought the Supreme Court ruled that home demolitions were illegal or am I misremembering something I read?

Anonymous said...

The ultimate Zionist objective has been obtained- Create a Czarist Russia run by Jews with some other group playing the role of the Jews.
Tell me it isn't a Purimspiel please!


Jerry Haber said...

to Richard:

Doh! I wrote that Eliot Horowitz sent me the image, but I didn't write that Gershom Gorenberg sent the image to him! So he should get the credit!

There are some legal hurdles in demolishing the houses of terrorists but they are not insurmountable. The motivation cannot be punitive but deterrent. Of course, both are equally immoral, but not to people who lost their moral compass years ago, if they ever had one.

Jerry Haber said...

Ploni, I think your comment was more perceptive than you realize. My feeling is that the Labor Zionists who founded Israel wanted to reproduce for the Arab minority what they had felt as a national minority in Russia -- Russian by citizenship, but Jewish by nationality. Of course, there was a real effort to separate the Israeli Arabs from Palestinians outside of Israel -- this is documented by Hillel Cohen, who writes governmental attempts to share the views of the Palestinian minority. But it was, and is, part of mainstream Israeli and Zionist ideology to keep the Palestinian citizens outside the nation state.