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!