Thursday, May 1, 2008
Police Bar "Breaking the Silence" Tour Group From Entering Hebron
This just in from Haaretz: The Israeli police in Hebron (a.k.a. the military wing of the Hebron settlers) have prevented Bne Avraham/Breaking the Silence from giving tours of Hebron. These tours have been going on for three years without much incident. But emboldened by their violence last week, the Hebron settlers (a.k.a. the pseudo-Jews, or the Judaeo-Nazis) have convinced the police that the balagan the settlers make can be avoided by barring the "outside agitators." I know, I know, this is small potatoes compared with some of the other stories from Haaretz, such as the millions of liters of raw sewage that are polluting and poisoning the water of the Gazans, due to the ongoing siege of Gaza, or the humiliation of Palestinians by Border Police. The Hell only gets worse. Happy Birthday. Still, with any luck, Michael Sfard will get a court order instructing the police to allow the tours to go on. And if the courts rule against the group, well, heck, I will be back at the end of May, and I will be happy to drive to Hebron and give the same tour. Leftist group: Police barring us from monitoring Hebron settlers By Mijal Grinberg, Haaretz Correspondent The group "Shovrim Shtika" (breaking the silence) said that the police have recently begun barring the organization from touring Hebron to monitor the actions of settlers. The main reason for this, according to the group, is the fact that the police has surrendered to the policies of the settlers in Hebron and Kiryat Arba. The police, for their part, describe the "Shovrim Shtika" tours as a "platform for extreme left-wingers to enter the Jewish territory and create an imbalance in the area." The police maintain that they have not done anything that deviates from the law. An altercation erupted Thursday between activists and settlers from Hebron and Kiryat Arba. Yehuda Shaul of "Shovrim Shtika", who has been organizing tours of Hebron for three years, said that he arrived in Kiryat Arba and turned with his group to show them an outpost outside the settlement and was then stopped at the entrance by a group of settlers who surrounded the vehicle he was in. The right wing activists tell a different story: Noam Arnon said he and his friends were among the few people at the scene who did not surround the vehicle. He said that the car shaul was in had driven backwards in efforts to run over another activist. A police officer who arrived at the scene forbade the group from touring Hebron, even though the tour was already coordinated with the Israel Defense Forces and the police, and despite the fact that the settlers can travel freely anywhere in the area. According to Shaul, this was the third such incident this week. He explained that this kind of restriction was a part of a growing trend. Attorney Michael Sfard said that the police behavior in these incidents has become "the executing arm of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, and if this behavior doesn't change, legal action will be taken."