Help Needed ASAP

An important email I got from Rabbis For Human Rights:

Dear members and supporters,
This is a very sad e-mail for me to write. Never in the last 3 years that I ever had to tell farmers that we can’t come because we don’t have enough volunteers. Today villagers from A-Zawia did not go their olive groves because we weren’t with them. Last week we had volunteers in Yanoun when Samir was attacked, and his face broken in 3 places, but we weren’t near him. We only had a few people in Yanoun that day because we were stretched over a few places, and didn’t have enough volunteers. I can’t help but wonder whether we might have prevented that attack have we had more volunteers in Yanoun that day.
Two hours ago we received word that young women from the Givat Haroe outpost attacked harvesters with some kind of knives and a 65 five year old woman is on the way to the hospital and a full days work was spoiled or stolen. In Sinjil they had made a clear request for our presence and I didn’t push it because I knew we were stretched already.
Friends, the formula is very simple – even with all the improvement in army protection – if we are not there people get hurt. Our commitment to justice and human rights is being tested. Currently I have 5 volunteers for tomorrow, for at least 3 locations. I need 30 tomorrow and every day this week. Please call Itamar 054-4666881 or myself 050-5607034 at any time. With your help I will never have to write an e-mail like this again.
Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman
Executive Director
Rabbis For Human Rights

24 thoughts on “Help Needed ASAP

  1. Looks like more and more Israelis are getting a clue, and remembering exactly who is family and who is foe.
    One of the mitigating pleasures of working in Israeli hi-tech – which is top-heavy with lefties – has been watching the light bulbs go on in head after head as Oslo has foundered in blood and lies.

  2. Ben-David. Do you really support indiscriminate violence directed towards poor people who are harvesting olives? Whatever one’s politics, I would hope that attacking 65 year old women is not something anyone would support.

  3. Yusul – Ben-David knows that the 65-year-old woman has no right to harvest olives on Jewish land, and thus that it is OK for Jewish settlers to attack her and any other “foes” who might attempt to engage in such violent terrorist activities. Kudos to him for his courageous stand in the face of the monolith of leftist political correctness. Hopefully the brave settler youth can intimidate and bully all the olive harvesters into giving up their sinister operations sometime soon.

  4. Ah, Mr. Ben David – interesting to note that for a little while after the pull-out from Gaza the school of ‘with us or against us’ went quiet. For awhile I was worried that you might have gone through some strange self doubting crisis… But, you are back with a vengeance. Good to see you have lost none of your passion for the downtrodden, and that the strange idea that some people, who are not Jewish, might actually have a small claim to reason has not polluted your bright judgement. I guess this kind of ‘light in the head’ process you mention is why we are called ‘or la-goyim’, lucky bastards that they are to have our merciful and kind selves available to show the way, eh?

  5. Occupation magazine – Life under occupation

    Settler attack in Yannun
    By David Nir
    Nov. 10, 2005
    My friend Hallil, from Yannun Tachta, was attacked yesterday while picking his olives at his grove West of Yannun (on the hill, East of the `Tiltan`). I spoke to him several hours ago by the cell phone. The settler, Amos, age 20, from Avri Ran`s ranch-illegal settlement, ambushed Hallil, and saving his words just confined himself to delivering a single powerful blow with his M16 gun – to Hallil`s face near the eye, and escaped away. Bleeding Hallil fell to the ground. He was then taken to Rafidiia hospital in Nablus where he was operated today, to bind the eye barrel bone fractured at three places. He will remain in the hospital for 10-15 days. His eye was not lost, so far. The young apprentice of Avri Ran (the record holder of violence and the torch bearer of the settler`s violence) was identified today at Ariel`s police station by Hallil`s Son, Fares, and arrested today.
    Two years and even one year back, most likely the police would `investigate` and `maintain the law` in a manner that would hardly disturb the attacker`s peaceful life routine. There is some change with Ariel Police.
    A striking pattern with the Attacks coming from `Avri Ran`s school of thought` is that for many years they employ the technique of hitting the face with a rifle. In such a manner the left eye of Raleb Nasser from Akrabe was uprooted three years ago, his cousin`s brow was punctured, their aunt`s skull fractured, another`s skull was slammed last March (the direct reason that Avri Ran is now jailed), and even the writer of this message had the privilege of his nose nearly removed from its original location by Avri Ran`s rifle`s barrel (Avri Ran was acquitted at the trial that followed, soldiers present at the event told the judge it was `not him` but another person they knew nothing about).

  6. Could ANY of you quote a report from a non-partisan news source?
    Ha’aretz and other Israeli dailies have repeatedly published and investigated reports of violence by Israelis, including soldiers, against Arab civilians.
    And none of the mainstream Israeli media would hesitate for even half a breath before publishing stories that besmirch the settlers – in fact, the editorial boards would drool over such verifiable accounts.
    Oh, but there’s that word – *verifiable*.
    That is, unlike the propaganda Kool-Aid y’all are swallowing, the Israeli media maintains a modicum of professionalism – if only to preserve their credibility – and only publishes if there are sufficient verified facts for them to publish.
    Sorry, kiddies – quoting from a website called “kibush” isn’t going to impress us grown-ups.
    Now run along and finish that “Out and Proud in Palestine” banner…

  7. Ah, “Rabbi” Arik Ascherman who has provoked and then videotaped settler “violence.” Let him and all the Eruv Rav burn.

  8. Ben-David:
    J-Post, the bastion of left-wing, P.C., liberal elitism that we all know and love, has a story on their front page right now that references:
    1 – 10 “settler girls” attacking Palestinian farmers in Sinjil, and destroying their olives
    2 – Hunders of olive trees being uprooted and set afire by settlers near Salem
    3 – Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, months before the beginning of the olive harvesting season, met with Israel Police and IDF representatives to coordinate violence prevention. In other words, the folks far more in the know than you or I KNEW that there was going to be problems from some settlers.
    4 – This year, Palestinians have been harvesting in areas that settlers completely blocked them from harvesting in last year.
    5 – “As has occurred every fall for the past several years settlers have descended from their hilltop communities to harass Palestinians harvesting their olives.”

    Verifiable? Nu?

  9. Lenny:
    How are these two things related? You’re comparing soldiers preventing a young Palestinian from smuggling a bomb belt to youth beating the crap out of innocent Palestinians trying to harvest their olives?
    If I were going to draw a comparison, it would be between the Palestinian smuggling the bomb to kill innocent Jews and the settlers beating up the Palestinan farmers just because they’re Palestinian.

  10. Yaakov,
    I guess i’ll always think that olive harvest disruptions, and fisticuffs just pale in comparison to suicide bombings and daily missile attacks. There is no comparison. That is the point. And while I generally find stories about Jewish settlers’ thuggish behavior fairly upsetting, I do take a certain pride in the fact that our vigilante thugs are fewer and objectively less bloodthirsty when it comes to targeting civilians. Although I know that around here, that probably makes me a racist, imperialist or something bad like that.

  11. Joey, but that is exactly the point – to say that we are OK because our brutes are less murder-intent then the goons of the ‘opposition’ is saying that it is fine to perpetrate violence as long as the other side can be proven to be more so. Moral relativism is a slippery slope… And, in this case, a fake one too, because if you start counting, you will see that ultimately their losses outnumber ours – civilian or otherwise. The storyline for bloodthirsty terrorists is prosaically correct and there is no excuse for such horrific acts but it does not merit winking at the appalling behaviour of some of the settlers – violence, particularly against civilians, is inexcusable.

  12. Joey and Lenny’s position is exactly the opposite of moral relativism. I feel the same way. As upsetting and counter productive as I find olive-picking disruptions to be, I find suicide bombing and kassam rocket launching to be much much worse. I think my guys are better. Just like I think the makers of “Paradise Now” probably think thier guys are better (despite their jabs at martyrdom culture). The difference of course, is that I’m right.

  13. settler-girls ripping open sacks of Palestinian olives is merely “upsetting” and “counterproductive?” it’s vile, it’s theft of these growers’ livelihood. I can’t understand how you can draw any comfort that there are worse crimes committed.
    The behavior of these girls is just on a smaller scale what the Israeli government, ZOA, the JNF, the army, the settlers, and the American government which underwrites it all, is doing through the ongoing colonization of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, through the settlements, the barrier, and the road system. It’s all just theft on a grander scale.

  14. Very Good, class – some of you will grow up to be first-class demagogues, you’re already learning how to skim and distort news reports.
    Let’s see now, the ACTUAL report at JPost says:
    The incident occurred at the beginning of the week, marking the second time so far this season that clashes erupted between settlers and Palestinians surrounding the olive harvest.
    The harvest began about six weeks ago and is expected to continue until the end of December, officials said.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … so there have been a grand total of 2 – that’s TWO – disruptions over 6 weeks.
    The other incident was not even a confrontation – some olive trees were uprooted. That could mean anything – including that the Palis tried to expand into areas not owned by them by planting, and the saplings were uprooted. A fairly common occurence in the feint-and-parry games of Judea and Samaria.
    Now let’s hear from Fuad Halhal of the Nablus police:
    However Halhal believes the situation has improved and noted that this year Palestinians have been picking olives in areas they were unable to travel to in the past.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Not even an uptick of violence – and this as tractors and bulldozers
    busily string out Sharon’s security fence, which (combined with the expulsion from Gaza) should have increased the “thuggishness” of the “Israeli thugs”.
    Instead: Next-to-Nada.
    A handful of frustrated teenagers who lived through the trauma of the Gaza expulsion, and now see their own homes on the chopping block, responded by….. what? Stringing up Pali farmers?
    By ripping up some burlap sacks.
    And you’ve all done a SPLENDID job fanning this into a puffy flame of self-righteous umbrage, and some of you will get extra points for actually comparing these “thugs” to teens their age who smuggle arms and detonate bombs.
    If you want to go out for recess, you have to clean up this room. And no running with scissors!

  15. Shmuel: just curious, have you ever allowed yourself to submit to a litmus test? are you now, or have you ever been a litmus tester?
    Ben-David: you’re right, this was just a little steam-release on the girls’ part, completely isolated from any wider societal and institutional attitude towards Palestinians and their property.
    QUESTION: Let us go to the olive harvest. What do your children see in the context of the war on the plantations?
    RONIT SHUKER: They do not see the war. We plowed the fields of state lands, and we planted the trees together with their Dad and we have no war.
    QUESTION: And what do you have to say about the war in other places in your region?
    RONIT SHUKER: In any place there are Jews living, they have a right to plant new trees and vineyards.
    QUESTION: Also in a place where Palestinians live and plant?
    RONIT SHUKER: In those places, I personally do not enter. We have our territories and those have to be expanded.
    We are not here to fight the Arabs, but to settle in the Land of Israel and to bring back the old days. We have to cultivate the Jewish agriculture.
    QUESTION: Even when it is at the expense of people who lived here before?
    RONIT SHUKER: We lived here before everyone. Our forefather Abraham was here first and this land has been promised to us from his time.
    QUESTION: With your love of the land and trees, can you understand the Palestinian pain when their trees are uprooted or their land taken?
    RONIT SHUKER: With them it’s not real and not internal. We lived here before them. Our forefathers walked here before them.
    QUESTION: The young man whose olive trees were uprooted, whose father’s father and and grandfather’s grandfather planted and grew when your parents were in Iraq, he doesn’t love this land, these trees?
    RONIT SHUKER: He loves them, but he stole it from us. It’s not his.
    QUESTION: It surprises me that a good, humane woman, so attached to the land, cannot see the love and the connection of other people.
    RONIT SHUKER: I am connected to the truth and root, and our root is the Torah, not other things you know or they know.
    God Almighty promised this land to Abraham, and my father is Abraham. It is ours. I have a lot of love for other people, but not of this sort.

  16. Re: Shucker’s ‘love’ of Torah: “When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its tress, wielding the ax against them. You may eat of them, but you must not cut them down. Are trees of the field human to withdraw before you into the besieged city? Only trees that you know do not yield food may be destroyed…” [Deuteronomy 20.19, 20]
    Re: Rabbi Arik Ascherman: Why do some rightwingers think that being a zionist and being a tzedik are mutally exclusive?

  17. Ben David –
    you are so much more a grown-up, I am obviously too insignificant a creature to match your morally superiority.
    But just for your information, Israeli Media, maintaining “a modicum of professionalism” has managed to impress the journalistic world by scoring the whoppingly impressive 92nd spot on the worldwide press freedom index – rated ten below (!) the PA and one above the democratic giant Angola. Wake up! There is hardly a channel of news in Israel that does not kowtow to the dictates of the people in power, and (same like almost everywhere else). If you still believe in the fairy tales of free mainstream media, you might want to join us silly little souls on the class floor, though I doubt you will have fun…
    Scoff as you may at alternative reports, there is no smoke without fire. There is plenty of evidence from enough international and Israeli organisations to suggest that even if one allows a large margin in lieu of interest (that is interest in human rights – but I gather these don’t rate high on your curriculum) … in lieu of interest in the ‘underdog’, there are numerous incidents of settler violence and harassment.
    An interesting read is today’s Haaretz article about Hebron ‘Jewish Quarter’ http://www.haaretz.com /hasen/spages/646948.ht ml)
    Now, can I have the scissors please? I’d like to puncture a hot-air baloon.

  18. Michael –
    While I don’t think Israel’s media is as bad as Angola’s (a bit of the “let’s not talk about Darfur – the Israelis are checking driver’s licenses!” double-standard, eh?) I certainly agree that they serve as a mouthpiece for a small minority of people, helping them to impose their policies against the will of the majority of Israelis.
    So – since you read Ha’aretz – just which elite group’s opinion is the media touting? The Right? The Settlers?
    So: if even the left-leaning Israeli media doesn’t touch the “reports” printed on websites like kibush.com – what does that say about their veracity/newsworthiness ?
    There most definitely is “smoke without fire” – it’s called propaganda.
    I don’t know if I’m superior to you morally – but let’s try for some basic competence when it comes to intellectual reasoning and evaluating sources.
    And I specifically used the imagery of child-vs.-adult because many of the claims of Israeli “brutality” and “occupation” betray a deep ignorance of how the world really works – and about what REAL politically-motivated thuggery is in hotspots around the world.
    This isn’t Sensitivity Training with your dorm counselor – it’s a geo-political conflict. In that context, nothing being said or done by the settlers is particularly thuggish or brutal – certainly not when compared to what the Palis have done in the middle of a peace process.
    Does everyone have a cookie? Does everyone have a cup of juice?

  19. Oh, for fuck’s sake. On the “press freedom index” silliness you’re both clueless and way out of date.
    You’re clueless ’cause, well, it’s not “the worldwide press freedom index”. It’s a press freedom index put out by approximately three people who sit in an office in Paris, and who are too nervous about how they cooked up their “index” to actually reveal their methodology. 92nd spot on the worldwide press freedom index – rated ten below (!) the PA Um, yeah. But we already knew that these worldwide- authoritative-super-int ernational-we-know-the- mostest folks were batty. That only confirmed it.
    And you’re out of date ’cause, well, your big news was in 2002. In 2003 the RSF folks tried again, and came up with Israel at 44th (with PA at 130th). In 2004, 36th (with PA at 127th). In 2005, 47th (with PA at 132nd). Now, understand that all of this is utterly meaningless. But if you’re going to go for utterly meaningless, might as well try and catch up with drivel’s latest editions, right?

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