Within a one-month period, from November 9 to International Human Rights Day on December 10, the researchers at the Yesh Din human rights organization, for which I serve as legal adviser, received testimony and photos from nighttime hate attacks perpetrated by settlers against eight villages throughout the West Bank.
The residents of the villages of A-Dik, Urif, Burqa, Hawara, Asira al-Qibliya, Jab’a, Beitin and Al-Mughayyir (on two occasions) woke up in the morning to the terrifying sight of graffiti containing hate slogans and promising death and revenge — in addition to burned-out cars and punctured tires.
On doors and walls in the middle of the villages, the Jewish terrorists spray-painted the symbol that millions of Jewish victims were forced to wear on their clothing as a sign of their inferiority prior to their extermination, and which to our shame has recently become the racist symbol of the Jewish supremacy movement: the Star of David. No Jewish rioter has been arrested. Routine.
Two weeks ago, after the two fatal attacks against Israelis at the outposts of Ofra and Givat Asaf, gangs of settlers set out on revenge campaigns. Yesh Din researchers received reports of 25 violent attacks against random Palestinians within less than 24 hours (between Thursday and Friday afternoon). The attacks included live weapons fire directed at homes (in the villages of Ein Yabrud and Beitin, among others), stone throwing at cars (including incidents at the Yitzhar and Kedumim junctions), and the chopping down of trees (in Turmus Ayya and Tawana).
A number of Palestinian civilians were wounded and hospitalized, and dozens of cars and homes were damaged by massive stone-throwing in the middle of the night. Palestinian families were forced to hide in their homes while the Jewish gangs fired weapons, threw stones, shattered the windows of cars and spray-painted slogans on the walls of homes. The few Jewish attackers who were arrested were then released.
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We have to face reality. We are witnessing the flourishing of a Jewish Ku Klux Klan movement. Like its American counterpart, the Jewish version also drinks from the polluted springs of religious fanaticism and separatism, only replacing the Christian iconography with its Jewish equivalent. Like white racism’s modus operandi, this Jewish racism is also based on fearmongering and violence against its equivalent of Blacks — the Palestinians.
Like the members of the KKK, the Jewish rioters throw stones, shoot, and set fire to homes, and in one instance, even burned down a house with its residents inside. And like the American Klan at its height, the Jewish Klan also enjoys law enforcement authorities who turn a blind eye.
Several of those who have cultivated this Israeli KKK sit in the fortified headquarters of the Justice Ministry on Saladin Street in Jerusalem. They didn’t initiate the phenomenon. They like to explain that they oppose it, and apparently they really are embarrassed by it. But they haven’t stopped feeding the phenomenon. They didn’t intend to grow a Jewish Klan, but they hoe, water and fertilize the Israeli garden of colonialism in which it flourishes. They feed the atmosphere of non-enforcement of the law. They fertilize discrimination and legalize theft.
They do so willingly, out of choice, in order to serve their masters. They nurture the legalization of illegal outposts, land confiscation and annexation legislation. They fight tooth and nail against the main pests that might harm the saplings of apartheid: the rule of law, human rights and international law. And they ignore the fact that the roots that feed these predator plants are exactly the same roots that inspire purveyors of hate and arsonists who burn cars and homes.
The recently blossoming saplings of pogrom, which if they are not uprooted will (again) produce fruit very soon, are an integral part of the Justice Ministry’s gardeners’ annexation orchard.
Take for example the head gardener’s deputy, Erez Kaminitz (who inherited the issue of land in the occupied territories from ousted deputy gardener Dina Zilber).
Recently he mobilized for battle against the problem of private Palestinian land, on which a considerable percentage of the outposts and settlements are built, through a process of de facto expropriation, which he is coordinating.
Or consider Deputy State Prosecutor Nurit Litman, to whom every demand for the investigation of illegal construction by settlers in the West Bank is directed. If dealt with seriously, such complaints would undermine the stability of the outpost saplings and are even liable, alas, to cause the agricultural invasion to wilt.
So Litman presides over a small graveyard for complaints against settlers. It contains a large number of complaints, some dating back years, but decisions to open investigations? None.
And let’s also not forget Gil Limon, the loyal (and senior) adviser to the head gardener, who works day and night writing opinions and summaries of meetings that are all designed to kill the Palestinians’ right of ownership by means of pesticides that conceal the poison with names such as “abandoned properties,” “Paragraph 5,” “market overt” and “expropriation for public needs.”
And in charge of all the deputy gardeners and gardener’s assistants is the head gardener, the super-gardener, Maj. Gen. Dr. Avichai Mendelblit — the only attorney general who has approved expropriating from Ibrahim to give to Avraham, who advocates disinheriting Musa to give to Moshe.
He may object to the regularization law that expropriates outpost land privately owned by Palestinians and allocates it to the settlers, and this week he opposed a bill that would legalize additional outposts, but this position of his is a deception since he simply makes the outposts kosher without a law. (It’s a similar spin to his opposition to the expulsion of Palestinian families of terrorism suspects, all the while defending the demolition of their homes).
This is the attorney general under whom Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich of Habayit Hayehudi and his friends are able to invade Silwad, where the Amona outpost once stood, without law enforcement showing its face, God forbid.
It is also Mendelblit who is behind the innovative approach that holds that the role of the attorney general is to serve far more as the government’s assistant in implementing its policy, and far less as its legal gatekeeper — even when policy affects millions of people who lack civil rights.
The Justice Ministry’s orchard of annexation and apartheid is growing in radioactive land and water, and as a result, it will end up yielding poisoned fruit. The Justice Ministry gardeners are poisoning all of us.
Michael Sfard is a lawyer specializing in human rights and is legal adviser of Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights.