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Zionists Exploit Mumbai Tragedy

July 2, 2012

Tuesday, December 9. 2008

Rottweilers on the loose
Amid rioting by settlers in Hebron, relatives of two Mumbai victims are pouring fuel on the already-raging fire. The faux-outrage of the Israeli authorities and the national media in the wake of the Hebron uprising smacks of the outpourings of bemusement in the Rocket Pub in 2006, after the family’s Rottweilers mauled the owners’ baby granddaughter to death.

The settler monster created by the governmental Dr Frankenstein is hardly behaving out of character: give them enough rope and they’ll hang whoever’s in sight, as countless commentators and critics of Israeli policy have warned time and again for decades.

Religious fervour, combined with an unstoppably virulent strain of nationalism, is a heady cocktail in any situation; when mixed together in the tinderbox atmosphere of a city like Hebron, it was always bound to boil over into the type of situation in which the area finds itself mired today. Hundreds of rampaging settlers and their supporters have erupted in fury at plans to evict the cynically-named “House of Peace” – a disputed building in the heart of the city packed full of settlers defying court orders to evacuate the premises.

The manifestation of the resistance has been twofold: firstly, attacks on the soldiers and police sent to carry out the eviction; secondly – never ones to miss an opportunity to turn on the local Arabs – assaults on Palestinian civilians and desecration of Muslim cemeteries nearby. Others blocked roads on the route to Hebron in an attempt to prevent army reinforcements from reaching the scene; yet more took it upon themselves to break windows of Palestinian cars and homes.

Anyone who has been to Hebron and seen the sheer nonchalance with which the army treats daily settler violations of the law will know that this kind of hate-fuelled uprising couldn’t possibly emanate from a vacuum. “Gas the Arabs” and other bloodthirsty graffiti have been plastered on walls and doors of Palestinian premises for as long as I’ve been living in Israel, not a finger lifted by the authorities to cover over the damage and send a message to the settlers that this type of bigotry will not be tolerated. Similarly, the inability to bring violent settlers to heel and force them to adhere to both local and international law is a damning indictment of the entire military and judicial apparatus’s complicity in the status quo that reigns there.

When it’s a Palestinian’s word against that of a settler, the courts almost always rule in favour of the Jewish party; even when irrefutable video evidence is presented the conviction rate of both soldiers and settlers alike remains unacceptably low. Against such a backdrop, it’s no wonder that the settlers feel they have carte blanche to do as they please, when they please – and, when the government finally takes a belated stand against their crimes – it’s little surprise that the settler attack-dog then turns against its owner.

Into the latest fray, tragically, has stepped the family of the Lubavitch emissaries brutally murdered in Mumbai last week. Before Rebbetzin Holtzberg’s funeral has even taken place, her brother asked the Jerusalem Post to publicly broadcast his family’s ideological opposition to the eviction from the House of Peace. At the same time, Rabbi Holtzberg’s father decided to wade into the arena, writing to Ehud Olmert to demand the army cease their actions against the illegally-squatting settlers during the period of mourning for the Mumbai victims. He declared that the present time should be a moment of unity for the Jewish people, which should not be disrupted by divisions or infighting.

While the anguish caused by the loss of their relatives is of unimaginable proportions, that they have used the attention of the world’s media to fan the flames of intolerance and defiance of Israeli law is utterly unacceptable, especially given that they have lined up entirely the wrong target in their sights. If they want to promote Jewish unity, or bring an end to infighting and division among the community, calling on the government to not adhere to the letter of the law and allow justice to be done is going the wrong way about it, to say the least.

Settlers will treat the mourners’ statements as a shot in the arm for their cause, further vindication for their rebellious insubordination – guaranteeing yet more soldiers’ and Palestinians’ lives will be put in danger while the settlers play out the latest act in their decades-old drama on the Hebron stage. When the dust settles – if, indeed, it ever does – those at the helm of the Israeli government must never forget what happened when the settlers of Hebron so publicly declared that in only God they trust, and that anyone who stands in His way must be battered into submission.

Source: The Guardian (Comment Is Free)


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