Home > Jewish Fundamentalism, Settler Violence, West Bank Law Enforcement > Settler attacks on Palestinians upset even the most chauvinistic of Israeli pundits

Settler attacks on Palestinians upset even the most chauvinistic of Israeli pundits

On November 25 2009, Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group that monitors law enforcement on settler violence in the West Bank, published a data sheet, demonstrating that 69 documented cases of Palestinian olive tree destruction by settlers in the first ten months of 2009 had resulted in zero indictments.

Matti Golan is a veteran Israeli journalist not known for being a bleeding heart, to say the least. He has a daily column in Globes, an evening business daily, read by the Israeli financial elite. Apparently Golan read an Haaretz report on the issue and had this to say

Anyone who reads this column knows I don’t have much patience for the complaints and grievances of Arabs…

[But] I thought we, especially the people of faith among us, maintained that we are “not like them,” that we are “better than them.” Yet here we have the settlers, people of faith, saying that actually we are like them. So what was all that talk about the supremacy of Jewish spirit and values?…

And a question to the police: you have to answer the charge that for four years you did not manage to prove even one of dozens of incidents of cutting down trees that the Arabs complained about. How is that possible? Would you handle complaints by Jews the same way?

A full translation of the column can be read after the jump. You can see the original clipping here.

Incidentally, Human Rights in Yesha, whose media release Golan references, is another pro-settler group engaged in what NGO Monitor defines as “lawfare”, but which Gerald Steinberg’s organization mysteriously fails to monitor. More about Steinberg’s hypocrisy here.

Woodcutters and values

Column, Matti Golan, Globes, November 26 2009

Anyone who reads this column knows I don’t have much patience for the complaints and grievances of Arabs about their situation and supposed discrimination, and I don’t only mean the Arabs of this region. There is a sort of helplessness in their mentality, claiming everyone is at fault for our condition: the US, Israel and the West in general. Not the oil barons, not our dictators, not our clerics, not us — and therefore they, not we, have to do something to improve our condition.

But I equally have no sympathy for cruel and evil harassment from any side. I am talking about a report published yesterday by the Yesh Din human rights organization, according to which police did not file indictments in connection with the 70 complaints it received about the cutting down of Palestinian olive trees in the occupied territories. We are not talking about ornamental trees but trees that support their owners, and in any case cutting down trees without a justified reason is vandalism and barbarism.

It turns out that Yesha has its own organization for “human rights,” and this is its reaction to the report: “There is selective enforcement. The authorities go out of their way to defend the Arab farmer. Meanwhile, complaints by Jews are not even investigated. Jews receive restraining orders during the olive harvest and nothing is done against the Arabs.”

They do it too

Did you notice what the reaction does not contain? A denial. Which is to say, true, Jews cut down Arab olive trees, but they do it too. Like in kindergarten, “they do it too.” And I thought we, especially the people of faith among us, maintained that we are “not like them,” that we are “better than them.” Yet here we have the settlers, people of faith, saying that actually we are like them. So what was all that talk about the supremacy of Jewish spirit and values?

And where is the police?

And a question to the police: you have to answer the charge that for four years you did not manage to prove even one of dozens of incidents of cutting down trees that the Arabs complained about. How is that possible? Would you handle complaints by Jews the same way? Or are you simply helpless and maybe you have given up? Either way, we have the right to know and you have the obligation to make sure we will never again see the painful site of a tree that was cut down for no reason.

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