Home > Jewish Fundamentalism, Settlement Freeze, West Bank Law Enforcement > Yediot links Yitzhar Rabbi to torching of mosque [incl. new primary document]

Yediot links Yitzhar Rabbi to torching of mosque [incl. new primary document]

UPDATE: In a surreal twist, both Yitzhar and Tapuach (the settlement that the IDF suspects the mosque arsonists came from), are both included in the new National Priorities Map approved by the Israeli cabinet today. As a result their residents will receive a host of financial benefits. Inclusion of isolated settlements in the new map is intended as a consolation for the “settlement freeze.”

Reading some of the sanctimonious condemnations of Friday’s torching of a mosque in the West Bank village of Yasuf, one could easily be led to believe that the “price tag” terror tactic was invented last week. A close observer of current events in the West bank would also note that no mention is made of the spiritual leadership publicly sanctioning  and encouraging these attacks.

Take Rabbi Yosef Elitzur of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar, for example. In early November he published the “Handbook for the Killing of Gentiles.” Just last week, ahead of a revival meeting with the notorious Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg (author of Baruch Hagever, an ode to Cave of Patriarchs murderer Baruch Goldstein) he published an article with specific instructions on this type of action in response to the “settlement freeze.”

This morning’s (December 13 2009) Yediot made the connection. In a news item entitled “The people who want to set things ablaze,” Zvi Singer et al report that

A number of the settler rabbis voiced their support for that mode of action and, by so doing, increased awareness about the issue and created a type of internal buzz among the activists. For example, Rabbi Yosef Elitzur of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar published an article in the extremist right wing newsletter called Hakol Heyhudi [The Jewish Voice] in which he explicitly called for operations like the arson at the Yasouf mosque. “Operations of reciprocal responsibility,” is how Rabbi Elitzur chose to define them. “We too have strength and we too shall use it at a time and place of our choosing,” he wrote. “If the Jews don’t have quiet—the Arabs won’t have quiet either; If the Arabs win because of violence against Jews—the Jews too will win because of violence against Arabs.”

This Friday’s (December 11 2009) edition of the Jewish Voice, entitled “Fighting the Freeze,” reiterates the importance of such attacks (full Hebrew document here)

Another important “tip” in this context: Whoever wants to win does not limit himself to protest, nor does he let the other side determine the boundaries of the battle. We need to choose for ourselves the sector of the struggle. Why, for example, wait  in the settlements for the violent-frost-forces [sic], and not send a small delegation of our own to the nearby Arab village, to check out the freeze situation there? Believe me that all the [IDF] forces will immediately retreat to the Arab village…

Yediot fails to mention that the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva is the recipient of generous government funding, perhaps because Haaretz was the one to expose this fact. According to Israel’s premier expert on NGO funding, Prof. Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor, however, this is just a fact of life in Israel, as normal as funding of youth movements, and does not warrant any extraordinary action. Responding to a direct question on Od Yosef Hai, he tells the Jerusalem Post’s Shmuel Rosner that

the state is used to funnel large sums of money to various sectors and institutions related to political parties  — from kibbuzim to youth movements and yeshivot —  with numerous stops in between.

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