Home > Anti-Semitism and Hasbara, Diplomacy, Israeli Neoconservatism, Jewish Fundamentalism > State-sponsored incitement: Israel’s glass house

State-sponsored incitement: Israel’s glass house

It appears that Palestinian incitement is back in Israel’s public advocacy arsenal.

Netanyahu

From a Jerusalem Post report on Sunday’s (January 10 2010) Israeli cabinet meeting:

Basing himself on information provided by the Palestinian Media Watch, Netanyahu said that “incitement continues in the Palestinian media and education system; in its official media outlets and in the schools under its supervision. These serious actions represent a harsh violation of the Palestinians’ international obligation to prevent incitement. I say to the chairman of the Palestinian Authority [Mahmoud Abbas]: Stop the incitement. This is not how peace is made.”

From a report in the January 7 2010 edition of Haaretz:

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a complaint to the White House several days ago lamenting ongoing incitement against Israel by Palestinian leaders.

In the complaint, senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office urged their American counterparts to demand that Palestinians President Mahmoud Abbas cease to glorify the memory of terrorists who murdered Israelis. The complaint went on to insist that the Palestinians live alongside Israelis peacefully and spread peace. [...]

This complaint is the first of its kind — against Palestinian incitement — to gain media attention in Israel, after many years during which Israel largely refrained from making official complaints, or delivered these complaints discreetly to the Palestinian president.

Rabbi Yisrael Rosen

Haaretz’s Akiva Eldar demonstrates this morning (January 12 2010; full annotated text after the cut) that on this issue Netanyahu is throwing stones from within a glass house:

“Shabbat Beshabato,” [is] a weekly pamphlet on the Torah portion distributed in thousands of copies to synagogues all over Israel. Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, the founder of the Conversion Authority and head of the Tsomet Institute of Halacha and Technology [Hebrew], wrote in the most recent edition that “the time has come ‘to declare war’ on the Israeli Arabs, and of course on the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, who are not loyal to the state, using clear tests to determine this, and to designate them as ‘enemies.’” [...]

What kind of enlightened democracy finances a body that is behind the publication of unacceptable remarks against its citizens? The Tsomet Institute, like quite a few “rogue elements” (such as the Od Yosef Hai Shechem yeshiva, whose rabbi, Yitzhak Shapira, permits the killing of gentile babies) receives thousands of shekels annually from the state. In 2007-2008, Tsomet received from the Science and Technology Ministry over NIS 580,000, and another NIS 100,000 or so from the Ministry of Education, as well as NIS 200,000 from the Gush Etzion Regional Council.

Yisrael Rosen and his institute are known in the US for their Kosher technological solutions the problems posed by a modern observant life. In Israel, the Rabbi serves as an official consultant to a range [Hebrew] of government bodies, including the Police and the IDF. Incitement, however, is also a regular Rosen product: In 2006 and 2008 he published Halacha interpretations equating Palestinians with Amalek and calling for their destruction.

We have no incitement here

Column, Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, January 12 2010

The prime minister complains, and rightly so, that the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas took part in a ceremony naming a square after a female terrorist. Really the time has come to change the name of all the squares named after suicide bombers and members of the pre-state undergrounds, murderers and freedom fighters. Benjamin Netanyahu protests, and rightly so, the incitement-filled publications against Israel distributed by the Palestinians.

Indeed, as he said two days ago to American senators, “this is not how you make peace.” This is not the time to encourage religious fanatics and fund extremist organizations that incite against their Jewish neighbors.

Among us, those who incite against the Arab neighbors are always “rogue elements.” So why do Israeli governments irrigate them with public water? Take for example, “Shabbat Beshabato,” a weekly pamphlet on the Torah portion distributed in thousands of copies to synagogues all over Israel. Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, the founder of the Conversion Authority and head of the Tsomet Institute of Halacha and Technology [Hebrew], wrote in the most recent edition that “the time has come ‘to declare war’ on the Israeli Arabs, and of course on the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, who are not loyal to the state, using clear tests to determine this, and to designate them as ‘enemies.’”

In an article [Hebrew] featured prominently on Tsomet’s Web site, Rosen suggests the ammunition to be used against the Arab citizens: “Taking away rights, also collectively (such as traveling on major arteries), as long as they do not meet the test of loyalty to the state. Also the right to vote for the Knesset, and certainly the right to be elected, are not ‘God-given rights’ and may be encroached on due to disloyalty, and certainly for security reasons, and to protect ourselves from those who would harm us.”

The spiritual leader states that “whoever ‘everyone is against’ runs amok and goes wild.”

An enlightened democracy must not take such remarks to heart. But what kind of enlightened democracy finances a body that is behind the publication of unacceptable remarks against its citizens? The Tsomet Institute, like quite a few “rogue elements” (such as the Od Yosef Hai Shechem yeshiva, whose rabbi, Yitzhak Shapira, permits the killing of gentile babies) receives thousands of shekels annually from the state. In 2007-2008, Tsomet received from the Science and Technology Ministry over NIS 580,000, and another NIS 100,000 or so from the Ministry of Education, as well as NIS 200,000 from the Gush Etzion Regional Council.

“The reason for our inability to implement this ‘war’,” wrote Rabbi Rosen, “lies with our ‘internal enemy.’” And who is this terrible enemy? “Our brethren, the Jews of the left, head by some of the High Court justices who prefer human rights and humanism for our enemies to the security of the state and its citizens (see Route 443).” The halacha teacher warns of a battle against those he refers to as “brothers-enemies,” a cleaner definition than “traitors” or “betrayers.”

Machsom Watch member Edna Kanti, one of the residents of the house on Channel Two’s “Big Brother” show, certainly fits this description. She dared to suggest to the Palestinians that they should refuse to show their documents and cross through the checkpoints en masse. The rabbi suggests dealing with Kanti and others like her “through persuasion alone, and primarily with sharp explanations and even mobilized (sic), perhaps we will be able to dissipate ‘their hostility’ or at least marginalize them.”

Kanti can relate to what this handling is like; alongside the Facebook pages calling [Hebrew] for her to be kicked out of the “house” and thousands of talkbacks denouncing [Hebrew] her, her family is receiving death threats, suggestions to trade her for Gilad Shalit and so on. Her friends, who want to maintain the Palestinians’ dignity at the checkpoints, report that the persuasion methods the settlers use with them include pouring water, curses and violent actions. Rogue elements, as we already noted.

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  1. January 12, 2010 at 10:36
  2. January 12, 2010 at 11:56

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