Archive for West Bank

Yitzhar Settlers Torch Palestinian’s Car in Nablus

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by loonwatch

Settlers from Yitzhar torched a car in Einabus village in the Nablus district.

Fanatical religious settlers who believe God gave them the land have been attacking Palestinians who they hope to intimidate into moving away.

Settlers Torch Car in Nablus

NABLUS (Ma’an) — A group of settlers on Thursday set fire to a car in Nablus, a PA official said.

Three settlers from Yitzhar settlement set fire to the car in Einabus village, PA official Ghassan Daghlas told Ma’an.

The owner, Zain Mustafa Allan, said the car was parked outside his home when the attack took place.

Earlier, settlers threw rocks at Palestinian cars driving near Yitzhar settlement, Daghlas said.

The Nablus district experienced the majority of settler violence in 2011, The Palestine Center says.

In 2011, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that settler attacks had increased by 50 percent on the previous year.

Settler violence against local Palestinian communities is widespread, but figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 police investigations about settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.

Jewish Settlers Torch 250 Olive Trees in Nablus

Posted in Loon People, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by loonwatch

Palestine_Olive_Trees_torched

Uprooted trees

This is a recurring thing, in which extremist settlers, who believe that God gave them the land attempt to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian landowners in the hope that they will leave and then the settlers can annex the land. (h/t: Musa)

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Wednesday set fire to hundreds of trees in Nablus in the northern West Bank, a Fatah official said.

Ghassan Doughlas said residents of Tappuah settlement chopped down and torched around 250 olive trees in Jammain village. The settlement is built on land belonging to the village.

Settlers also chopped down 17 trees in nearby village Burin and forced shepherds off their pastures in Aqraba and Yanun, also in Nablus, Doughlas said.

I’am not sure if the following is a report of the same incident, but it was reported a week ago, and reports that the settlers came from Etamar rather than Tappuah (via. Occupied-Palestine):

NABLUS, (PIC)– Jewish settlers uprooted 200 olive trees near Aqraba village, Nablus, on Wednesday morning, local sources said.

Hamza Deiriya, a member of the committee for the defense of Aqraba land, said that the settlers came from Etamar settlement and chopped off the trees planted in an area of six dunums.

He noted that the settlers were attacking this same area for the sixth time, recalling that olive trees and water wells in it were destroyed at their hands.

He charged that the Jewish settlers want to terrorize the Palestinian landowners and to annex their land.

Forward.com: Christians Called to Serve Jewish Settlers

Posted in Loon Pastors, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by loonwatch

Christians helping Jewish settlers cultivate stolen land

Evangelical Christians are heeding the call to help Jewish settlers occupying Palestinian land harvest  crops. They are doing so because the “Bible” says so.

So the Bible legitimates the confiscation of other people’s land, driving them out and then aiding the occupiers and initiators of violence in reaping the harvest from land that they stole?:

Christians Called To Serve Jewish Settlers

(Forward.com)

PSAGOT, WEST BANK — It is a typical, even stereotypical, West Bank settlement scene: bearded young men pruning vines while enthusing about the Chosen People’s God-given right to this region. But in this case it is Jesus, and not Jewish identity, that animates these tillers.

For years, Westerners have flocked to the Israeli-occupied West Bank to help Palestinians with their olive harvest, as part of left-wing activist groups like the International Solidarity Movement. Among other things, the activists seek to resist efforts by settlers to disrupt the Palestinians’ reaping.

Now, the settlers have international harvest help of their own. The young Christians working in the Psagot Winery’s vineyards near Ramallah in mid-March were members of HaYovel. Last year, this Tennessee-based evangelical ministry started a large-scale operation to bring volunteers to tend and harvest settler grapes. They attach epic importance to their work.

God’s Work: Volunteers come to the West Bank to further a Biblical mission.

NATHAN JEFFAY
God’s Work: Volunteers come to the West Bank to further a Biblical mission.

“When you see prophecy taking place, you have the option to do nothing or become a vessel to it,” said volunteer pruner Blake Smith, a 20-year-old farmer from Virginia.

HaYovel preaches the old-school ideology of Religious Zionist settlers with one innovation: a sacred role for Christians.

The group’s members believe that the establishment of the State of Israel, its subsequent conquering of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and specifically the flourishing of agriculture in the occupied areas are fulfillments of biblical prophecies. Like many settlers, HaYovel cites a prophecy by Jeremiah that refers to the Samaria region of the West Bank: “Again you shall plant vines on the mountains of Samaria.” And like them, HaYovel believes that the settlement movement will help to bring the Messiah to Jerusalem — the only difference being that the volunteers anticipate a second coming.

But these Christians also focus on a prophecy rarely cited by settlers, who tend to place ideological value on using only avoda ivrit, or “Hebrew labor,” whenever possible. “And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vine-dressers,” Isaiah prophesized to the Israelites.

Basing itself on this verse, HaYovel — which takes its name from the Bible’s twice-a-century agricultural jubilee — has made reverence of settlers into a central religious virtue.

“Being here, we just want to serve — and to bless the Jewish people in building up the land,” said Joshua Waller, a HaYovel ministry leader and one of the 11 children of Tommy Waller, the group’s founder and spiritual head. During a lunch break, a settler with yarmulke and sidelocks came to address volunteers. They keenly asked him to explain why the international community is wrong and the West Bank is not really occupied, and seemed prepared to accept what they were told. “We are not here to teach anything, just to learn,” Joshua Waller said shortly before the talk began.

To some of the volunteers, becoming settler laborers is a way of righting a historical Christian wrong. “This is a crazy time,” said Joe Trad Jr., a 23-year-old college dropout from Missouri. Over 2,000 years of contention, he said, “we saw Constantine and the Holocaust. Yet today, in this spot of the world, you have Christians and Jews for the first time with the same goal.”

The volunteers are a mix of people who, like Smith, had a mainstream Christian upbringing and were drawn to HaYovel out of curiosity; people from families that gave up the organized church to develop their own brand of religion, one they see as closer to Judaism, and some people who are emerging from personal crises.

Trad, a former alcoholic and cocaine addict, went through rehab and became a Christian two years ago. He described his volunteering as a way of giving thanks “for what the Lord has done for me in my life by freeing me from these addictions.”

Aaron Hood, a 21-year-old HaYovel staff employee, comes from a Tennessee family of 14 children that gave up on any organized church and started observing the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible according to its own understanding. The family observes Saturday, not Sunday, as a rest day.

Israel Really Isn’t All That Friendly to Its Christians

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2012 by loonwatch

The shameless Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, attempted to manipulate Christian reality to score points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some well informed commenters responded to Oren with facts:

Israel Really Isn’t All That Friendly to Its Christians

(Wall Street Journal)

Regarding Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s “Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians” (op-ed, March 9): No doubt, his piece will be compelling for many readers. Christians in North America are generally sympathetic to Christians who suffer elsewhere. More negatively, many respond well when blame for that suffering is placed on Muslims. The biggest problem with Mr. Oren’s analysis, however, is that it stands in sharp disagreement with the perspectives shared by those he presumably wants to protect. Mr. Oren seeks to speak for Palestinian Christians before he has spoken with them.

Palestinian Christians have produced major studies of Palestinian Christian demographic trends. Difficulties created by Israeli occupation policies far outweigh pressure from Muslim neighbors as reasons for Christian migration from the West Bank. According to a study by the Bethlehem-based Diyar Consortium, “most of those who choose to emigrate” are “aggravated by the lack of freedom and security.” At “the bottom of the scale,” they found, “are family reunification, fleeing religious extremism and finding a spouse.”

It is irresponsible for Amb. Oren to make political points among some segments of the U.S. population by intentionally disregarding factors contributing to Palestinian Christian migration away from their homeland. By blaming their condition on Muslims alone, while ignoring the negative effects of Israeli occupation policies, including the debilitating economic effects of the separation barrier, Mr. Oren is using anti-Muslim sentiments among some Americans to hide the effects of Israeli policy. This cynical political rhetoric fuels extremism and does not promote peace.

The Rev. Robert O. Smith

Chicago

 

I am a Palestinian Christian, and the numbers and facts given by Mr. Oren are erroneous and misleading. With the creation of the state of Israel, 80% of Palestinian Christians were forced into exile. The number of Christians in Jerusalem dropped dramatically since the occupation of the city in 1967, and Palestinian Christians are denied access to Jerusalem. To pretend that their numbers greatly increased contradicts all statistics, including Israeli statistics. Allowing “holiday access to Jerusalem’s churches to Christians from both the West Bank and Gaza” is denying free access, and those permits are given selectively, in small numbers and revoked often with the “closure” of the occupied territories. Pretending to defend the interests of the Christians contradicts facts on the ground, where Christians suffer the same consequences of military occupation as all Palestinians. Most of the land belonging to Christians in Bethlehem is being confiscated with the building of the separation wall. Is that the “respect and appreciation” the Christian community receives from the Jewish state?

Fr. Jamal Khader, D.D.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts

Bethlehem University

Bethlehem

 

I am one of those Palestinian Christians that Mr. Oren refers to, who live inside Israel. At no time in my life have I ever felt the “respect and appreciation” by the Jewish state which Mr. Oren so glowingly refers to in his last paragraph. Israel’s Christian minority is marginalized in much the same manner as its Muslim one, or at best, quietly tolerated. We suffer the same discrimination when we try to find a job, when we go to hospitals, when we apply for bank loans and when we get on the bus. In my daily dealings with the state, all I have felt is rudeness and overt contempt.

Fida Jiryis

Fassuta, Israel

 

Amb. Michael Oren presents a distorted and inaccurate account of Christians in Palestine. He conveniently omits gross Israeli violations against the Palestinian Christian community, such as Israel’s revocation of residency rights to many whose birthplace was Jerusalem, or the fact that it restricts their right to worship in their holy sites by imposing an onerous permit system to access the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem or the baptism site on the River Jordan. Even family visitations between Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem are heavily restricted.

It doesn’t stop at that. Recently there has been a spate of attacks by Jewish extremists vandalizing Christian properties and spray-painting slogans denouncing Jesus and Mary and attacking Christianity.

Finally, Palestinian Christians are a vibrant component of Palestine’s social, cultural and religious fabric. Many of our most prominent figures in politics, academia and the arts are Christian. This is the case precisely because of a long history and deeply rooted culture of tolerance and integration in Palestine.

Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat

General Delegation
of the PLO to the U.S.

Washington

The ‘Price Tag’ Attacks Continue in the West Bank

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2012 by loonwatch

If Muslims were attacking synagogues or churches at this rate, we would not hear the end of it from right-wing nuts like Spencer and Geller.

Another ‘price tag’ attack in West Bank

Three cars were torched and a mosque wall was spray painted with the sentence “price tag Gal Arye Yosef” in the village of Dir Istiya near Ariel in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The sentence refers to the name of an illegal outpost that was evacuated in the last few days.

The head of the Dir Istiya local council, Nazmi Salaman, told Ynet that at 1:40 am residents noticed a car with three passengers and an Israeli license plate driving at high speed on the village’s main street towards the exit. “Immediately after that the residents noticed that three cars parked cars were on fire near the mosque and one of the fences that surround the mosque had the ‘price tag’ graffiti.”

Salaman added that at first the residents called the Palestinian DCO to report the incident, later Israeli police along with IDF troops arrived due to the fact that Dir Istiya is in Area C. “This is a continuation of attacks against Palestinians and mosques in the West Bank,” he said.

He noted that this was the second time that village property was vandalized. “The first time was in September when the Palestinian Authority launched their UN bid, and then settlers came and unsuccessfully tried to set the mosque on fire.”

Ynetnews, 11 January 2012

Anders Behring Breivik, Norway Killer, Insanity Ruling Debated

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2012 by loonwatch

Anders Behring Breivik, Norway Killer, Insanity Ruling Debated

OSLO, Norway — Prison psychiatrists monitoring confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik say he is not psychotic and he has not been put on medication, a prosecutor said in a court filing Wednesday, adding fuel to calls to reassess whether he is legally insane.

The original finding by two court-appointed psychiatrists has been fiercely debated by mental health experts and several lawyers representing the victims of the massacre that rocked Norway over the summer have demanded the Oslo District Court order a second evaluation.

But, prosecutor Svein Holden said Wednesday in a letter to the court that despite the new information he would not seek another evaluation. Breivik has recently been given access to media in prison and could try to manipulate new experts in ways that would be favorable to him, he said.

Prosecutors say they would rather let experts testify at the upcoming trial.

Breivik, 32, has confessed to setting off a bomb that ripped through Oslo’s government district on July 22, killing eight people, then opening fire at the summer camp of the governing Labor Party’s youth wing, killing another sixty-nine.

The Nov. 29 finding by two psychiatrists said Breivik was insane during the bomb-and-shooting rampage. In that report, the psychiatrists, who spent 36 hours talking to Breivik, described him as a man living in a “delusional universe” – a paranoid schizophrenic who had lost touch with reality.

However, in his letter to the court, Holden says four psychiatrists at Ila prison in Oslo, where Breivik is held in pretrial detention, informed him they have not observed any signs that he is psychotic.

The prison has not started medication of Breivik or seen any need to move him to another facility, Holden added.

The deadline for parties to file their demands is on Friday and the court will decide some time next week whether a new evaluation should be made, court spokesman Geir Engebretsen said.

Breivik’s defense attorney Geir Lippestad didn’t return calls seeking comment.

The trial is set to begin April 16. If declared mentally fit and convicted of terrorism, Breivik would face up to 21 years in prison or an alternative custody arrangement that could keep him behind bars indefinitely.

If the courts declare him insane, he would be given three-year terms of psychiatric care that can be extended for as long as necessary.
http://www.5min.com/Video/Norwegian-Mass-Killer-May-Avoid-Jail-517217634

Another Mosque Torched in West Bank: Hebrew Word for “War” Painted on Wall

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by loonwatch

More price-tag operations.

Another mosque torched in West Bank

Vandals set fire to another mosque in the West Bank on Thursday and defaced it with Hebrew graffiti.

The governor of Ramallah, Laila Ghanam, said arsonists doused the mosque in the village of Burqa with gasoline, then set it afire. The Hebrew words for “war” and “Mitzpe Yitzhar” were painted in red on a wall, and the Israeli military said carpets and chairs were burned.

Mitzpe Yitzhar is an unauthorized Jewish settlement outpost in the West Bank where Israeli security forces demolished two structures early Thursday.

In recent years, settlers have attacked Palestinian and Israeli military targets in retaliation for Israeli government operations they see as overly sympathetic to Palestinians. The increasing frequency of the attacks, the sparse number of arrests and paucity of indictments have generated allegations that the Israeli government isn’t acting forcefully enough against extremists after two years of violence.

On Wednesday, following an assault on an Israeli military base, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved measures to clamp down on extremists, including giving soldiers the authority to make arrests and to ban extremists from contentious areas.

Associated Press, 15 December 2011