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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rocking the Casbah

From JTA:
An Israeli army rabbi is under investigation for putting a mezuzah up in an off-limits area of Hebron.

The rabbi of the military's Judea Brigade was photographed this week putting up a mezuzah in the casbah, or old city of Hebron, accompanied by Chabad supporters.

The Hebron casbah, from where many Palestinian residents have fled during the past six years of violence, is off-limits to Israeli civilians out of concern that settlers might try to squat in its buildings.

Many Israelis say casbah properties were originally Jewish-owned and should be reclaimed.

"This gate is one of several gates through which people enter the casbah," Noam Arnon, a Hebron settler spokesman, told Israel Radio on Thursday. "Chabad wanted to put up a mezuzah, a very welcome act. This, of course, did not bother anyone, particularly not the Arabs."

Following protests by left-wing Israeli groups, the military top brass said the rabbi was under investigation and that the mezuzah had been removed.

The Jerusalem Post adds:

Rabbi Yossi Nachshon, a Chabad emissary in Hebron who helped organize the ceremony, said he did not understand the IDF's extreme reaction.

"The media and the IDF have totally blown the whole thing out of proportion," said Nachshon. "We affixed the mezuza in a place where IDF soldiers are stationed near a Jewish neighborhood. We do these types of things all the time. On the same day we affixed mezuzot in various settlements around the Hebron hills."

Nachshon said that according to Jewish law there was no obligation to affix a mezuzah near the casbah. However, he added that a mezuza was believed to offer protection against physical dangers.

Nachshon said that a Jewish settler had been killed near the scene of the contentious mezuza.

So it was just a gesture of support for the IDF, a symbolic wish for their safety, not a political act.

But the left-wing reaction was furious:
Peace Now issued a statement calling for Rabbi Peretz and the soldiers who participated in the ceremony to stand trial.

Knesset members also weighed in on the contentious move. MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) said that "this is a thuggish act vis-à-vis Palestinians who have not been able to live their lives for years. Even worse than that, this time it was not only done under IDF auspices but by soldiers who were engaging in severe political provocation."

MK Avshalom Vilan (Meretz) called on Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi to convene a discussion on the matter and deal with the perpetrators "to the fullest extent of the law."

"A uniformed rabbi who participates in an act with lawbreakers disgraces the IDF and should be punished," said Vilan.
Notice anything missing?

Even though it has been a full 24 hours since this event occurred, I have not seen one mention of outrage from any Arab or Muslim about this supposedly outrageous act. The people who riot at the drop of a hat, who obsessively follow Israeli media to find things to offend them, have not said a single word about affixing a small scroll with words of the Torah to the entrance to the old market. I have seen nothing in the Arabic press nor in their English-language press.

Israel's left wing is now more offended on the Arabs' behalf than the Arabs themselves are. Their eagerness to co-opt Arab outrage for their own leftist purposes show that their goal is hardly protecting Arabs as much as it is showing their seething hate for the Right - and religious Jews.