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On Terrorism and Increasing Jewish-Arab Violence in Israel

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When I was just a kid in Williamsburg, the Satmar Hassidim, long back-coated Jews with beaver hats and and long sidelocks, reacted en masse to threats to their community – particularly by the Puerto Ricans who shared the slum I grew up in. When there was some kind of danger, they would shout "goyim!!!" (heathens!) in a harrowing cry, this being the worst kind of threat they could imagine that they could publicly confront. And the streets would almost immediately be crowded with men in black running to some central spot from where the shout had arisen.

I saw this once as a child. One evening, someone was shot on Bedford Avenue. I heard the gunshot, climbed up on a chair to look out my bedroom window which faced Bedford Avenue (yes, I was that young when this happened) and saw a body lying on the street – and a crowd of black gabardined men rushing to the body after they heard both the gunshot, and the shout of "goyim!!!" piercing the night air.

Here in Israel, the Hassidim are known, along with a large group of Jews who dress similarly but have violent theological disagreements with them, as Haredím – those who tremble when worshiping G-d. And these folks are not known for their non-violence, either.

The Haredím were the ones who violently confronted the police in Jerusalem in an effort to stop the "gay pride" provocation events planned here a couple of years back. They attacked a gay man parading on Keren haYesod in a "parade" once. They have burned garbage pails, tires, cars, and overturned buses in various incidents of violence in Geula and Mea Shearim, their most famous strongholds in Jerusalem, usually over incidents dealing with abortion or post-mortem examination of the dead, or the disturbing of graves.

They are known also for throwing rocks at people who drive through their neighborhood on the Sabbath, because in driving a vehicle, they are violating the Sabbath. The main square separating the two neighborhoods of Geula and Mea Shearim has been renamed because of their habit of throwing rocks at drivers by and screaming "shabbes! shabbes!" at them. The original name of the square has been lost to the dusty tomes of unread history texts. On the police radios these days, it is known as kikár shabbát (Sabbath Square). That is what everybody else calls it, too.

It is also a practice (how common is hard to say) to hire their tough yeshiva students to educate (that is beat up) men who refuse to grant a bill of religious divorce (a get) to their wives when marriages break down. Less a few teeth and a number of bruises later, the now "educated" husbands usually grant the women the bill of divorce – or they flee the country.

The long and the short of what I'm relating here is that there is a violent streak in Israeli and Jewish culture, and the Haredím characterize it most publicly, though it should be noted that they are not the only violent elements in Israeli society or Jewish culture.

This leads us to the Arab terror attacks in Jerusalem over these last few months; the shooting at yeshivát merkáz haráv on 6 March, the frontloader attack on the Jaffa Road on 2 July, and the bulldozer attack on King David Street on 22 July. The victims of the first attack were Haredím; a large number of witnesses to the second attack were Haredím; and I suspect, though I do not know this to be true (I was here in Ma'ale Levona at the time), that a large number of witnesses to Tuesday's attack were also Haredím.

The pattern heretofore has been Arabs attacking Jews, usually innocent Jews. Indeed, the most important act of the murderer Samir Kuntar, released last week, was to smash the head of an infant against a rock with a rifle butt, an act that will likely earn him extra-judicial execution at the hands of the IDF, now that he is free and a "hero" in Lebanon.

In addition, we see the arrest of far more Arabs in Jerusalem for terrorist activity than in years previous. There appears to be a greater threat of terrorism from Arabs living in Jerusalem than authorities wanted to acknowledge, and now real questions are being raised as to whether Arabs can be trusted not to kill Jews in positions of employment. I myself would never have questioned this previously – one of the doctors who operated on me when I was admitted to a hospital suffering from a heart attack was an Arab.

Finally, we come to an event that occurred last night in Jerusalem. Originally, I saw the report in Ynetnews, and then just now in Arutz Sheva. Typical to the ideological slant of the paper, Ynetnews called this a near-lynching. But, it is illustrative of the Haredi culture that I explained above. Two Arabs got into a dispute with a Haredi store owner, and the store owner shouted "goyim!!!", just as the Hassidim did in Williamsburg a half century ago. The Arabs were attacked and they fled, entering the home of a Jewish family in mourning (their door was not locked, so as to allow visitors to come without knocking, as is Jewish custom). The Jewish man in mourning tried to protect the Arabs from being beaten up, and for this, he was stabbed by one of the Haredím, who called him a traitor for protecting an Arab against a Jew.

This kind of violence simmers just under the surface of Jerusalem all the time, but it broke last night.


While I cannot say for sure, I can guess that the Haredím have had it up to the eyeballs with the public coddling of Arab murderers and their families, and the unwillingness or inability of the police to protect the Jewish population against Arabs – who may do business with us, but hate us nonetheless.

For the last seven years that I have lived in this country, what I have seen is the fear of Arabs by Jews. This is true in Haifa, in Jerusalem, in Jaffa. It was true when Jews were chased out of Peqiin by angry Druze last year. I have friends who refused to allow their children to ride the public buses for fear of Arab terrorism when we first moved here. Jews were afraid here as they were overseas, as the Hebrew press would automatically take the side of the Arabs, and the police would not protect them. The outbreak of violence against Arabs is a healthy sign – a sign that Jews are beginning to get back their self-respect, and ugly as the incident was last night, it portends not evil, but good.

The tide within the Jewish population may be turning at last, at long last, and it appears they are willing to finally do what needs to be done to instill fear into an arrogant and murderous minority that receives all too much sympathy from ignorant foreigners worldwide, foreigners who judge us to a far higher standard than they themselves can hope to attain.

It is long past time to reverse the Jewish fear of Arabs, and to make the resident Arabs in the Land of Israel tremble.  It is time to make them appreciate the gift of life that G-d gives them daily – that they might choose life and not death – good and not evil. This is a major step on the road to the reconciliation between Arabs and Jews foretold in the Book of Isaiah.

:כל צאן קדר יקבצו לך אילי נביות ישרתונך יעלו על-רצון מזבחי ובית תפארתי אפאר

All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered unto you, the rams of Nevayot will serve you; they will be brought up with favor upon My Altar, and I will glorify the House of My Splendor. [Isaiah 60:7].

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About Ruvy

Hi!! Thanks for coming to my article! I was raised in Brooklyn, was graduated from the City University of New York in 1978 with a BA in political science and public administration there. I lived in Minnesota for a number of years. There I managed restaurants and wrote stories. We moved with our children family to Israel where we now reside. My work can be found at Ruvy's Roost, Jewish Indy,, and on Facebook under my full name, Reuven Kossover
  • Ruvy, this is so disturbing on many levels.

    For one thing, for people to live like that, with so much hate, fear and distrust. And for you and your family to live in that environment.

    For another thing, for people like me who live here in the US, most of us without a clue of what is going on outside of their own personal bubble.

    What does it take to erase hate, fear and distrust? Or will conflicts like this go on forever?

  • Joanne,

    I’ll take your comments and questions one at a time. They are worth dealing with in detail.

    1.What does it take to erase hate, fear and distrust? Or will conflicts like this go on forever?

    You need to understand, first of all, who benefits from this hate, fear and distrust. Once you do, you’ll see things very differently – your “bubble” will be gone, as you will realize you cannot afford to be in one. In addition, once you realize who benefits from this hatred and distrust, you’ll see what it will take to erase much of it. And that will not be a pleasant thought at all.

    So, who benefits from the hatred, fear and mistrust? Ah, that is a whole different article. I had enough trouble with this one!

    My suggestion is that you look at the website of Joel Bainerman, an economist and journalist who lives in Teko’a, Israel, but who immigrated here from North America. And guess what? A good part of the answer, but not all of it, is tied up with oil, and those who supply it.

    Will these conflicts last forever? My answer to you is in the article, on the last page. No.

    A firm no!

    If I didn’t believe with full faith in the promises of the prophets of Israel, I would not even be here; I’d still be selling Whopper sandwiches in Saint Paul, just a day or so drive away from you up I94.

    One thing for you to consider; the Arabs are not our enemies. They are like a hammer held in the hand of another, and we in Israel are the potential victims of those who hold the hammer. Separate the hand from the hammer and the hammer will drop, and the reconciliation spoken of Isaiah 60:7 will be well on its way.

    Reading all of this will disturb you; it should disturb you. Unfortunately, not enough Americans are disturbed enough about what goes on – not just in this part of the world, but in Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent, and Eastern Asia as well.

    The prosperity of the United States has provided a bubble for too many Americans, one that makes it hard for them to see the hardscrabble realities of the world outside of its borders. And those who benefit from this hate, fear and distrust also benefit from the difficulty Americans have in seeing the realities of the world outside its borders. From what I’ve read of your articles, your own heritage provides you a unique advantage in understanding the world outside the States.


    According to the newsflash linked to in Arutz Sheva, my neighbors down the road in Shilo have finally had it up to their eyeballs with the way the government coddles Arab murderers and their families, and relentlessly makes the lives of those of us in Judea and Samaria insecure and miserable. They have also had it with the way Arabs harass Jews on their own property, destroy our property, and then reap the benefits of a Hebrew press that worships the Jew-haters in the foreign press.

    The Arab press in J-lem was bitching about “super-rats” that we Jews supposedly set amongst the Arabs – but the Arabs have gotten real Jews, real rocks thrown at them, and real Jewish anger. But we are not like the Arabs. We didn’t try to massacre them or kill them the way they have killed and massacred us. A Jew grabbed a soldier’s gun and shot in the air. Hardly the act of a genocidal maniac.

    It appears that at long last, Jews are regaining their spines and their guts, and beginning to take power from a traitorous and cowardly government that has abandoned its charge of protecting the Jewish populace.

    The Arabs will whine and complain to the foreigners from the States and from Europe, but the fact is that they need to experience this kind of violence and anger from us far more often and far more frequently, so that they begin to understand that they are here on our sufferance, and for no other reason.

    Once they comprehend this, then the beginning will have been made towards a reconciliation between the Children of Abraham, and at long last, we can have peace in this holy land.

  • Another example of what separates the Arab from the Jew. This attack is just one example of dozens weekly, where Arabs assault Jews – because they are Jews.

  • Samarian residents released by military authorities for firing weapons in the air in self defense. Apparently, this morning an Arab mob accosted the car of two Jewish residents of Yitzhar, attacking it with rocks. The two, fired their weapons in the air.

    THEY were arrested for discharging weapons – the Arabs were not arrested at all for the attempted assault on the Yitzhar residents.

    According to the article, “Samaria Regional Police investigators concluded that they (the Jewish residents) were justified in firing warning shots to scare off their attackers as they were in mortal danger.”

  • Sounds like the residents were the victims of unthinking institutionalized discrimination. They probably know how the daughter of an African-American co-worker of mine feels, who got knocked down on a crosswalk a couple of years ago by a car trying to beat the red light. The cop who attended the scene cited her for jaywalking.

  • Baronius

    Ruvy, this news may seem small-picture good, but it’s hard to imagine that it’s big-picture good. You’ve talked before about how armed the citizenry is, but how arguments never escalate into violence. Now you’re saying that tensions are high, and escalations are more frequent. That can’t be good. Frontier justice is better than no justice at all, but it can’t exist over the long haul.

    Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold /
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

  • Oh God, not him again.

  • Ruvy


    I’ll make this quick.

    The violence here that is escalating is between Jew ans Arab, not between Jew and Jew. Here. we Jews well understand that a weapon is to be used against the enemy – who appears at present to be the Arab.

    It appears that there is escalating anti-Jewish violence here these days. A writer at Yediot AHronot warned of a third intifada. But the difference is that we living here are not going to stand for the shit anymore, and if the army won’t do something, WE will. Nobody except the leftist intellectuals in Tel Aviv are deluded that the Arabs want any kind of peace with us.

    All those pricks from “Peace Now” and their associates are nothing but traitors, and if they try to shove their treason down our throats yet again, they may well find their own throats stretched on hanging ropes – in this country, the death penalty by hanging is prescribed for treason.

  • Baronius

    Ruvy – I suppose that when your religion is based on your bloodline, there is never any risk of becoming like your enemies. My religion is based on G-d’s mercy, which restrains even His justice. I very much worry about becoming no better than my enemy. Given what horrible people your enemies are, you’re in trouble if you set no higher standard for your behaviour than to be their equals.

  • Ruvy


    I’ve been working for the last few hours so I haven’t had time to answer you.

    For all that has been going on, Jews have not set out to kill innocent Arabs here. Ma’ale Levona overlooks a few Arab villages. If we were as bloodthirsty as Arabs have been, someone would have already taken the opportunity to attach a good scope to an M16 and kill the Arabs living below us. Similarly, no Jew has ever undertaken to kill Arabs in Jebel Mukabr, just north of the Tayelet in J-lem – not even at the height of the Arab terror attacks in 2001-2003. That is what has set us apart from them – and frankly, from most of mankind.

    Indians, for example, have never set out to kill Jews living among them – but the massacres of Hindus by Moslems, Moslems by Hindus, Sikhs by Hindus, etc. etc. raises the awful stink of barbarism to the heavens. Yet, for all this, there are Indians who dare call me a genocidal murderer because I manfully defend the rights of my people on their “Desi” forum.

    What hypocrisy! What damnable Hutzpá!

  • Ruvy

    And Baronius, as if to prove my point for me, from this article at Desicritics,comes comment #110:

    “Ruvy, why can’t a digger be driven over you!?”

  • Baronius

    Ruvy, the individual Indians you’re talking to probably haven’t participated in those massacres. You seem to be itching for one. Whether it’s not trusting the individual Arab at the workplace, or wanting to string up your politicians, or your seeming comfort with the stabbing of a Jewish “traitor” protecting Arabs. Personally, I can’t imagine living in that situation and holding it together. But I don’t think you are holding it together.

  • Ruvy

    I’m not itching for any massacres, Baronius. I want to see JUSTICE. I’m itching to see the puppets and thieves here stung up and hung, and their proposals to desecrate this land ditched in the trash.
    Finally, I want to see the annexation of Judea and Samaria to the entire country, and the crushing of Arab terror in this country. The task is much easier than everyone makes it out to be.

  • Ruvy

    Baronius (and Joanne),

    More to the point, note I said the enemy appears to be Arabs. The Arabs are like a hammer held in the hand of the American oil and banking establishment, the bunch of pricks who installed a Wahhabi regime in Arabia in the first place. The Arabs are not the real enemy at all.

    Read this article, “My Fellow Arabs”, by Sami Alrabaa, a prominent Arab journalist. Also, read this article on the spread of Wahhabi terror and its influence, also by Sami Alrabaa.

    The real enemy of the Jewish people and of peace in the region as well, is the Wahhabi terror establishment and its sponsors, the American oil and banking establishment.

    Finally, just to give you a taste of what the future holds – the Torah Code, in a very rare prediction, warns the following: “‘Destruction’ I will name you; cursed is bin Ladin; vengeance belongs to the messiah.”

  • yael

    The Students at Mercas Ha Rav who died by the shooting of the Arab were not Haredim! Mercas Ha Rav is THE place for Dati-Leumi (National-religious) Jews. They (national religious) have nothing to do with Haredim, they go to the Army, they work, they pay taxes, they dont burn garbage on the street, they dont beat up people – the opposite: according to Rav Kook they try to reach out to non-religious Jews instead of isolating, like Charedim.

  • Yael,

    They (national religious) have nothing to do with Haredim, they go to the Army, they work, they pay taxes, they don’t burn garbage on the street, they don’t beat up people – the opposite: according to Rav Kook they try to reach out to non-religious Jews instead of isolating, like Haredim.

    Consider your words carefully. When I grew up, I couldn’t stand the Hassidim. I carried this dislike over here to the Haredim when I arrived.

    So, my education began. Nearly all the people who have helped with employment in this country were and have been Haredim. I took the national religious line here when we moved here. Then I saw the expulsion of 10,000 fellow national religious Jews from their homes in Gush Qatif. I was forced to admit that the Haredi attitude towards the State and the Army was more correct that that of the national religious Jews. They had the bastards pinned. Not that a lot of the Haredi leaders were any better – they sold out Gush Qatif in January 2005 for yeshiva money They dipped the Flag of the Torah in mud so that they could get money for yeshivót.

    They sinned and they will be judged.

    Now we see however, that the violence of the Haredi is one of the the only things a cowardly government understands. Army bases are attacked by national religious Jews, Arabs are attacked by national religious Jews.

    We need to remember that the Haredím are our brothers, and we need to remember that it is G-d Who will ultimately correct the things they do wrong. But we, on the other hand, should strive to learn from what they do right.

    So getting angry at the Haredím should not be a priority. Loving our (Jewish) brothers (other than the outright traitors) in our hearts should be.

    I wish you a pleasant Elul, one that brings you closer to full t’shuvá, and a healthy and sweet 5769.


  • Ismail


    Are the Palestinian people, who defend their land could be called a terrorist?
    Palestinian people has the all right to defend of themselves.

    What can the Palestinian people do while the United Nations did not help to regain their rights?
    Jews not applied any decision of the United Nations resolutions concerning the Palestinian Issus

    What can the Palestinian people do while they had no media to tell the world the truth?

    What can Palestinian people do while the Jews have and control all media in the world?

    What can the Palestinian people do , while the Jews are controling all the members of the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States ?
    What can the Palestinian people do , while the Jews are controling Most of the leaders of the world?

    What can the Palestinian people do While they are under siege for years?

    How long will the Palestinian people stay victims of The Executioners of the Jews and the U.S. governments?

    Why the United States and Britain not allow to the Palestinian people to obtain weapons to defend themselves?
    Where is the real terrorist?