Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The following (from Arutz Sheva) is dedicated to my favorite police groupie:

Fifteen-year-old Avishag S. of Haifa, who says she is still in pain and now has developed fever, told the following story:"I was in house #6, and the Yassamnikim came in through the window. One of them pulled me up by the ear, while beating me with his club in my stomach. He didn't just hit me; he turned the stick around almost inside me - and then another one kicked me in the back, and then sort of threw me out the window, giving me glass splinters in my leg. That's what they did with all the girls there... " After a few seconds, my stomach began to hurt me terribly, and I just started screaming in pain, all doubled over. An army medic told me I had better go to the clinic, but a Yassamnik didn't let me pass. Only when they brought me a stretcher - because I couldn't walk - did he let me go through." In the clinic, they didn't know exactly what to do, but they saw that there was a real fear of damage to an internal organ - so they called an ambulance. But throughout this time they couldn't give me any painkiller, and so I was yelling in pain the whole time. Once I was in the hospital (Shaarei Tzedek), they gave me an ultrasound and infusions and everything. That's when they finally told me that I was just a millimeter away from having an internal organ damaged, which would have meant a dangerous operation. I was also very worried that my uterus was affected, but in the end, they reassured me on that as well." "I hope that next time, the whole nation will be there - not to attack, but to defend."

It has now been learned that even Magen David Adom (MDA) medical teams were not immune to police attacks. Shalom Galil of Beit El, an experienced medic, told this story: "I was outside house #6, and a Border Guard officer called out, 'Medic! Medic!' So I came and he said that someone was hurt inside the house. I climbed in through the window [the doors were sealed - ed.], and I looked for the patient. Two Border Guard policemen were there and said, 'No one is here, get out,' and they started beating me. At the same time, they pushed me towards the salon, where two other policemen were blocking the way. I screamed that I was an MDA medic, and of course they saw my orange MDA vest, but they didn't care and kept on beating me, until I was finally able to get out."

Another medic, Mordechai Ben-Aros of Kokhav Yaakov, had a similar story: "Most of the MDA personnel were in the first-aid tent, treating the wounded, while we were three paramedics outside in the 'field.' We also had stretcher-carriers and other volunteers, but we were treating the wounded... "At one point, we came to a house, and the commander asked me to go in and deal with those who were hurt. When I went in, with my bright orange vest, there were policemen who recognized me from previous houses - but one of them pushed me into a corner and started screaming at me and did not allow me to go up to the roof and check who was hurt. At the same time, a Yassamnik started hitting me without stopping. I tried to say that the officer had told me to come in, and they said they didn't care and kept on beating me... Afterwards, at another house, they told me to go in to check the wounded, but we chose not to."

In another case, an army officer whose name is known did not allow an ambulance to go from Ofrah to Amona. Another paramedic said that Magen David Adom management instructed its volunteers not to publicize the stories. It was also learned that a woman ambulance driver was taking a wounded policeman to the hospital, and he cursed her and abused her the whole route. A complaint has been filed with the police. Roni Daniel, Channel Two's veteran anchorman, reported from the scene: "The policemen here are raining blows down on the settlers one after the other. The blows are unnecessary, they are hitting just to vent their rage, there is no need for it. The police behavior on the roofs has to be investigated. The violence here is unnecessary."

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amona happened for 3 reasons:

1) Nearly ten years ago the "mamlachti" types at Amona/Ofra ratted on the Ofni garin who were trying to settle a (much more legal) hill next to Amona, and called in the media and Peace Now in order to "protect" the Amona hill. A complete failure of Zambish and Moetzet Yesha's mamlachti approach of "damage control" and "pragmatism".

2) The failure of the National Religious community to protest the use of brute force - including Yasam, Cavalry, Border Police, etc. - at the Bar Ilan St. demostration, and the raid on a Beit Midrash in Geula. etc etc etc. The brutality was just as bad as what we saw last week. But we just cluck-clucked about "law and order" and civil rights of drivers and compromise and haredim not doing the army, etc etc. Chatati, Pashati Aveeti. They were right - we were wrong. We should have joined in and thrown OUR children's diapers at the Yasamnikim (and I FULLY agree with your description of this unit).

3) We failed to join in at the Haredi protest against the Supreme Court. The Gutman Report had been published already. The Kulturkampf was on the horizon. But Shaul Yahalom still naively believed he could make poiltical deals to get a dos machmad or two on the Supreme Court, so of course the draft-dodging Haredim were wrong again.

The National Religious Community needs to get its head around the fact of who our allies are - and who they should be. Last night I went to an open parents meeting in our little town for a junior high school that was recruiting for next year. A wonderful school with a wonderful program. However, the principal and the teacher in charge of informal education PROUDLY noted the joint program they have during the year for the 8th graders with a secular school in Haifa. A program encouraged and set up by the Rabbi of the town. Nothing was mentioned about a program learning gemara b'chavruta once a month with the Viznitz Yeshiva 8th graders in Beitar Ilit. I wonder why.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Fair enough.

Nevertheless, a few quibbles:
My position on the mamlachti'im is no secret (and I'm planning to post on this again next week following some new developments) but I do think there is merit to carrying out hityashvut in a coordinated fashion. (Obviously, you also need to know how to choose your friends but that's another matter.)
I was fully with the Haredim on the court protest but your stab at Yahalom is anachronistic. His "deal" to get Berliner on the bench (since utterly ignored) was much later. He wasn't on the committee back then and I don't recall that he was opposed to the protest. The head of the contra-protest then was the uber-assimilationist, Avrum Burg.

Please do me a favor and use some consistent handle. Anonymous seems to be a very common name around here.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Zalman said...

"an army officer whose name is known" ... "Magen David Adom management instructed its volunteers not to publicize the stories"

Is the reluctance to name names due to a fear of retaliation against Magen David Adom? If so, then lets at least be explicit about that. (Whether it would be wiser to take the risk of retaliation, I leave to your wiser audience to respond.)

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name: J.I.

The National Religious Community needs to get its head around the fact of who our allies are - and who they should be. Last night I went to an open parents meeting in our little town for a junior high school that was recruiting for next year. A wonderful school with a wonderful program. However, the principal and the teacher in charge of informal education PROUDLY noted the joint program they have during the year for the 8th graders with a secular school in Haifa. A program encouraged and set up by the Rabbi of the town. Nothing was mentioned about a program learning gemara b'chavruta once a month with the Viznitz Yeshiva 8th graders in Beitar Ilit. I wonder why.

There are a couple of reasons why. First of all, the Viznitz yeshiva in Beitar Ilit has no interest in learning with the krum 8th graders from an RZ yeshiva tichonit. Until their rabbinic leadership recognizes our rabinnis leadership as legit, I don't see how we can participate with them as allies.

The reason that an RZ high school might want to have joint programs with a secular high school is presumably because they have something to offer that we don't have. Your post implies that the chareidim also have something to offer that we don't have - Torah learning. I do not think that is a message the administration of an RZ high school would want to or should be sending.

Settlement activity cannot constantly be in contravention of the law (or government), that just gives the anti-settlement justified arguments that the settlement movement is comprised of a bunch of outlaws and has no backing or public support and is unilaterally hijacking the national agenda.

As to the beatings of chareidim by police - there was extremely widespread anger and outrage in the RZ community against the police in the Satmar incident. However, one must make value judgments. IN the RZ value system (and I would argue a normal value system) protest against police forcibly removing people from their homes and/or demolishing such homes is much more legitimate than actively going out of your way to protest at a road construction site one very tenuous halachic grounds. Therefore, there would anturally be more sympathy for the protesters in the first scenario getting beaten than the protesters in the second scenario getting beaten.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous ABZ said...

Yes - sorry. I have nothing to hide in terms of the other post. What happened with Ofni is no secret. In terms of your comment - the second hill (i.e. Ofni) was cooridnated with Zambish. It was some of the Ofra/Amona people who went behind their backs b/c they didn't like the "tzitzit" of the new garin. Once that happened the "mamlachti" folks fell into line and sacrificed one to save the other.

Regarding Yahalom, you're right that was later. Yahalom is on record as little as a month ago as saying that the judicial selection method should not be changed so as not to introduce political elements into the process. IMHO, we have to be very thankful he won't be sittting on the selection cmtte anymore

To J.I. - I think that there are many things we can learn from the Haredim - without becoming Charedi. And yes, I think they would do a program to learn with our kids if it was set up the right away. My parents raised many kids who are all religious today and hopefully passing onto their children the mesoret they received. Out of all the advances in education that have been made since the time I went to school, I would say that a visit to the local public school was one thing that I didn't lack for in the chinuch I received.

The protests I was referring to were the Bar-Ilan St. road closings - which involved a much broader spectrum of the Haredi community than a few Satmar necrophiliacs - it was widespread and was about Chilul Shabbat, which as I recall was one of the 3 (along with Yishuv Haaretz and Talmud Torah) mitzvot that are considered equal to all the others. When we can become as concerned about Jews getting their heads smashed in over Chilul Shabbat as we are about Yishuv Haaretz - and without an inferiority complex or chip on our shoulder - or desire to conform to the wider society at large - we may then get some respect (and help) from our fellow Jews.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

ABZ: I discussed this with Yahalom recently. I was shocked to hear that, as you say, he supports the current method of judicial appointments. But at least he has some understanding of constitutional issues. Orlev is completely clueless.

5:44 PM  
Blogger bar_kochba132 said...

I basically agree with the first Anonymous, we, of the Religious Zionist camp must get closer to the Haredi world, in spite of all our differences. While I agree that it might be hard to arrange hevrutas between our schoolkids and theirs, we certainly should co-ordinate our positions on matters of religion and state, something that has been sorely lacking up until now.
Regarding Yahalom, I recall several years ago, Benny Alon tried to pass a bill abolishing the TV tax. The deciding vote in the finance committe of the Knesset was that of the same Mr Diamond. He vote to keep the tax.
The MAFDAL is a 100% Bolshevik party. I would be interested to know how he justified keeping the current judicial selection system.

Regarding police brutality--we RZ's must protest it wherever it occurs, against Haredim and against peaceful Arab and Leftist protestors (if there are indeed any). We must insist on democratization of Israeli society. True democratization will only help the religious community.
We should get Arutz 7 legalized, but we will have to accept Islamic radio. We want Orthodox Rabbis to go into public schools and present the Torah viewpoint, but we will have to allow also Reform rabbis. This doesn't worry me, the Orthodox rabbis can hold their own against them. True democracy is the only way Isreal can survive, the current Hellenistic oligarchy is destroying the state.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

BK,
You raise several important points.
1. The RZ and Haredim need to coordinate on issues of mutual interest. I've tried to do this with regard to the constitution but it is difficult because each side has its meshugasin.
2. Democracy can only help to loosen the grip of the oligarchy and therefore should be the top priority of those who are not in the oligarchy. As you note, this brings us some strange bedfellows but we need to live with that.
3. The Mafdal is absolutely a Bolshevik party. I've been itching to blog on this for a while. The Mafdal still lives in a fantasy world in which it is part of the oligarchy. Or worse, it lives by a theology in which the oligarchy is virtuous by definition. Either way, Mafdal has some issues with reality, which explains most of the mysteries surrounding it.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous ABZ said...

Well, Michael Freund had something to say about this issue today. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1138622571861&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

That's enough for me. I wrote a polite letter to the Rabbi of our little town asking him to look into setting up a chavruta program for the kids in his schools with Haredi kids nearby.

4:09 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home