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The Privatization of Violence: Right-wing Jerusalem Thugs Are an Arm of the State

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26.04.2021

“When you hear the cries ‘May your village burn down,’ does that represent you?” Suleiman Masswadeh, a reporter for the Kan Public Broadcasting Corporation, asked a young woman who participated in the rioting by Lehava – a hard-right, anti-Arab organization – in downtown Jerusalem on Thursday. Sporting a “Kahane was right” sticker on her chest, she replied: “Not in that way. I don’t say that it should burn down, but that you should leave the village and we’ll go live in it.”

Now that’s an answer that sums up our history in a nutshell: It’s not necessary to burn things down, it’s enough merely to expel the Palestinians and then inhabit their homes.

The Lehava people are not alone in this battle. Almost at the outset of the holy month of Ramadan on April 12, the Israel Police created a provocation when they blocked the Damascus Gate plaza as a sitting and gathering place for Jerusalem’s young men, with the pathetic excuse of easing access for the masses of worshippers. And yet such a step wasn’t taken prior to the coronavirus period, when the number of worshippers was far greater.

So why now? Whether the provocation was the result of foolishness, or a deliberate attempt to destroy the atmosphere of togetherness typical of these days of Ramadan – it should be viewed in a more general context, as Yudith Oppenheimer and Aviv Tatarsky of Ir Amim, an NGO that focuses on Israel’s policies in Jerusalem, write on the website Siha Mekomit (Local Call, the Hebrew version of the 972 website): "Those who are following what’s been happening in........

© Haaretz


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