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Ask the Rabbi
News & Call-In with Tamar Yonah
Yisrael Medad is a revenant resident of Shiloh, in the Hills of Efrayim north of Jerusalem. He arrived in Israel with his wife, Batya, in 1970 and lived in the renewing Jewish Quarter, eventually moving to Shiloh in 1981.
Currently the Menachem Begin Center's Information Resource Director, he has previously been director of Israel's Media Watch, a Knesset aide to three Members of Knesset and a lecturer in Zionist History. He assists the Yesha Council in it's contacts with the Foreign Media in a volunteer capacity, is active on behalf of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and is involved in various Jewish and Zionist activist causes. He contributes a Hebrew-language media column to Besheva and publishes op-eds in the Jerusalem Post and other periodicals.
Ehud Olmert's remarks in referring to the anti-terror protest at the Arab village of Aasira Al-Qabaliya on last Shabbat as a "pogrom" were not only incorrect but stupid. They were incorrect because the actions taken by the civilians threatened with murder and arson were a response to a mini-pogrom that has been going on for the past few years invarious degrees of anti-Jewish violence. Olmert did indeed note that but went ahead with his own verbal violence. The media, his main and only support group, chimed in and as has been reported here and at other Hebrew-language sites presented biased and misleading information about the incident itself and the background to it.
According to my information, the terrorist actually was observed not only as he entered the Jewish residential area, with the IDF soldiers presuming that he was a worker - on the Shabbat?! - but that he was seen fleeing and that they took no measures since he was (are you ready for this?) unarmed.
I wrote above that Olmert was stupid for using the term "pogrom". In the first instance, since many many people think that what Israel did in South Lebanon two years ago was illegal, they can now call it a "pogrom". After all, if Olmert refers to what happened near Yitzhar as such, then surely what Omert did two years is at least that. Secondly, what the Arabs of ShfarAm did to a suspected Jewish terrorist two years ago, when the man was killed, has been defended by left-wing and Arab legislators and they have refused to term that a "pogrom". Moreover, I don't think Olmert himself referred to that act of violence but if I am wrong, I invite Mr. Olmert to correct me.
Of course, Olmert knows what a "pogrom" is. He initiated one. At Amona. What he had done at Amona cannot be compared to what was done at Asira Al-Qabaliya.
At Amona, as we all recall, hundreds were injured, some quite seriously and at least one a near-death casualty. At Amona, official security personnel - police, Yassam, Border Police, mounted calvary, etc., - were ordered to bash heads. And those were, in one way or another, Olmert's orders.
That was a pogrom, a real one.