Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


'Voice of Israel' Aims at Settlers Taking Law in Their Hands

The "Voice of Israel" interviewed an IDF commander with questions aimed at showing that Jewish settler interfere with the IDF's fighting terror.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/15/2008, 6:43 AM

Voice of Israel government radio, which officially has a mandate to be non-partisan, launched a broadside attack Sunday against Jews in Judea and Samaria who attack Arabs following terrorist attacks.

The two-hour noontime news program opened with quotes from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who said, "We have security forces who know how to take care of terrorists." He added that the government will not allow the "violence and brutality" of Yitzhar residents who attacked Arab villages after an Arab terrorist set fire to a house with the intent of murdering a family and then stabbed a nine-year-old boy. The residents were incensed to learn that the terrorist fled while ignoring a soldier's shouts to stop.

Central Command head Gadi Shamni told military correspondent Carmela Menashe that the IDF's prime mission is to prevent terrorist attacks. She immediately asked him that "even if we are talking about a small group who take the law in their own hands, how can you protect settlers in this situation?"

He took the lead and responded that it is difficult to explain to soldiers they are defending Jews but also have to defend Arabs who are attacked by Jews.

Menashe persisted, "But there are the police--aren't you too forgiving on the settlers?" The commander responded that the number of police charges against Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria doubled during the past year, but the interviewer again asked, "How much of this behavior interferes with the army to carry out its missions?"
But there are the police--aren't you too forgiving on the settlers?

He again took the lead and agreed it is a big problem and then called on rabbis and nationalist political leaders to calm down what he called a small group, adding that most Jews in Judea and Samaria are "excellent" people.

Menashe returned to her theme, asking how it was possible that Jews rioted and no one was arrested even though it is known which two men took their rifles and fired at the Arab village.

Shadmi said the army still is investigating and is waiting for reports from Arabs on damage and injuries.

The Voice of Israel government radio military correspondent persevered, "The same thing has happened before and generals sat by quietly."

Shadmi answered, "I do not know what you are talking about."

News anchorwoman Anat Davidov then took over, scolding national leader Benny Katzover that the violence against Arabs "happens time after time." When he tried to bring up the matter of the terrorist attack, which he said was far more grave, Davidov responded, "Shadmi says their mission is to fight terror, I am asking you if this ' does not interfere with soldiers trying to stop terror…. This is not the first time?"

Katzover explained that the rioters saw they had no choice because of the fact that the army did not prevent a terrorist from entering the community, setting fire to a house, stabbing a boy and then letting the terrorist flee.   

He refused her challenge to denounce the rioters, and Katzover added that he did not see any pictures in the major newspapers of the aftermath of the fire that destroyed the house and its belongings and refused to denounce the residents' reactions. "They had no choice but to defend themselves because Prime Minister Olmert wants to expel them," he insisted.

Davidov repeated parts of the interview on the midnight news program and interviewed Labor minister Ami Ayalon, who has consistently taken a stand against the existence of most of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. He denounced nationalist leaders as being weak by not denouncing the rioters.

Davidov tried to speak by phone with an Arab from the village where the terrorist is thought to be living, but faulty phone communications prevented the interview.