Pogrom? Dichter, Olmert Differ

Olmert won headlines around the world for charging Peace House activists with a pogrom because two Jews shot Arabs in self-defense.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Police expel Peace House activist
Police expel Peace House activist
Flash 90

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert won headlines around the world for charging Peace House activists with a pogrom because two Jews shot at Arabs throwing rocks that endangered them. Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) said Jews remember what a real pogrom is.

 

The Prime Minister impassionedly told the Cabinet Sunday, "We are a people whose historical ethos is built on the memory of pogroms. The sight of Jews standing with guns and shooting at innocent Palestinian civilians can only be called a pogrom."

 

Although Prime Minister Olmert presumed the two Jews to be guilty of attacking Arabs, a Jerusalem Magistrate's court ruled that a video of the shooting by the pro-Arab B'Tselem group cast doubt on the allegations. "There are a number of question marks regarding the behavior of the [Arabs] who were allegedly shot by the suspect, as they can be seen getting up and continuing to throw stones at him," said Judge Malka Aviv.

 

"In their behavior the Palestinians contributed greatly to the incident's grave consequences," she added.
In their behavior the Palestinians contributed greatly to the incident's grave consequences.

 

However, Prime Minister Olmert delivered a broadside against Hevron Jews and told ministers, "As a Jew, I am ashamed of other Jews doing such a thing."

 

His accusation of a "pogrom" came several days after politicians and media castigated Jews for terming police "Nazis" as they expelled Jews from their homes in the Hevron Peace House.

 

Public Security Minister Dichter said, "We know what a pogrom is" and added that the Prime Minister's use of the word was totally unsuitable. "There was no pogrom of Jews on Arabs in Hebron, and anyone who uses the term 'pogrom' plans to degrade," he added. "Hevron is not on fire; there is no Jewish intifada."

 

Definitions of the term "pogrom" vary from "an organized, violent attack on an ethnic, religious, or other minority group by members of the majority society" to "government approved mob attacks against Jews in Russia and Poland."

 

The Wikipedia website defines pogrom, "to wreak havoc, to demolish violently…a form of riot directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious or other, and characterized by destruction of their homes, businesses and religious centers."





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