Close to 200 people converged on the Gush Etzion intersection on Saturday night to protest what they called the “Obama Intifada.” The ongoing Arab violence, which has seen a sharp increase in rock-throwings and even live-fire attacks on Israeli vehicles over the past week, continued Sunday morning with riots near Tekoa and an attempted stabbing east of Shechem.
The Gush Etzion demonstrators held signs reading, "Crush the Obama intifada! No more rock-throwing! Stop the building freeze against the Jews."
Among the public figures who arrived and spoke at the Saturday night protest were Rabbis Dov Lior, Gideon Perl, Yosef Tzvi Rimon, and Yaron Durani; Rabbi Avi Weiss from New York, columnist Dr. Amiel Ungar, Atty. Elyakim Haetzni, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi, and Kiryat Arba Mayor Malachi Levinger.
One woman who was attacked by a rock-throwing mob said, "...I started to drive away, but then I decided not to run away, so I stopped and parked my car across the middle of the road to block it..."
In addition, a woman from Tekoa who was wounded by Arab rock-throwing last week – one of several local residents to be similarly attacked - was also present. She was released from the hospital on Friday after undergoing an operation on her arm.
All the speakers delivered a similar message: “We will not remain quiet as stones are hurled at Jews… Prime Minister Netanyahu, stand firm! Do not cave in to Barack Hussein Obama! The people of Israel are strong and will remain strong even if the US imposes sanctions against Israel.”
A woman from N’vei Daniel spoke about her experience of a few days ago: “Some Arabs threw rocks at my car as I was on my way back from work in Tekoa… One Arab threw a rock at my windshield and smashed it; I started to drive away, but then I decided I was not running away, so I stopped and parked my car across the middle of the road to block it [until the army arrived]. I started to yell at them in Hebrew, and I called at the one who threw the rock to come down towards me and not be a coward and run away; of course, he did not come…” She then said that she feels anger towards the government for not providing her with minimal security in her own country, and towards the Jews who support Obama and particularly those in the United States such as David Axelrod, Thomas Friedman and Rahm Emanuel, “who have forgotten what it is to be Jewish. Perhaps it would be better for us if Obama would take a few non-Jewish advisors…”
Kiryat Arba/Hevron Chief Rabbi Lior said, “We demand that the government do something effective against the barbarians that are again threatening our movement on the roads and our quiet lives. They’re ambushing Jews all over the country. We have no doubt that they are raising their heads because of signs of weakness on behalf of the leadership of the Nation of Israel… Maimonides explained in his Epistle to the Jews of Yemen who were forced to convert to Islam that the character of Arabs is that when you look out for their good, in return, they always give you war. When we tell the Arab, ‘Come, I want to help you and see to your needs,’ he doesn’t look at us like gentlemen. He sees weakness and then the wolf shows what he can do.”
Following the speeches, the crowd started marching south towards the Arab town of El-Aroub to “prove our independence and our determination to continue walking freely everywhere.” Participants stated afterwards that it was clear that this protest was just a start, and that “if the rock-throwings continue or escalate, so will our responses.”
This morning, several dozen Arabs rioted in eastern Gush Etzion, near Tekoa, throwing rocks at Israeli security forces. The latter faced them with riot-control means. Shortly before noon, at a checkpoint east of Shechem (Nablus), two Arabs disguised as farmers assaulted IDF troops with pitchforks and broken bottles, but alert soldiers shot and killed them.