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Jewish Residents Leave Holiday Preparation to Protest Stonings

The attack on Rabbi Yaron Durani sparked a demonstration calling upon the government to exercise a strong hand.
By Amiel Ungar
First Publish: 9/27/2011, 9:16 PM

Rabbi Durani
Rabbi Durani
Photo by the author

My wife Beverly is a responder for our community of Tekoa. In addition to handling first aid she has the grisly job of breaking the news of a tragedy to the family. She had enjoyed a long respite thankfully but last Friday it came to an end. Two hours before Shabbat ended she broke the news to Shimon Palmer that his brother Asher had been murdered together with his infant son Yehonatan in what the security forces first insisted on calling an accident.

When the same M.O. was used by the terrorists against Rabbi Yaron Durani, the rabbi of Nokdim on the road between Efrat and Tekoa-Nokdim throwing a massive stone from a passing car it was time to say enough is enough. Rabbi Durani narrowly missed the same fate that had befallen Asher and Yonatan Palmer. Two other cars that came by later were attacked in the same fashionon the road.

Ironically, the Etzion Regional Council had just put up road signs in Hebrew and Arabic imploring Jews and Arabs to drive responsibly. The signs read "Everybody is equal on the roads" and "Thou shalt not kill". Obviously the last injunction did not impress the rock throwers.

A motorcade therefore went out from the Jewish communities led by Rabbi Durani and activists Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover to the T junction a hundred yards from the site of the incident.

Rabbi Durani gave thanks for his salvation but claimed that the source of the problem was the ambiguous signals transmitted by the government. His young daughter told him that people vandalize a home that is seemingly unoccupied but would not think of doing the same to a house where ownership rights were clear. Therefore the government had to assert sovereignty over the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and cease its hesitant policy. Once this was clear, the situation would improve and the perpetrators would get their fair trial before a heavenly tribunal as they would be speedily ushered into the world to come.

Nadia Matar warned that the demonstration was a foretaste and if the situation deteriorated further we would be back in force. "We will not wait for funerals."

Dr. Ruth Walfish of Tekoa announced that having personally experienced the first intifada and the constant stonings the Jewish residents would not tolerate a similar "nonviolent intifada". "We will not go back to that again."

From the T junction the demonstrators marched to the exact spot of the attack on Rabbi Durani. Rabbi Durani recited a Psalm  and the demonstration broke up.