Meretz Knesset Member Zahava Gal-On, in an interview on Israeli radio Monday, tried linking an attack on Arabs with school trips to Hevron that teach about the forefather Abraham, who bought a large plot of land that includes the Patriarchs' Cave, as recorded in the Bible.
Police have arrested five people, most of them teenagers, in connection with the brutal attack durng an apparent brawl in downtown Jerusalem last week. Police still are investigating.
The vicious beating by a group of bullies is the most recent of a spate of violent incidents that have plagued Israel, especially in the idle summer months. Victims have included Sudanese, elderly people, soccer fans from an opposing side, and others who are “bait” for youth looking for “action.”
Although shouts of “Death to Arabs:” were heard during the attack last week, police have not concluded that the youth attacked the victims only because they were Arabs or simply because they were available targets.
Nevertheless, Mk Gal-On saw a direct link between the attack and educating Jewish youth about ancient history in Hevron, where the first three Jewish forefathers and three of the four matriarchs are buried.
Similarly, secular and anti-nationalists for more than 15 years have tried to brand all national religious Jews and rabbis as being guilty for allegedly inciting Yigal Amir to kill Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
The attack in Jerusalem “is a result of the education and legal system,” MK Gal-On said on Voice of Israel radio Monday morning. She also suggested that certain Knesset Members, presumably those who are from nationalist religious parties, also “communicate the wrong attitude.”
Gal-On’s linkage was too much even for anchor newscaster Aryeh Golan of Voice of Israel, which has an unstated but clear policy of pro-pluralism and anti-government.
Golan pointed to that other people beside Arabs also have been beaten up by thugs, but Gal-On insisted that that she is not surprised by the beating of Arabs because the school system “sends children to Hevron and calls it ‘our inheritance’ and leaves a felling that Arab lives are not worth anything.”
She also blamed the legal system for closing the cases against rabbis who allegedly incited followers by authoring or writing an acknowledgement in the book “The King’s Torah.”
“Do you really see a direct link," Golan asked the left-wing legislator. “Yes,” she replied. “I am talking abut the atmosphere that is created towards someone who is not ‘one of us.’”
That same attitude, for different reasons, may be the driving force that has driven teenage gangs to beat up people with whom they consider inferior for not being “one of them,” regardless of religion.
Golan offered equal time to Jewish Home Party MK Zevulun Orlev, who said that Gal-On “has a great imagination without any connection with reality.”
“Children who visit Hevron serve in the army and live in development cities. They are our future,” he added.