Over 1,000 people attended what was billed as an emergency rally in Jerusalem's Zion Square Thursday night. Arutz Sheva columnist Tzvi Fishman was arrested wearing an American flag and an anti-Bush sign, after telling journalists that current Israeli policy will lead to increased terrorism.
Can't see the video above? Click here to view the arrest.
The rally was called to protest Israeli concessions placed on the table by Israeli and American leaders in recent weeks, such as the division of Jerusalem, the uprooting of Jewish communities and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Among the high-profile
Speakers at the protest warned of the fatal consequences of relinquishing parts of the Land of Israel.
participants at the event were many leading rabbis, including Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginzberg, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Rabbi David Druckman and Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe. Also in attendance was well-known Israeli singer Ariel Zilber, who has become a fixture at nationalist events in recent years.
Speakers at the protest warned of the fatal consequences of relinquishing parts of the Land of Israel to the Arabs, referring to both the physical and spiritual planes. The rabbis at the event prepared an ornate English-language Bible for US President George Bush, who is visiting Israel this week. They noted that the gift is to remind Bush, a religious Christian, that the Torah includes G-d's allotment of the Land of Israel to the Jews.
Advertisements announcing the rally referred to the pressure being put on Israel to cede more territory, destroy communities in Judea and Samaria, and divide Jerusalem as direct fulfillments of Biblical prophecy. The fliers quoted Psalms 2: "Why do the nations rage, and the peoples meditate a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against G-d and against His anointed." Rally organizers said this scenario was being realized in the recent freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria. This order and others, they claimed, are in fact edicts against the G-d of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah.
IDF Col. (ret.) Moti Yogev told the crowd, "The heads of the IDF know that if, Heaven forbid, they cooperate with another expulsion of Jews from their homes, they will be left with no army to defend the State. The Prime Minister knows this as well."
Former Hollywood screenwriter and Arutz Sheva site commentator Tzvi Fishman was arrested at the Zion Square protest for wearing an American flag, a black Hamas hood, and holding a toy gun and a sign that read "Bush is Founding Father of Hamastine."
Fishman told IsraelNationalNews:
"I was simply participating in the rally and speaking to the press. I told the cameras that all of the dinner parties and handshakes and kisses that Olmert gives to President Bush can't hide the fact that they are establishing a Hamas terrorist state in the heart of Israel. Once the cameras moved away from me, I found myself surrounded by Olmert's forces and being escorted to a paddy wagon. The government is so terrified of the voice of the opposition that they have turned Jerusalem into a closed military zone for the last few days to keep demonstrators away from the press."
The police told Fishman that he was being detained for "causing a public disturbance." In the video above, a police officer is seen yanking Fishman's hat off his head, pulling his hair along with it.
Fishman's 7-year-old son was left alone with no other family member in Zion Square. A friend of the family came to the aid of the traumatized child.
Fishman hosts a popular blog on IsraelNationalNews.com and is a contributor to the opinion pages of several publications.
Rabbi Wolpe: 'It is Good to Die for Our Land'
In his speech, Rabbi Wolpe declared to the crowd, "There will be an Amona multipled by ten, an Amona multiplied by one hundred, over every settlement," referring to the violent expulsion of Jews - and resistance to it - from Amona executed two years ago under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "We will fight until the last drop of blood. It is good to die for our land," he added, borrowing from a death-bed quotation attributed to pre-State Zionist leader Joseph Trumpeldor.
Wolpe, who was recently condemned for calling for the execution of senior politicians under current Israeli laws on treason, asked the crowd, "What do you call a man who hands out guns to terrorists?"
"Traitor!" protesters called out in reply.
Several protesters carried signs saying "Bush and Olmert are Bringing Another Holocaust."
MK Eldad: Arrests Violated Freedoms
Three arrests of right-wing activists in Jerusalem on Wednesday were termed a violation of civil freedoms by Member of Knesset Aryeh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party). In a letter the MK sent to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter on Thursday, Eldad asked the minister to investigate reports that police had violated activists' freedom of speech. Activists Susie Dym, Jeff Daube, a new immigrant, and Yehudit Dasberg were arrested on Wednesday for giving journalists a booklet detailing the ties between Palestinian Authority terrorist groups and Fatah, the faction currently in control of half of the PA.
The arrests clearly violated the activists' freedom to speech and expression, Eldad charged. He feels that any police officer who violated the law by harassing activists
The King David Hotel, where Bush and his entourage are staying, received hundreds of faxes.
should face criminal charges. Eldad called for the police to "allow the distribution of material to journalists and not to act like the police in a totalitarian state."
A Related Protest
Land of Israel activists also launched a fax-flood campaign this week to get several key messages to the attention of the American president during his stay in Jerusalem. An email circulated among right-wing Jewish organizations and forums read: "Please fax [Bush] your protest about Annapolis, the Palestinian state notion, division of Jerusalem, Pollard, etc."
The King David Hotel, where Bush and his entourage are staying, received hundreds of faxes with the aforementioned messages on Wednesday and Thursday. A spokesperson for the hotel said, "I can confirm that the King David hotel reception desk has been flooded by faxes from right-wing activists." Hotel staff passed the letters on to the American delegation, as per protocol.
Baruch Gordon contributed to this article.