Olive harvest 'blood libel' in Samaria
Olive harvest 'blood libel' in SamariaFlash 90

It's October and the olive harvest has begun - for Jewish residents of Samaria, that means the return of Arab attackers framing Jews by destroying their own olive trees, with leftist extremists inciting against Jews in what some residents have termed a "modern blood libel."

Jewish residents of the region on Monday morning charged that Arab residents of Burin, located south of Shechem (Nablus), arrived overnight at an olive tree orchard near the adjacent Jewish town of Givat Ronen, where they proceeded to cut down trees.

Samaria residents argued that far-left groups used the tree cutting to frame Jewish residents as being the perpetrators of an act to harm their Arab neighbors.

With the dawn, Israeli security forces arrived on the scene of the tree cutting, but the damage had already been done - and indeed, an Arab resident of Burin on Monday morning submitted a police complaint against residents of Givat Ronen, claiming they had damaged the trees.

Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika condemned the event, saying "the harvest season has turned into the incitement season. Extreme left groups have turned the blood libels that were heard in Europe against Jews each Passover into a modern blood libel."

The phenomenon was exposed to Arutz Sheva in January, when a Jewish resident of Samaria investigated and provided photographic evidence of how Arab residents stage "price tag" vandalism attacks on their own olive trees.

"Every year before the Sukkot holiday, they (the left-wing groups) send residents of the village Burin and the environs in the heart of the night to cut down olive tree branches in the area, and in the morning claim that it was done by Jews from the region," said Mesika.

Mesika concluded by saying "I call on the police to investigate the incident to the end, and (call) on the legal system to exercise steep punishments against those behind these provocations each year so that they will not be repeated."

The epidemic of olive tree framing has gotten so bad that Jewish residents have taken to arming themselves with cameras to document the phenomenon. Those efforts payed off in October 2012, when an Arab man and foreign leftist activist were caught on film cutting down olive trees near the community of Elon Moreh.

The year before that, residents complained that foreign and Israeli anarchists were taking advantage of the olive harvest to help terrorists gather intelligence. They noted that the murderers of the Fogel family in March of that year used the olive harvest to get information on Itamar and plan the horrific murders.