Last week I received an email request from the New Israel Fund (NIF) to sign a rabbinical statement condemning the recent desecration of a mosque in the Bedouin village of Tuba-Zangariya in the north of Israel. Of course I signed without hesitation. It was a sick, racist act that deserved to be condemned from every quarter.
Thus my deep dismay when I did not receive any similar request when the Israeli army demolished a mosque this week in West Bank village of Kherbet Berza – for the third time. (An incident, btw, that was scarcely covered by the western media.)
As per usual, the administration claims additions to the mosque were built “without a permit.” Naturally no such permits are issued when the Israeli government is interested in creating facts on the ground – this case being the northern Jordan Valley. (The news item above was released last year following the first demolition.)
Of course it’s easy to condemn racist acts of individuals – apparently it’s more difficult (or “complicated”) when this kind of thing is carried out by a government. I have no such difficulty: terror is terror whether perpetrated by one person or by the state.
So for the record (and using the same language as the NIF statement) I’d like to take this opportunity to:
express my deep sadness and outrage at the destruction of a mosque in the West Bank village of Kherbet Berza. I condemn this act as an affront to God, the values of our Torah and the international standards of basic human rights.
I extend a hand in friendship and solidarity to the leaders and residents of this small village, a prayer for their safety and peace in the days to come, and a hope that the government that perpetrated this despicable act will be held to account.
And while we’re expressing concern for the welfare of Bedouins, this recent announcement offers some cause for deep dismay as well:
The Civil Administration (CA) is planning to expel the Bedouin communities living in Area C in the West Bank, transferring some 27,000 persons from their homes. In the first phase, planned as early as January 2012, some 20 communities, comprising 2,300 persons, will be forcibly transferred to a site near the Abu Dis refuse dump, east of Jerusalem.
More government terror. I express my deep sadness and outrage…