Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Shifting the Blame

By now people who follow the Israeli news scene have read about the Yom Kippur riots in Akko. This isn't the first time that riots have occured in this city. In 2006, during Simchas Torah, Arabs also took advantage of the holiday to take "offense" to the public behaviour of the Jewish students of a local yeshivah - apparently they were dancing in the streets with their Torahs and enjoying themselves - and rioted as well.
Back then, the police arrived and, much to the surprise of the yeshiva students, ignored the violent Arab group and arrested various yeshivah students while also disarming their guard. And just like in 2006, when the dust settled, guess who the police blamed?
The dominant elements behind the riots in Akko seem to be Jewish instigators, Northern District Police Commander, Major-General Shimon Koren, told Ynet on Sunday.
"We have no intention of letting up. We know who's behind the incitement and the arson. It's a very small group of people and they will be dealt with to the full extent of the law," he added.

This, despite the general consensus on how the riots started:
The northern city of Akko has seen four days of stormy riots, as Jews and Arab resident began clashing after an Arab motorist drove into a Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur – the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, in which traffic traditionally halts.
So, the Arabs display behaviour which offends the religious sensitivity of the local Jewish population and when hostilities break out, the Jews get blamed. Now, let's look at the polar oppsite: let's say that a Jew had entered an Arab neighbourhood during one of their holidays and displayed what they would have considered offensive behaviour? Would it be ignored?
Are you kidding? Not only would Akko have erupted in city wide riots, most of the Arab centers around the country would have also erupted in "sympathy" with their offended brethren. No doubt EU observers would be called in to "monitor" the situation and condemn Israel for its insensitivites to minorities and non-Jewish religion.
This anti-Jewish attitude is millenia old. It doesn't seem to matter how something starts. We always seem to be to blame. But it's more disconcerting when a Jewish police chief is now the one doing this. Not exactly how the Zionist dream was supposed to turn out.

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