Home The Knesset Hears Testimony on the Assault at Amona
Home The Knesset Hears Testimony on the Assault at Amona

The Knesset Hears Testimony on the Assault at Amona

Anat Roth was a member of the left wing party Meretz, she had served as an assistant to several Labor Party MK's and working as a researcher for the Israeli Democracy Institute and doing her doctorate on the Yesha Council. She had extensively interviewed settlers and members of the council and she was at Amona when special police squads were sent in. Today she was in the Knesset testifying to the police brutality she had seen and experienced herself.

Roth recounted how the pre-evacuation preparations for the confrontation among the protestors was of a totally non-violent nature.

"They were instructed over and over that the nature of the struggle would be non-violent and merely passive," she said. "It was decided that the method of struggle would be the same as in Gush Katif, meaning – to sit on the floor, cross hands and be evacuated by force."

"The children who were standing around the houses were shaking with fear, and groups of policemen stormed around them with horses and batons. Stones were occasionally thrown. I saw policemen hurling stones at the people who blockaded themselves on the rooftops and yelling at them."

Rott, who herself sustained a head injury, said that "there was no one to talk to."

"I was beaten and dizzied, I saw policemen hurling stones at the people who blockaded themselves on the rooftops and yelling at them: 'I am looking you in the eyes, I'm going to remember your face, go up there and kick your ass.'

Describing the actual evacuation and accompanying police violence, Roth said, "I saw settlers who were scared of the horses and the police aggression. Yesha Council leaders such as Adi Mintz looked for a police commander, but there was no one to talk to. There was just terrible hatred on the part of the policemen... I saw police throwing rocks at youths standing on the roofs, and it was those rocks that the demonstrators threw back."

One policeman who saw me filming the events hit me in the head," said Roth. "He would have hit me again, but Ze'ev Chever (of the Yesha Council) stopped him."

Yitzhak Har-Tov, a combat medic who volunteered at Amona told the committee that police officers prevented him from treating woundedresistors. "I was told they would make due on their own," he said.

Har-Tov was beaten by police as he administered medical treatment to the wounded.

"I did not have a paramedic's uniform, and so I kept on yelling that I was a paramedic. I saw a horse trample an older man, and I tried to help him. I saw them beating children and youths... I asked, 'Who's the commander here?' and in response, he said, 'I am Elijah the Prophet,' and he hit me... "I asked someone who looked like a commander if he planned to stop his men, and he drew a line on the ground and said, 'If you cross over this line [to treat the wounded], I'm not responsible.' ..."

Yaakov Tessler, a teen-aged yeshiva student from Jerusalem, said that he and his friends were reminded over and over, by their rabbis and others, not to behave with violence but merely to resist passively.

Tessler said, "I was in a house where policemen were hitting with their clubs without any provocation by the demonstrators. We were afraid that the police would use tear gas, and therefore we prepared bottles of water beforehand. This was the only 'threatening' thing that we brought into the house... "

Once we were in the houses, we had no one to brief or guide us; the public address system was silenced. [Another witness had testified that he saw a policeman detaching the wires - ed.] We had been told to wait until they came to remove us. From the window, we saw terrible sights - policemen beating girls who had done nothing and throwing them to the ground. Outside the house, there was a Yassam [special unit] policeman who hit with his club everyone who came out. After they left, they were hit! We saw this from inside and we became very frightened."

Tessler recounted how he saw a group of Yassam policemen organizing large stones, and then, in a coordinated manner, throwing them at the youths on one of the roofs. He further said that he saw policemen drag and beat a boy who cried that he was hurt and couldn't move. Asked by Labor MK Matan Vilnai and Shinui MK Ilan Shalgi why he took off from school to take part in this event, Tessler responded, "I came because of a deep inner feeling that I had not done enough in the struggle for Gush Katif. I felt a need to protest my pain against the fact that Jews are destroying Jewish homes in the Land of Israel."

An IDF officer who was present at the clash David Weiner, testified that he had been at many Arab riots during his army days, "but I never before saw the police behave the way they did at Amona." He described how the police lined up with clubs opposite protestors who had decided not to resist actively. "I thought the police were going to bring the water cannons close to the houses as a form of deterrence, and this would have calmed things down - but they preferred to use actual force instead... I received a report beforehand from an IDF Lt.-Col. who warned me that the police were planning to use unprecedented force... The police did not give any public warnings about how much time the protestors had to get out; the only public orders were to the police."

Testimony that security officials had sexually assaulted female protesters in Amona was led by Noga Cohen, a social worker in the Yesha Council. She read the accounts of several girls who claimed to have been attacked or had seen attacks on other girls. "'One [soldier] stepped on her and kicked her again and again. The second one was bending over her, and I saw that he was touching her in a very inappropriate way,'" one protester wrote. Another girl claimed that a policeman had shoved her up against a wall and threatened to rape her. "This was a mass event during which dozens of sexual, verbal and physical abusive acts took place," said Cohen.

Cohen specifically mentioned a case of a girl dragged to the side by two policemen who began molesting her and were stopped only by a youth who saw what was happening and hit them himself. "This was reported in B'Sheva newspaper," she said, "and we investigated the case and found it to be totally true."

Knesset Member Ilan Shalgi said in response that it sounded as if "the Cossacks took over town."

Head of the Binyamin regional council Pinchas Wallerstein said that two weeks prior to the Amona evacuation, the Yesha Council tried to prevent the forceful evacuation, but was denied by the government.

"For two weeks we tried every possible way to meet with Olmert, pulled every string we could, and approached his closest associates, but he didn't even bother to respond. We presented the government with a commitment to surrender and were encountered with a one big no," he described.

(Assembled from Yediot Aharanot, Arutz Sheva, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and assorted news sources)


  1. Anonymous7/3/06

    Shame on the nation of Israel for excusing the actions of these thugs in police uniforms. Shame on the nation of Israel for even having such mercenaries. Are you becoming the monsters the Arabs say you are?

  2. Anonymous7/3/06

    Scott, this is a situation hardly limited to Israel.

    Need I remind you of Waco? Need I remind you of Terry Schaivo? I can list far worse things as well.

    As far as what the arabs do. The arabs deal with resistance with massacres. The Infitada on the Jordanian side began and ended in a day when the Jordanian army brought up machine guns and killed everyone. In Syria the entire town of Hama was leveled. Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands.

    What is going on and what has happened in Israel is deeply disturbing and a violation of legal norms and must be protested. It does not however hold a candle to what the Arabs do and it's not too different from some of what happened here in the 60's, e.g. the Chicago Democratic Convention police riot.

    And the reality is that police brutality in the US occurs today on a regular basis and is excused too. I can list case after case.

    Israeli and Israelis are not monsters. They're simply not immune from the same problems that go on in the rest of the world.

  3. Scott, the *nation* of Israel is not just a piece of land.
    Israel was a man whose descendants we are.
    We live all over the world.
    Is America the monsters they appear to be in the films about integration in the south where black people were lynched and burned alive?
    Are Christians the animals and monsters they appear to be when they murdered Jews by the millions in WW2 and in the Inquisition?
    Many good nazis were Lutherans and Catholics in good standing.
    The pope called Hitler a true son of the Church!
    How about Rodney King and the beating he took..not to mention the beatings seen regularly on American TV by police of unarmed men and women?
    Of blacks being dragged to their death behind moving trucks.
    Is this the true picture of America Scott???

  4. Sultan.. I suspect that Scott is not the friend of Jews he pretends he is but has been biding his time to allow his true anti semitic shtuss to find a way to the surface.
    Kill them with kindness and "oh we christians love the Jews" then bash the heck out of them for one false move.

  5. Anonymous8/3/06

    I reject the situational ethics arguement. The evil you describe as happening in America was just as evil as what happened in Amona. In some instances much worse. When the criminal Janet Reno sent goons in and snatched the little Cuban boy Illian it was a horrible crime. In many ways. She should have been sent to jail.

    This thing at Amona however is still the subject .... not what happened back in WWII or whenever. When one reads the Israeli blogs it is clear that at least half the israelis think it was just fine to savage those kids in Amona. Your country is about to elect the man that ordered the state sponsored crime. I'm sure we will see a lot more of it in the future.

    Stop drawing yourself up in a fetal defensive position and whining antisemitism. It won't float this time. I'm not antisemitic. I'm antideathsquad and antistate sponsored terrorism. These 'special' police you have are obviously just deathsquad goons .

    You have given the true Jew hating world a giant weapon against Israel and if you don't all .... I mean ALL do something drastic I can see your nation destroying itself in quick order. Every decent Israeli should be in the streets marching and protesting what happened in Amona. You should jail those police and Olmert and his criminal henchmen.

    The Jews should be the last people on earth to go after their own youth with clubs and horses and mercenary goon squads. The very last. Shame on Israel.

  6. Anonymous8/3/06

    Last I checked Clinton was elected twice, despite everything he had done. The public supported Waco and the abduction of Elian. Polls show the majority of the American public supported starving a woman to death before her pleading parent's eyes.

    The true subject is the corruption of government, the way politicians abuse and sell out their countries and their citizens. It goes on in America. It goes on in Israel. It's going on in Europe. Everywhere there is terrorism, terrorism succeeds because the country has already been sold out.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Nothing is happening in Israel that isn't happening in America.

    Take a good look at the abuse of eminent domain, the new gold card program, the UAE port deal. When the thugs come to beat you with batons, that's just presenting the fait accompli which has been nurtured with each betrayal and surrender and is the last response of a corrupt government turning on its own people.

    Israel isn't your country. What is going on there is for us to deal with.

    America is your country and if you want things to be outraged about, there's no shortage of them. If you treat Amona as something that's happening in Israel but not in America, you'll be just as unprepeared when it's you in front of the horses.

  7. Anonymous8/3/06

    As far as Jew Hating, you ought to know Scott.
    You condemn all Jews based on Amona.
    You suck you putz

  8. I like how Scott uses the word "you".
    "you" have given, "are YOU becoming the monsters",etc.

    His broad indictment of all Jews based on the actions of hired thugs in Israel is apalling.
    His accusation against Jews in general who , let it be remembered, don't all live in Israel or have power over the rotten gentile inspired government there is nasty at best.
    Its fine to become upset and angered over what is happening in Amona and what will happen in the West Bank soon. Most Jews are very upset and doing whatever they can to stop it.
    However, using it as an excuse to bash all Jews is disgusting.

    When references to similar outrages in America are made, Scott tries to dismiss this as not the same thing or as having nothing to do with anything.

    The telling statement from Scott is:
    "are you becoming the monsters arabs say you are"
    In this one statement Scott reveals something dark and rotten deep inside.

    I wonder if he asked this same question about New Orleans?
    Did he ask it about Rodney King or the constant beatings by police that Black Americans face on a daily basis in the USA?
    Is the USA the monsterous place of racism and violence that the rest of the world believes it is?

    No, Scott wants to focus on Jews alone and point a finger.

    The psychology behind this is very clear Scott.
    Your true motive and feelings are out in the open for all to see.

  9. Anonymous8/3/06

    Sultin: You are really putting your head in the sand a bit I think. Since you insist on the moral equivalence arguement .... which I find very weird given that it's the sort of anti-logic the Jew hating world uses on israel all the time ... I really have to tell you how wrong you are.

    Olmert calculatedly decided to savage those kids and lied about the reason and the very facts of the situation. He employs 'special' police who are right now on the government payroll ready willing and able to come at you and yours again. YOUR government is actively pulling off a coverup right before your very eyes. To find an actual equivalent situation you would need to go to China or perhaps Egypt. You have no constitution and so you have no protection from dictators.

    We do not do such things in the US as a matter of accepted policy. Waco was an armed standoff that got out of control. We spent millions on investigations and there was a very strong case made for the Branch Davididans having suicided themselves. That was the ruling by the way. They were firing on officers with semi-automatic weapons. They shot police. Hardly equivalent to Amona. That you would even make the absurd analogy proves you have your head in the sand.

    Rodney King was one very large black man who would not submit to arrest and was trying to get to the officers guns. Perhaps they erred. They were duly investigated.

    Eminent domain abuses. Right now most states are passing laws to counter the stupid Supreme Court ruling. Fox news regularly runs exposes of the problem and every conservative talk show on radio (thats most of american radio) is on the case. This abuse will not stand.

    But all this is irrelevant actually. Because there is a big difference. Yes the world is going to sh*t but that is no .... NO excuse for Amona. There is no excuse for Amona.

    Another point. I never compared Israel to the Arabs. I said the Arabs accuse you of being monsters. (as in the Protocols ...) I KNOW that Arabs are largely monstrous. I am very few steps from tipping over the edge into full blown racial hatred with the Arabs. This is and could never be the case with the Jews. At least not in my wildest dreams. But this thing at Amona has shown me something I never could have imagined. Something so beyond the pale as to be literally monstrous.

    This is coming from one who believes the Jews have the right and actually should drive all Arabs out of the land between the Sea and the Jordan. Now. Yesterday even. 'Two States' is an abomination. Palestinians are an abomination.

    Amona is the tip of an iceberg more deadly than anything the Arabs can manage. Jews hating Jews will sweep Israel away. It will be another halocaust.

    Yes I know 'that word' has a very specific meaning. I mean it.

  10. Anonymous8/3/06

    I am not using 'moral equivalence' I am trying to get across a very simple point.

    This is not a situation happening somewhere far away in Israel. It is happening in America and Europe and they will all fall unless they wake up.

    Amona is one rallying point for Israel. There are plenty of them in the United States. And the abuse stands and most certainly continues to stand.

    The majority of the American public continues to support infaticide via abortion. Terry Schiavo was the beginning of a push for euthanasia. Most of the American public supported what was done to her. Law enforcement has long been out of control and the war on terror has only been used as justification to remove more rights from citizens.

    Forget Rodney King and consider Eunice Crowder.

    "The June 9, 2003, incident began when Ed Marihart, a city employee, showed up at Crowder's home. He served her with an administrative search warrant to remove an accumulation of trash and debris.

    According to Crowder and her lawyer, the woman told him she was blind and hard of hearing, and asked him to read the entire warrant to her, but he refused. She said he placed it in her hands, walked outside and ordered others to start removing items from her yard.

    The city denies that the woman asked Marihart to read the warrant and maintains that Marihart explained to her why he was there.
    The woman followed the city employee outside. She was concerned that he and his co-workers had removed a family heirloom, a 90-year-old red toy wagon with rhododendrons in it. She asked to enter a trailer, where items from her yard were being placed, to feel around for the wagon.

    Marihart told her she couldn't enter the trailer and said the wagon was not inside. He then called police.

    When Portland Officers Robert Miller and Eric Zajac arrived at the house, Crowder acknowledged she had one foot on the curb and one foot on the bumper of the trailer. She felt someone step on her foot and asked, "Who are you?"

    Moments later, she felt someone strike her in the head, which dislodged her prosthetic right eye from its socket, and was knocked to the ground, she claimed in her lawsuit.

    Officers said Crowder ignored their commands not to climb into the trailer and tried to bite Miller's hand.

    They acknowledged she was "pushed onto the dirt next to the sidewalk," according to the city's legal brief filed in court.

    While on the ground, Crowder asked the officer what he thought he was doing and kicked Miller. She said the officer kicked her back, then pepper-sprayed her in her eyes.

    "While she's still on the ground, on her stomach, they tased her in the back and in the breast," her lawyer said.

    Police said they pepper-sprayed Crowder after she refused to stop kicking them. They admit that Crowder's prosthetic eye fell out at some point, and that Zajac stunned Crowder with a Taser, an electric stun gun, twice in the lower back and once in the upper back after ordering her to stop fighting and resisting.

    When Nellie Scott, Eunice's 94-year-old mother, tried to rinse out her daughter's eye with water from a two-quart Tupperware bowl, according to Ernie Warren Jr., Eunice's lawyer, the cop pushed Nellie up against a fence and accused her of planning to use the water as a weapon."

    The city eventually reached a settlement with her, the officers involved were not disciplined in any way. The department did not apologize or admit wrongdoing. This is not one case. These are endless amounts of cases of battery of the elderly, of children, of coverups and abuse; a handfull of which result in disciplinary action.

    It's only when a case is particularly outrageous or caught on tape that any possibility of action exists.

    The situation in Israel and America is fundamentally the same. The government makes concessions to terrorists, apologizes for and defends Islam while creating a police state that abuses its own citizens.

    After 9/11 law enforcement authorities were not allowed to do the common sense thing and racially profile for suspected terrorists. Instead Medal of Honor winners and little kids were pulled out of line and searched. Law enforcement has access to your library records, yet turning over critical ports to the enemy isn't considered a security risk by the government.

    It is the same phenomenon in America, in Israel and in Europe or Austrial where Muslims freely call for mass murder but anyone criticising Islam can now be jailed.

    If you don't like what is happening in Amona, look closer to home because it will be happening here soon enough too. It begins with the delegitimization of patriotism, rewriting a nation's history to make its heroes into villains, negotiating and making concessions to the enemy. America, Europe and Israel are all on the same road. Israel is just further along it.

  11. Anonymous8/3/06

    I have just a few things to say.

    The first is, HEAD INJURY, HEAD INJURY. I'll keep on saying that whenever I comment on Amona.

    Secondly, what happened in Amona is indeed very similar to what happened during the Democratic convention in Chicago during the 1960s with one small exception--

    In Chicago the protestors chanted, "the world is watching." Was the world watching what happened in Amona (and did they care)? Many don't even know where Amona is let alone what happened there. Do all Jews know what happened and do they care? Probably not. Some are indifferent and choose instead to blame the victims.

    Then again, a lot of white people in the US dimissed claims of police brutality even in the face of the videotaped and televised beating of Rodney King beating. Conversely, blacks also dimissed the horrendous and live television broadcast beating of Reginald Denny in the LA riots.

    Thirdly, what a double bind this tragedy presents for us. Making the world aware of Amona will no doubt fuel the flames of anti-Semites like Scott, and yet how can we not speak out and condemn what happened and prevent it from ever happening again? Will international pressure on Israel ultimately help or bring unwanted scrutiny and sanctions that will hurt the Israeli people?

    The perpetrators were Jews; the victims were Jews. And? The world needs to see this as a breach of civil rights. Police brutality is police brutality.

    And Sultan is very correct in his last response. There are very many cases of police brutality in America today.

    The sad thing is that unless the brutality is video taped and/or the violence is so extreme that it shocks the conscience of the country little happens. The victims and the violence committed against them is marginalized.

    The media castigates the victims; calling them trouble makers or "known criminals" or reporting that "they have a history of violence." And even with videotaped evidence perpetrators are acquitted as was the case with Rodney King.

    But we've all read about countless cases of police brutality dismissed by police and the mainstream media. Many victims don't even want to file complaints because they fear retaliation.

    Typically, the victims of police brutality and harassment have to suffer alone and in silence.

    Police brutality is certainly not unique to Israel. Scott, you can't use what happened at Amona to condemn all Jews or all Israelis any more than you can blame all Americans for the beatings of Rodney King or all whites for the beating of Reginald Denny.

    What makes Amona different was the large scale of violence within a small community and the presence of photographic evidence (video tape and still pictures.) It's also different in that there has been a prompt and public government investigation into the violence.

    But to compare what happened at Amona to the violence Arabs are committing throughout the world is dead wrong. It's called TERRORism for a reason.

    (Sorry SK, the post was longer than I intended.)

  12. Anonymous8/3/06

    sorry? that was a great post and I only wish I could have written it. You're exactly right and it is very much an ongoing situation. People often don't like to see what's happening in their own backyards and there is a good deal of wrong going on all across the world. I focus on American and Israeli issues because that's what I am but there is plenty to see unfortunately around the world and plenty for people to focus on.

  13. Anonymous8/3/06

    WACO.. Waco WACO... US government burned babies ALIVE

  14. Anonymous8/3/06

    Thank you Sk. And I am glad you focus on what is happening in Israel. Too many people are ingorant of Israel, which is why I try to as much about Israel as I can each day.

  15. Anonymous8/3/06

    corretion: Reginald Denny was a white truck driver pulled from his vehicle and beaten to a bloody pulp during the riots by an angry mob of blacks.

    Still, several blacks witnessed the attack on television and, being the only people who could safely travel in the neighborhood, the came to his rescue.

    In all tragedies we can still find remnants of civility and humanity.

  16. This has nothing to do with Amona. As far as the police beatings are concerned, I'm still not 100 % sure that we really saw everything. The problem in the US is that people loooove to play the race card wether its immagined or real. Both sides do the crime and stab Martin Luther Jr. in the back with what he believed. We judge the person, not the color of his skin.

    But lemonlime as far as the so called Christians are concerned that murdered Jews under Hitler. Fact is that only about 2 % of Europeans are Christians. However, to most people throughout the world being Christian is synonimous with being either catholic or lutheran/protestant whatever you wanna call it. The church could not be any more dead than within the Lutheran and Catholoc church regardless where in the world. What both do not teach is that salvation is through grace by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not works, it's not how you conduct yourself. Actually my pastor made a statement (I'm critical of pastors and look to the bible first), "faith is when you forsake EVERYTHING", among other things he mentioned religion. By this I mean that people can get so fixated on religion that they totally miss the mark and are no less saved or unsaved with it than they are without it. But as a Christian, what the Catholic church teaches there's a lot of stuff that's not biblical, actually worse, leads to idolatry by telling you that you pray to different saints for different requests and totally drop the fact that Christ is our highpriest as Hebrews 11 I believe teaches it.

    So when you say that Christians slaughtered the Jews in the Holocaust, that's not entirely true because being baptized was equal to being saved which is done with every baby. Baptism is done out of obediance to God because Christ gave us the example. Baptism precludes that you are saved first and than follows baptism.

  17. Perhaps Israel can make the same thing happen and say Amona beat themselves up just as the branch Davidians killed themselves.

  18. Anonymous9/3/06

    There are many denominations of Christianity and while they all have differences with each other, when we say Christians we mean the various denominations of Christianity. It's not our place to determine which one is the 'authentic' Christian one.

    And the murderers of Jews have certainly been Christians, even if they were not of the same beliefs and denomination as yours.

    And at the end of the day most of the various denominations of Christianity are happy to see us wiped out whether it's with sword and flame or with forced conversion or by sponsoring various cults fronting Judaized versions of Christianity that pretend to be Judaism as the more 'israel-friendly' evangelical denominations have a habit of doing.

    I am not saying this to accuse you personally or start a fight or a drawn out argument between Christians and Jews. These issues are older than either of us and they're not going anywhere. The world is headed for a dark time and Christians and Jews face common threats. If we don't learn from them soon enough, these disagreements will be moot. Just ask the armenians.

  19. Anonymous9/3/06

    ( Andy, the only reason I mentioned race was because it was such a large factor in the two cases (Reginald Denny and Rodney King) I cited, with both good and bad actions and examples on both sides of the proverbial race card. I made a correction to hopefully explain that.)

    As for the other issue, Christianity: As a former Catholic Chrisitian I always had a problem with the concept of "grace through J.C." I saw far too many people talking about faith but rarely did I see it manifested in their actions.

    I'm not singling out Catholicism. It applies to all denominations.

    I was (and continue to be) disturbed by Christians who would proclaim a love of J.C. because he was a Jew, and then call Jews (sometimes to their face, usually not) "christ killers."

    My parents, especially my Mom, taught me differently. Firstly, Judas was so racked with guilt that he threw the paltry amount of money back and ended up hanging himself when he saw what his INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS had done to a man.

    Mom and my Catechism teachers also taught that Pontius Pilate bore ultimate responsibility for what happened to J.C. He declared a man innocent and then handed him over to an angry crowd, whiping the blood from his hands and absolving himself of all responsibility. Yes, the crowd in the passion story was Jewish. Big deal. The events happened in Israel! Had J.C. been born in China he would have been Chinese, Judas would have been Chinese, the crowd would have been Chinese and so forth.
    There will always be crowds of angry people of all races, ethnicities and religion, But do we need fall into a mob mentality?

    We must do the right thing, the good thing; manifest our beliefs and convictions through our good actions. One of the many things I love about Judaism is that it is a religion which places a greater emphasis on deed rather than creed.

    I'm certain many IDF soldiers and police felt the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katfi was wrong but chose to participate and violate their consciences.

    Same principle too in Amona..and Tienamin Square...the US during salvery and the civil rights movement, South Africa...and of course Nazi Germany.

    Standing up for what is right can get you in trouble with corrupt and evil people. Failing to stand up for what is right can get you in trouble with G-d.

    I fear G-d.

    And Sultan is very correct. At this time in history Christians and Jews face a common enemy. One which is offering only two choices to humanity: convert or be killed.


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