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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Hollow Sanctimony Over Hawara

One Sunday, two brothers, Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, young men with a bright future ahead of them were murdered while stuck in traffic in the Muslim village of Hawara in Israel. The locals celebrated their crime by singing, handing out candy and shooting off fireworks in the air.

“Every day, yes! – every single day – at least 20 Jewish cars get stoned while driving through Hawara,” Shmuel Sackett, the head of a tree-planting foundation, wrote.

1,600 Israeli Jewish families have to travel the road that goes through the village. Stoning cars, he clarified, means “throwing bricks and dropping cinder blocks from rooftops.”

“Imagine a young mother with 3 children in her car, driving home from the supermarket. As she is driving, a brick comes crashing through her windshield. The shock of what happened is enough to give her a heart attack! The children start screaming, there is broken glass everywhere, but she cannot stop for help… because she’s in the middle of Hawara with a mob just waiting to finish the job.”

That evening, some Jewish residents showed up to protest in Hawara. And some did more than protest. They set the junk cars in a nearby lot on fire. A few threw stones and smashed things. The terrorists claim that one of their own was killed in the rioting, but that is suspect.

The outrage that ensued was everything that had been entirely absent from the terrorist killings of 14 Israelis this year, including an American, Elan Ganeles, who was killed the next day.

Biden’s State Department spokesman Ned Price blasted what he falsely called, “the wide scale and indiscriminate violence by settlers against Palestinians civilians” and demanded that Israel “ensure full accountability and prosecute those responsible for the attacks in addition to compensation for the property.”

This comes as the Biden administration has not only failed to demand accountability from the Palestinian Authority, but continues to fund the terrorists killing Jews.

Nobody expected anything else from the Biden administration or the media. An optimist might have expected more from American Jews.

The Sabbath of that week was the one known as ‘Zachor’ or ‘Remember’ during which the biblical verses from (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) commemorating an attack on the freed Jewish slaves leaving Egypt are read. “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you went out of Egypt, how he happened upon you on the way and cut off all the stragglers at your rear.”

In Judaism, those verses are so important that everyone must come to the synagogue to hear them. Long before the Holocaust, ‘Never Again’ was engraved with burning letters in the Bible. That reading was followed by the story of King Shaul who was removed from ruling over Israel because he had taken pity on the Amalekite king. The Prophet Samuel, an old man, takes up the sword and does what the king failed to do and executes him, stating bluntly, “As your sword bereaved women, so will your mother be bereaved among women.” (Samuel 1 15:33)

In one of the larger and wealthier Modern Orthodox synagogues in the Los Angeles area, the rabbi’s sermon was not on the subject of these politically incorrect readings even though they represent a unique religious obligation for which many of the congregants had come to the synagogue. Nor did the murder of Elan Ganeles, who had been part of the same Modern Orthodox movement, among the fourteen Jews murdered by terrorists just that year, come up.

Instead, like the rabbis of a number of other Modern Orthodox congregations, he denounced “vigilantes” and the way they had disgraced the Jewish people by taking the law into their own hands, and spoke at length of how terrible it was for Jews to fight back in such a manner.

Over the Purim week, I’ve heard stories of similar condemnations of ‘vigilantism’ delivered in mellifluous tones from the pulpits of prosperous synagogues resting in suburban enclaves.

That Sabbath was the gateway to the Jewish holiday of Purim which relates how the Jews gathered en masse and wreaked havoc on those who had plotted to exterminate them.

“And the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword and with slaying and destruction,” Megilat Esther, the Scroll of Esther, relates. That’s more than a junk car lot fire.

The Los Angeles Jewish community recently panicked over shootings which wounded two men. Its synagogues are protected by extensive armed security. How would American Jews react if such shootings were an everyday occurrence, not an aberration? What might they be willing to do if they watched those around them be battered, shot and killed week after week?

“After the brutal murder, candies and sweets were handed out, cake was distributed, and people were singing. When did all this stop?” Sackett wrote of what happened in the Muslim village after the riot. “Since that day, not one rock has been thrown at Jewish cars.”

The ethical question of when people may take the law into their hands is a difficult one. Violence should never be an easy answer, but when things get bad enough, it can be inescapable. And those who live privileged lives of comfort and security could at least try to envision what life is like for those under the gun.

American Jews, even those in the Modern Orthodox community, remain crippled by liberal niceties, by the conviction that violence is something only the ‘bad guys’ commit.

“How can such a thing happen? How could it come to this, that Jewish young men should ransack and burn homes and cars?” Rabbi Moshe Hauer, the Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union, deplored.

After constant terrorism, it’s more of a wonder that so few go out and do such things.

But on a Purim long ago, Jewish young men did far worse in Shushan. And King Shaul was deposed by the word of G-d not because he went too far, but didn’t go far enough.

Mindlessly deploring violence, regardless of the circumstances, is not a Jewish value.

The Torah warns against needless violence, but it also commands it if the situation calls for it. Some Modern Orthodox Jews have so absorbed liberal pieties that they are shocked and horrified by violence and have lost touch with Jewish values. They agonized over the video of some of the rioters praying ‘Maariv’ as if there were an innate contradiction with reciting ‘Aleinu’: derived from the prayer recited by Joshua when entering to conquer the land of Israel.

It’s understandable for people who live comfortable lives to deplore violence and ugliness, but there’s something deeply troubling when there’s more moral outrage directed at Jews burning junk cars in the village of their killers than at the killers. That isn’t morality speaking, it’s shame.

Modern Orthodox Jews who fall into the trap of holding Israeli Jews to one standard and their Arab Muslim attackers to a much lower one are duplicating the infamous Israel double standard. Under such double standards, survival becomes all but impossible. If the targets of terrorism are chained down by liberal pieties with everything expected of them and nothing of their enemies, that’s not morality, it’s a suicide pact. And there’s nothing Jewish about a suicide pact. either.

The ugly reality is that violence works. Building a society that transcends violence requires the cooperation of both sides. Without such cooperation, civilization doesn’t exist, neither does law and order. Israeli law, or that of any country, is completely inadequate to such a problem. The Israeli military or security service going in to occasionally arrest a few terrorists is a band-aid.

In a tribal society, tribal violence is a natural resort. Last fall, the Druze, a Muslim minority group in Israel, threatened to storm an Arab Muslim city after terrorists kidnapped one of their own from the hospital and tried to hold him hostage. Druze men brandished rifles and warned that if the body wasn’t returned to the family, they would take it. The Hawara rioters played by those rules. Unless a new Israeli government can cut a better deal than tribal violence, that may be the reality. Governments exist, among other things, to protect people from violence. If they show that they are unwilling and unable to systemically do so, they leave their people no other choice.

And American Jews would do better to understand than to sanctimoniously condescend.

Jews, even pro-Israel Jews, all too often embody Robert Frost’s line, “a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.” Those who condemned the protesters, while offering hardly a thought for their killers, boasted that they “been accused of being blindly pro-Israel” in the past, but now they had disproven it. There is nothing shameful about being “blindly pro-America”, “pro-Israel” or “pro-civilization” when faced with a struggle to the death. It’s a liberal fallacy to think that objectivity is the way to confront the moral issues that arise when trying to survive.

American liberal Jews have all too easily forgotten what life and death struggles look like. They panic when they see Jews fighting back and condemn even the mildest reactions with far more outrage than they do the terrorists who are murdering them. That perhaps is why ‘Zachor’ or ‘Remember’ had to be a divine mandate. Most peoples would not need to be ordered to remember to strike back, but Jews are uncomfortable with such things and easily forget.

A voice from heaven had thundered, “Remember!” while a thousand smaller voices still command, “Forget”.


  1. Anonymous14/3/23

    We have our "Arabs" in our urban ghettos. The "Left" whines about any "self defense" while they agitate race hatred. Same-O. Same-O.

  2. Mike-SMO14/3/23

    That last comment was from Mike-SMO.

  3. Anonymous14/3/23

    When the Jews lived as a minority, dependent on the good will of those in control for their safety and security, the behavior developed to keep your head down and be patient. And so, when persecutions and pogroms occurred, the Jews just took it as survival was the point of the Galut. That, at least, was the story we have been told.

    Yet, it turns out that at every turn, the Jews did fight back when they could. This was true in the pogroms (Kishinev being an example of the reports - even by Jewish journalists - of Jews not fighting back contrary to the evidence before them), in the Holocaust and beyond until the founding of Israel. For whatever reason, the trope of the weak Jew with trembling knees nevertheless grew over time - perhaps because it flattered the egos of the Christians and Muslims. That this was not an expression of strength but fragility never occurred to them. The question of why the Jews played along is unclear. Was it a concern of making themselves a target by having asserted some measure of power, even if it was purely defensive in nature? If so, you would have thought that at some point they might have realized that strategy wasn’t working. One might say that it was Herzl’s insight that changed the dynamic.

    The world still has not accustomed itself to the idea of Jews defending themselves by themselves and yearn for the “good old days” of their imagination. No one is going back to a circumstance that didn’t exist. In the Huwara situation, as you say, when the system breaks down, people have a right to look after their own security. Israel needs to make very clear that under the Oslo Accords the PA is responsible for security in Area A - and it is their inability to control a situation of their own making that requires IDF intervention. Israel also needs to tighten its grip on lawlessness in the disputed territories - not only cracking down on violence of every sort but also on the illegal building in Area C. If the people are satisfied that they have an alternative, clashes like Humana will not happen. That said, there is an expectation on the Arab side that they can act as they wish and the punishments will be “proportional”. Israel needs to up the penalty for lawlessness as a deterrent.

    Is the West’s real fear that Israel is at risk of descending to the level of becoming just another Middle Eastern country (authoritarian with the use of force shared by the central power and local groups)? And what does that reveal of how the West thinks about Arabs - it certainly sounds as if they take an unthinkingly condescending view about a backward “brown people” who can’t get their house in order to model the superior Western form of government as the Jews had. Rather than cop to that, it’s always easier to point the finger at the Jews. And so it is.

  4. Anonymous14/3/23

    Four year old Arab boys, encouraged by elders,
    already throw stones from rooftops with killer
    intent. Only extreme retribution has any chance
    at all of moderating it. Raw fear and certainty
    of pain and loss are the coin of the Arab ambush
    realm. These cowards strike from ambush, surprise,
    vast numeric superiority. To survive, you must
    be more monstrous than them.

    It's all they understand. It's all they are.
    If you disbelieve and act otherwise, you'll pay
    the price. Then they'll hand out candy over
    your mangled corpse.


  5. Anonymous15/3/23

    First of all who gives a sh*t what American Jewish cannibals think about anything to do with Israel or anything else for that matter. Secondly Druze are not muslims. Thirdly, when the gas chambers open up in America, you Jewish sh*ts can forget about knocking on Israel's doors. Hopefully Schiff, Yellen, Schumer, Wasserman-Schultz & Garland will be the first in line.

    Hawara should be razed and its inhabitants hung from its lamp-posts. There won't be anymore dancing nor will anyone anywhere throw stones at Israeli drivers.You want to talk about God? There are not 10 Arabs you will find that can tell the truth. The decree of destruction cannot be rescinded even if one applies a Sodom/Gomorrah standard.


  6. I used to sit on the fence of equivocation and conflation and breathe that thin air atop Mount Moral High Ground, but somehow I managed to see through that self-inflicted leftist veil of denial and stupidity. Now my entire message is to pick a side. I think maybe it had something to do with the 43,032 moslem terror attacks in the name of islam since 9/11 and watching the dissolution of Western Civilization in real time. Just sayin'. Pick a side.

    1. Anonymous15/3/23

      Pray Hard: Good! And once you pick that side,
      no limits (incl killing) in fighting for it.
      Islam thrives on others' indecision, hesitation.
      Steadfast fury will vaporize Islam. --Thomas

  7. Anonymous26/3/23

    Great job. Btw, Hallel, not Hillel.



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