Monday, August 31, 2015

Israeli Peaceniks Attacked by Right Wing Extremists in 2014 War

Most people deeply yearn for peace. Israeli Jews are no different. During last year's tragic war in Gaza in which over 2000 people died, mostly Palestinians, many Israelis chose to protest against the war.

Armstrongism tends to be sympathetic towards the State of Israel concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But what about those Israeli Jews who do not quite fit Armstrongism's views concerning the State of Israel? What if some Israelis were attacked by other Israelis? Would it even be noticed by Armstrongism?How would that fit their dogmas?

But during the war Israeli right wing extremists conducted a campaign of violence and intimidation against anti-war protesters, Israeli Arabs and Israeli leftists who called for peace. That is the shocking truth revealed in Max Blumenthal's recent book, The 51 Day War.

In Chapter 9 of that book, "Good Night Left Side" it is revealed that during the course of the war right wing extremists in the State of Israel exploited the tense situation to conduct a campaign of intimidation and violence against Israelis who called for peace.

During the war a Facebook group named Order Number 8 became "an organizing hub for anti-leftist activity, inaugurating a nationwide movement named for the order issued to summon reservists to battle: Order Number 8."

It was organized by two right wing hip rappers named The Shadow and Subliminal. One Michael Ben-Ari, a leader among the settlers and former Member of the Knesset, is also identified as closely working with this group.

On July 12, 2014, these right wing extremists attacked a peace demonstration in Tel Aviv.
When the police fled the area during a rocket warning siren, the rightists promptly set in on the protesters, attacking anyone they could find with chairs, sticks, rocks, eggs, and their bare fists. Among the mobs that assaulted demonstrators were a group of Maccabi Ultras sporting t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase, "Good Night Left Side"--a slogan first popularized by European neo-Nazis seeking to assault anti-fascist protesters. (Max Blumenthal, The 51 Day War, Chapter 9.)
During anti-war rallies the peace protesters were spied on by these right wing extremists and followed home and attacked. Here is what Blumenthal mentions occurred following a peace protest in Tel Aviv on July 26, 2014.
As soon as the protest concluded, small groups of rightists followed those they recognized as anti-war activists to their homes and attacked them at their doorsteps. (Max Blumenthal, The 51 Day War, Chapter 9.)
Personal details of leftist protesters were revealed to employers by the rightists associated with Order Number 8 and many of these peaceful protesters lost their work. Dozens of them according to Blumenthal.

This campaign of violence was so terrible that many Israeli leftists are considering leaving Israel.

Here is how one Haaretz editorial the violence visited upon Israeli leftists in July 2014 during the war.
“I’m at Habima. We are 50-60 proud Israelis, fighting back, standing in front of 300-400 Israel-hating leftists.” That’s how Israeli rapper Yoav Eliasi (whose stage name is Shadow) described the scene in front of him in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, on a video he posted to Facebook. In the post he invited right-wing activists to join him in order to disrupt a nonviolent protest that leftists had organized against Operation Protective Edge. “Don’t dismiss this, we need more lions here to stand up to the left,” said Eliasi.

His call to action did not fall on deaf ears. Within a short time, dozens of right-wingers streamed to Habima Square and set on the demonstrators with clubs, shouting “Death to Arabs” and “Leftists to the ovens.” They threw eggs at the leftists, hit them and chased after them.

According to the police, they tried to protect those being attacked. But the leftist demonstrators say they were beaten without the police intervening, with some people beaten unconscious. None of the rioters was arrested. (Police Are Obliged to Protect Every Israeli Citizen, Haaretz, July 15, 2014.)
Here is how one Jerusalem Post article described this violence against pro-peace leftists.
The Meretz Party on Sunday called on the Public Security Ministry to open an investigation into the actions of police amid reports of violence directed at anti-war protesters during a demonstration in Tel Aviv Saturday night.

Calling for an investigation, Meretz head Zehava Gal-On said, “It’s unacceptable that the police, instead of fulfilling their duty to protect protesters and their right to demonstrate, instead abandon them and defend the rioters.”...
Journalist and activist Haggai Matar ... [stated] that the violence started with threats and some shoving and that during the rocket siren, after police scattered, fights broke out in a number of different places.

He added that protesters asked police to call backup and told them they were worried they’d be attacked, but police did not heed their call.

He also dismissed the police claim that they haven’t received complaints, saying that he saw police pull aside people who had assaulted protesters, and then let them go without arrest. (Ben Hartman, Following assaults on anti-war protesters in Tel Aviv, parties on Left demand answers, Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2015.)
One article by a Jewish reporter from Mondoweiss visited Dimona, Israel, and heard from one man there mentioning the hatred towards Israeli leftists that existed there during the war last year. 
The climate of racism in Dimona peaked last summer during the war on Gaza, Sheen recalled. “When I walked down the street to the local bakery, there were adult men sitting outside the entrance openly speaking of mass-murdering leftist Israelis. They spoke without inhibition from making these statements aloud in one of the most popular public spaces in the city.” (Dan Cohen, Racism is part of the landscape in the southern Israeli town of Dimona, Mondoweiss, August 24, 2015.)
How terrible war is. This is terrible behavior that needs to be condemned. How can there possibly be peace if Israelis who call for peace are brutalized, attacked at home and hounded out of employment like this by right wing extremists shouting, "Leftists to the ovens"?

Did anyone among the COGs speak out against this campaign of violence? Considering how right wing the COGs tend to be would they bother to speak out on behalf of anyone who happens to be left wing? 

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