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Occupation magazine - Activism

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Israeli Settler Right Bullies Rabbi Ascherman, Protesting at His Home
Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam

The Israeli settler far-right, as part of its campaign of vitriol and intimidation is stalking Rabbi Arik Ascherman, founder of Rabbis for Human Rights. They will be demonstrating outside his home later today (Wednesday) against his alleged campaign to destroy Jewish sovereignty over all of historic Eretz Yisrael. The far-right says he “sabotages the redemption of the land” (using the term m’chabayl, the root of the Hebrew word for “terrorist”). Interestingly, the Israeli police have provided a permit for this protest, while none of Sheikh Jarrah’s weekly protests ever received one. When you realize that the police force is staffed by the Meir Rotters of Israel, you understand why.

The Sheikh Jarrah solidarity movement has called out its followers to support and protect Rabbi Asherman’s home. When I receive video or stills of the demo I will post them.

This is the same type of hooliganism the Israeli right has used over the years against the activist community. They did the same to Naomi Hazan after Im Tirzu decorated her image with a rhino horn and ridiculed her as a supporter of Hamas and Israeli traitor. And of course, the height of such incitement was in the lead up to Yizhak Rabin’s assassination when the Israeli right massed in downtown Jerusalem baying for the prime minister’s blood. Many will remember the leading politician who, like a Roman emperor at the Coliseum, gave Rabin a thumbs down from a downtown Jerusalem balcony that night: Bibi Netanyahu. If you want to see this accomplice to murder in action, watch this sickening video of his speech and the carnival of blood that preceded it.

This goes to a catastrophic collapse of the Israeli center over the decades. Barak’s desertion of Labor is but the latest example. In the face of the right’s capacity for violence and its absolute conviction in the sanctity of its cause, the center and left gave way, reminding me of the Yeats poem:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

…And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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