Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Israel's Religious Militants and Their Disdain for Muslims and Christians

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Israel's Religious Militants and Their Disdain for Muslims and Christians

Article excerpt

A few years back when in Jerusalem I visited a so-called "religious school" where militant Jews had been trained, it appeared to their Arab neighbors, in sadistic methods of how best to torment the Palestinians.

After I climbed the steps to the offices of the Jewish yeshiva, located in the heart of the Muslim quarter of the Old City -- and in close proximity to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque -- I encountered a Jew who told me his name was Joseph and that he was born in New York.

Like so many of the most militant orthodox Jews I have encountered, the US native was an authority on God as a real estate broker. Joseph said God had given all of Jerusalem and Palestine to him and other Jews, and that all the Palestinians would have to leave.

The Palestinians of course protested the militant Jews being in their midst, there in the Muslim quarters, but the Western world that supports the militant Jews by supplying them with dollars and weapons paid no heed to the confiscation of Muslim property.

It was only last April when the same militant Jews from the same yeshiva moved into the Christian quarter of the Old City, and laid siege to a Christian edifice that Christian voices of outrage were heard.

An Assault by Fanatics

Indeed, the militant Jews, many of them from the United States, had been blatant in laying siege to a church-owned complex -- St. John's Hospice -- located near one of the most sacred of all Christian sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

One hundred and fifty armed Jews moved into the Christian quarter -- singing and clapping and accompanied by heavily armed Israeli police. Removing the engraved insignia of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate (that owns the building), the militants installed their own Star of David.

Reflecting on this assault by Jewish fanatics, I have tried to imagine the reaction by the West, including the White House, as well as the Jewish organizations here and elsewhere, had Muslim or Christian militants laid siege to a synagogue, claiming that God told them to do it.

Initially, Shamir and his government denied any involvement. But later they admitted that they had transferred nearly $2 million in Israeli government funds through Panama to enable the Jewish settlers to "reclaim" land from Christian Palestinians.

As for the Israeli government's support of the militants' siege of a Christian edifice, the Jewish-owned New York Times as well as the World Jewish Congress cried "for shame." The outcry brought a removal, at least temporarily, of some of the Jewish settlers from the Christian hospice, although 20 remained behind, and the Israeli police prevented the former Christian occupants from returning.

Tax-Free Donations

Meanwhile, few Jewish-owned media in the US have criticized and few Jewish organizations have investigated the groups that continue to solicit American tax-free donations to send to Jewish militants. Many, such as Menachem Bar Shalom, are dual US-Israeli citizens who regularly shuttle between New York and Jerusalem in their efforts to "reclaim" all of the Old City as their own.

These dual citizens funnel tax-free dollars to a yeshiva, Ateret Cohanim, for use in militant confiscation of buildings and homes in the Old City. They annually hold fund-raising dinners in the United States.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, former ambassador to the United Nations, was guest speaker at a May 23 dinner, at the New York Hilton, where American Jews were urged to write checks for as much as $5,000 for the "Jerusalem Reclamation Project" (now dubbed JRP).

According to published reports in Israel, such dinners last year raised $2. …

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