Massive damage from teenage stupidity

The words "price tag" written in charcoal on the vandalized mosque in Tuba Zanghariya

The words "price tag" written in charcoal on the vandalized mosque in Tuba Zanghariya

Israeli police have arrested a yeshiva student for setting fire to a mosque in the Israeli Arab (Bedouin) village of Tuba Zanghariya. This was one of a group of “price tag” revenge attacks carried out by… idiots.

When I first heard about it I hoped that it was a false flag operation carried out by Arabs as a provocation. I am still hoping that the police are wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time).

The attack was condemned by Jewish political and religious figures of every stripe, including the Chief Rabbis of Israel. The head Sepharadi rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Amar said,

We must cry out against this deed, it is a hilul Hashem [desecration of God’s name]. All leaders should speak against this act of terror and hate…

We remember as Jews when other people burned our synagogues and burned our Torah scrolls. We cannot accept such acts against other religions … A church, mosque, temple or synagogue are embassies of God and you cannot harm such places. We strongly protest such actions.

In addition to the fact that the act was morally wrong, it was unbelievably stupid. There is still a gag order on details of the case, but I’m sure that when we find them out, we will see that the perpetrator is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

The “price tag” attacks are supposed to deter Arabs from vandalism, terrorism and even murder by making them pay a ‘price’. This can’t possibly work, since it simply motivates the Arabs to respond in kind, something they are overjoyed to have an excuse to do.

So the strategy is both wrong and ineffective.

But there’s more:  it’s a huge gift to our enemies in the information war. It provides the grain of truth needed to validate the exaggerations and outright lies that will be told in order to establish that ‘both sides’ are at fault, even that ‘both sides engage in terrorism’.

This particular one is even worse. Tuba Zanghariya is (or was) a relatively friendly village. Its people fought on the Jewish side in the War of Independence, and many serve in the IDF today. There is even a monument to 13 of their sons who fell in Israel’s wars. This is simply the most inappropriate possible place to retaliate for Arab terrorism.

Naturally the Israeli Left is having a field day denouncing the ‘religious fanatics’ or ‘extremist settlers’ that did this. The anti-Zionist US-based New Israel Fund (NIF) is making sure that no one will ever forget this outrage, even when the murder of Asher Palmer and his tiny baby (supposedly the motivation for the mosque attack) is long forgotten:

Washington, DC/Jerusalem, October 6: In only 24 hours, almost 1000 rabbis from around the world have signed a statement condemning the burning of the mosque in Tuba-Zangariya earlier this week. The statement was initiated by the New Israel Fund and was presented today to the Imam of the village of Tuba-Zangariya by dozens of rabbis and other activists participating in a solidarity convoy to the village…

The Brit Choshech Legaresh (“Banish the Darkness”) coalition, which is financially supported by NIF, led the convoy to Tuba-Zangariya. The coalition was established after the publication of the controversial and inciting book Torat Hamelech (“The King’s Torah”) in September 2009, mobilizing a forceful public response to the book, which argues that Jewish law permits and even encourages the murder of Gentiles. The members of the coalition are religious and secular organizations fighting to garner public opposition to religious racism as a desecration of God’s name and a distortion of Judaism. In addition, Brit Choshech Legaresh struggles daily against all incidents of racism in Israel. — NIF press release

There are already pledges of donations to rebuild the mosque several times over. The police have acted quickly, and in fact recently created a special unit to arrest those involved in “price tag” vandalism. Some perspective is needed — this is teenage stupidity, after all, not a major terrorist movement.

The NIF found many words to condemn the truly despicable burning of a mosque. But a mosque is a building that will be rebuilt. Asher Palmer and his son will never come back, and the NIF did not issue a press release or mobilize 1000 rabbis when they were viciously murdered.

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One Response to “Massive damage from teenage stupidity”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    These kind of nutty fringe figures have cost us tremendously. As you rightly indicate they are the ‘bit of truth’ which enables the ‘false equivalence and symmetry’Industry to get working overtime. It is so so stupid, so so self- defeating, that I shared your suspicion and hope that it might really be the other side at work.