Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Column: Something's Wrong

Have you had your bag searched yet? Welcome to the world of day to day humiliation and degradation brought to you by a world wide network of Islamo-fascists.

Its one thing to go through an airport check once in a while but it’s quite another when you get checked in NYC every time you get on a subway, bus, railroad or ferry.

When I go to the supermarket here in Safed, my backpack is checked – same thing at the bank and any government office – and I am swiped by a metal detector. In Jerusalem, you can’t even go into a hotel, restaurant and probably a host of other places without being checked and swiped. There are guards everywhere. They get on and off buses looking for bombs. They become your friends at the supermarket where you regularly shop – or maybe not – giving someone they recognize favored status and free entry can mean their job.

It wasn’t this way in Safed until about three or four years ago. This town is removed and quiet and hasn’t suffered more than one attack on a bus in nearby Meron. Still, when the attacks escalated nationally, Safed changed and there were guards and checks in places that there never were before.

Did you ever see a car with plastic windows or a bus with bullet proof windows and grating over the windshield? That was supposed to protect the Jews living in Judea Samaria and Gaza from terrorist attacks. The windows were rock proof, it being thought back in the 1980’s that the “intifada” would never escalate beyond rock throwing. Then the Arabs started shooting and the windows were little consolation and not much protection. Anti-tank missiles have been fired at bulletproofed buses in recent years and would be fired regularly if the weapons were in greater supply.

Everybody here knows that backing down and running away and covering up and negotiating are all losing approaches to dealing with terrorism. That’s why 60 percent of the Jews in Israel voted for Sharon and not Mitzna; who ran on a platform of withdrawal from Jewish Gaza. That Sharon became Mitzna does not obscure that fact.

Now that Sharon is shoving Israel into this mad expulsion that will make the whole country vulnerable to rocket attack it is important that Americans make sure that they learn how to deal with terror from the Israeli people and not the Israeli government of Sharon. What do I mean? Vote for and support those leaders that are toughest on terror. Demand a more aggressive assault on the whole worldwide terror network – wherever they are – as president Bush promised, including the dismantling of all “Palestinian” terror organizations now. Demand that Jews not be pulled out of their homes and have their lives destroyed by Israel’s tyrant and neo-capitulator whose plan will create a Hamasland.

Israel needs your help and you need Israel’s help. Israel needs your help in getting the truth out about the insanity of creating a terrorist state in the Land of Israel. The main stream media is stacked against the people of Israel and is supporting Sharon. Let your voices be heard in any way you can.

How can Israel help you? By telling you the truth about terror, but be careful to listen to the people and not the government. They are misleading themselves and the world in their appeasement and capitulation and they are betraying and comprising the security of their own people.

Listen to the Israeli people. You cannot run and you cannot hide.

The alternative is a European style capitulation and Dhimmitude: “the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system. The word "dhimmitude" as a historical concept, was coined by Bat Ye'or in 1983 to describe the legal and social conditions of Jews and Christians subjected to Islamic rule. The word "dhimmitude" comes from dhimmi, an Arabic word meaning "protected". Dhimmi was the name applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to indigenous non-Muslim populations who surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim domination.” (

What can I say? The debate over bag checking and profiling is offensive to my ears. It reminds me of the plastic, rock proof windows. As long as the Islamo-fascist network is still around they will find a way to attack all those that have not submitted. Hear about bin Laden’s cocaine/terror attempt? How do you defend against that? How do you defend and protect yourself against maniacs who seek your destruction in any way they can imagine?

You can’t. Either you destroy them or you they destroy you or you submit and become their water carriers and footstools.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Kfar Maimon - Photo Essay Photog

Pictures from Kfar Maimon

click here ...

WorldNetDaily: No to 'disengagement'

"Sometimes, you just have to realize when to say no to a bad idea.
That's what Israel and the United States need to realize about the plan to force thousands of Jews from their homes and businesses in the Gaza Strip next month. "

... WorldNetDaily: No to 'disengagement':

Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online

This piece by VDH starts like this...

"First the terrorists of the Middle East went after the Israelis. From 1967 we witnessed 40 years of bombers, child murdering, airline hijacking, suicide murdering, and gratuitous shooting. We in the West usually cried crocodile tears, and then came up with all sorts of reasons to allow such Middle Eastern killers a pass.

Yasser Arafat, replete with holster and rants at the U.N., had become a "moderate" and was thus free to steal millions of his good-behavior money. If Hamas got European cash, it would become reasonable, ostracize its "military wing," and cease its lynching and vigilantism.

When some tried to explain that Wars 1-3 (1947, 1956, 1967) had nothing to do with the West Bank, such bothersome details fell on deaf ears.

When it was pointed out that Germans were not blowing up Poles to get back lost parts of East Prussia nor were Tibetans sending suicide bombers into Chinese cities to recover their country, such analogies were caricatured.

When the call for a "Right of Return" was making the rounds, few cared to listen that over a half-million forgotten Jews had been cleansed from Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, and lost billions in property.

When the U.N. and the EU talked about "refugee camps," none asked why for a half-century the Arab world could not build decent housing for its victimized brethren, or why 1 million Arabs voted in Israel, but not one freely in any Arab country."

Read the rest here...

Victor Davis Hanson on War on National Review Online:

Friday, July 22, 2005

Listening to Mayor Bloomberg on 77 ABC

John Gambling is doing his weekly thing with MB. They are talking about the bag searches on NYC transit. The whole approach is wrong. You can't play defense against terror. It doesn't work and it is no way to live. I hope that Americans understand that and demand that the WOT be ramped up until the terrorists are dissarmed and completely subdued. That means dealing a decisive and humiliating defeat to all terrorists and those that support terror. Israel has played defense for decades -- it is a breeding ground and an invitation to terror. Wake up America!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Barbara Lerner on Mideast on National Review Online

Barbara Lerner wrote an excellent anti- expulsion piece for NRO back in March which I missed. Here is a bit of it:

"Sharon argues that this will make Israel safer by allowing Israel to disengage itself from all contact with the Palestinians. When the IDF chief of staff and the Shin Bet secret-service director said their evidence showed it would put Israel in greater jeopardy, Sharon dumped them both. When members of his cabinet said that in a democracy, he could not proceed with his plan without giving Israeli voters a say, he dumped them too. When his own conservative party, the Likud, said the same thing, he rejected all their appeals.

The result was a major split in the Likud, and the desertion of old allies from other parties, leaving Sharon without a majority in parliament, but he did not relent. Instead, he formed a new coalition with the left-wing party Israelis had rejected at the polls, the Labor party, and made longtime Labor politician Shimon Peres a virtual co-prime minister.

Peres is very popular in EU and U.N. circles, but he is one of the most deeply distrusted men in Israel, as evidenced by the fact that at 82, he has run for prime minister more often than any man in Israel's history, but has never been elected to the post.
All this helps to explain the rising tide of rebellion in Israel, but to fully understand it, you have to see it in context, as Israelis do. The original land-giveaway plan, the so-called Oslo peace plan, is that context. Most thoughtful Americans know, now, that it was a catastrophic failure: More Israelis were murdered and maimed during the Oslo 'peace' years than in all of Israel's previous wars combined. What most Americans do not know is that this outcome was foreseen by the average Israeli man on the street. "

Read it all here...

Barbara Lerner on Mideast on National Review Online:

Column: What's Up Doc?

A 77 year old man who is 150 pounds overweight goes to see his doctor for a checkup.

“Well doc, how do I stand?” asks the man.

“Beats me,” quips the doctor.

That’s a twist on an old joke -- probably one of Henny Youngman’s. It crossed my mind the other day while I was walking up and down the hills and steps of Tzfat in the hot sun asking myself what it must be like to be 5 foot 6, weigh 300 pounds and be 77 years old. Could such a person climb even a few of these steps? How does such a person pull himself out of bed in the morning? Does he need help? How does he put on his shoes? Who ties them for him? How does he make it through the day? From where does his energy come? What does it feel like to be in his body?

Add to that the pressure that Sharon is under day after day and the weight of carrying around what appears to be at least two personalities and three or more potential indictments and tens of thousands of demonstrators and more and more soldiers defecting and pressure from every corner seeking to uproot him from his duplicitous ways and mendacious and misleading “leading,” and one wonders very simply; “How does he stand?”

Not that I am wishing him ill, heaven forbid. I wish him good health – on his farm – ruling over sheep.

One way or another he will be there soon. If, heaven forbid, he succeeds with the expulsion, he will be dumped by the left and his government will fall. Then the only hope that will remain for him will be that his “service” to the “peace process” and the post-Zionist deconstruction of the state through his “disengagement” plan will actually have pleased the left enough to lay off him and not drag him and his sons into court.

On the other hand, if he fails in the expulsion, the left will also dump him. Either way he ends up dictating over sheep.

But will he succeed?

The march that started last night to Gush Katif from Netivot has made it to Kfar Maimon in spite of the police using illegal tactics to prevent busloads of marchers from leaving their respective departure points. In the end the buses went. The government was also set on preventing the marchers from reaching Kfar Maimon. I spoke with someone on the scene there when they were being prevented from reaching the village, where they were to spend the night in tents and be fed. It was not at all clear what was going to happen at that point but later on the forces withdrew and the marchers enjoyed yet another success, reaching their destination.

Tonight, after spending the day out of the hot sun, the march will continue towards Kissufim, near the entrance to Gush Katif. There will very likely be a confrontation there between the marchers and the army/police. The Yesha Council is calling for thousands more to join the tens of thousands already there.

Will the marchers succeed in getting into Gush Katif? Will there be serious violence and mass arrests? Will the army and police use water canon and “the screamer” – a sonic blast weapon that induces nausea and incapacitation? Will they use horses and batons and worse? Will soldiers defect in even greater numbers? Will the world press give the march any fair coverage? Will the cracks in Sharon’s government widen?

These are just some of the questions I am asking myself early this afternoon – knowing full well that by this evening, things will be seriously heating up, even as the day is cooling off. I have pretty bad feelings about what may happen. The media has been preparing the public for and justifying the use of serious force to put down what it is now calling a “rebellion.”

Of course, the rebellion is Sharon’s. It is a rebellion against the will of the people who voted him in to fight terrorism as he promised and not to surrender to it – the platform of the decisively rejected left. It is a rebellion against Judaism and the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. It is a rebellion against the security interests of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.

I just received a call from Kfar Maimon. Thousands more people are swelling in. There are an estimated 70,000 people there now and they keep coming. That is up from the estimated 40,000 yesterday. If people keep arriving at this pace the numbers could reach 200,000 or more by this evening. I remember 500,000 in Jerusalem in 1993 demonstrating against the Oslo accords. I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more that that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Barbara Lerner on Gaza & War on Terror National Review Online

Finally, a really good piece on NRO that directly opposes the expulsion plan of Sharon.

"The good news is that unlike the Biblical Samson, we are not irrevocably blind, only seduced and blindfolded by a mix of propaganda, ideology, and wishful thinking that prevent us from seeing reality. If we tear off our blindfold and call a halt to the Gaza retreat before August 17, we will save ourselves and our friends in Iraq much anguish, and save our Israeli friends and perhaps our Lebanese friends too. And if we do it boldly, proclaiming our determination to defeat Islamofascist terror in Gaza as we are defeating it in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will bring a final American victory much closer. "

Read the whole thing here...
Barbara Lerner on Gaza & War on Terror National Review Online:

Sunday, July 17, 2005

sultan_knish: The 10 Commandments of Expulsion

I ran across a link to sultanknish here...

This is good stuff even though I woul leave out the part about blaming Bush --

sultan_knish: The 10 Commandments of Expulsion

Friday, July 15, 2005

Column: Mark Levin Responds to Tony Blair

It happens sometimes that I am up at 1:00 am and can catch some of Mark Levin’s show over the internet from your own home town on 77 WABC. I value what he has to say about the Supreme Court – its rulings, the issues, the upcoming appointments, Senate hearings, etc. I know that he is right about the threat that judicial activism poses to representative democracy. It’s one of the things that I have learned after living in what Robert Bork has named “Judicial Imperialism” in Israel during the reign of Chief Justice Aharon Barak.

Wondering if Levin had his own website where there were transcripts or audio of the show I did an internet search the other day and was happy to find where there is an archive of audio and video clips. This morning as I was considering what the topic of this piece would be, I went over to the blog and listened to an audio clip titled, “Monday, Mark started off the show by thanking those who made the Freedom Concert such a huge success! Then he moved on to other topics, such as how the Libs don't understand the threat of terrorism!” There I found a reaction to Tony Blair’s comments following the London attacks that I had to share with you – the following long quote is taken from that clip. I realize that some of you may have heard the show and that it is a long quote, but it is rare that I have heard Israel defended so well on the radio.

"Yes, London got slammed. Tony Blair suggested though after the 7/7 attacks on our British brothers and sisters, that if events in the Middle East could be resolved, and I’m paraphrasing, “terrorists attacks would be diminished.” He did not, as reported early on, point specifically at Israel and the Palestinian terrorists, but I have to believe that is what he meant and I say that as an admirer of Blair’s – his resolve in supporting the war in Iraq. But he and his Labor Party have been more than willing to put the arm on Israel as if that would stop the Islamic-Nazis. The fact is, as I have said scores of times over the years, the Islamo-Nazis are waging a war of terror against the; Hindus, against the Buddhists, against the Christians, against the Jews, and most of all against other Muslims. They’re waging a war of terror against Whites and Blacks and Asians and Arabs and Polynesians and you name it. This has absolutely nothing to do with Israel and it is high time the world stop pretending otherwise -- stop pretending that if they throw the Jewish people overboard yet again they will buy peace with the devil. They won’t. Now is the time for Dick Durban to go to the floor of the Senate and compare what we’re facing, not American forces, but what we are facing to Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. But he won’t so I will."

"Now Israel has done her part and more. She’s giving up precious land and security even though Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other Iranian and Syrian front groups are committed to murdering every last Jew – just like the Nazis. What else is she to do? Surrender? Commit suicide? And if she did such things, and she won’t, will that stop them from attacking us, our British brothers and sisters, the Australians, the Spaniards, the weasel French or anybody else? NO! Because what they want is their form of fundamentalism imposed on the entire world. This is a war every bit as much as World War Two was a war or World War One was a war or the Korean War was a war or the Vietnam War was a war. This is a war! Now the day will come, it’s not here, when the world is more serious about wiping out these terrorist slime balls and the countries that help them than it is today. Until Iran and Syria are toppled, and that is just for beginners, we are all in extreme danger. We cannot search every container, every subway car; we cannot harden every building, stop every suicide bomber, protect all sources of food and water and so forth. Ask any cop. They know. I know. These are pipe dreams."

Mark Levin needs to be thanked for his defense of Israel and encouraged to tell the whole truth about Sharon’s plan. As all those who will look at the truth know, any and all concessions will only lead to greater demands and more terror. Call into the show and tell him that Sharon’s expulsion plan is a capitulation to terror that will create a terrorist beacon and haven that will set back the war on terror, place Israel and the world in grave danger, and make George W. Bush and America look ridiculous for having supported Ariel Sharon in his tyrannical and self serving scheme.

WorldNetDaily: Israel bars media from covering Gaza evac

"Neve Dekalim, GAZA : Despite multiple promises media access to Gaza's Jewish communities would not be restricted during the upcoming withdrawal, Israel yesterday demanded as condition for entering the area that journalists first sign a contract they will depart before next month's evacuation.

Whole story here...

"WorldNetDaily: Israel bars media from covering Gaza evac:

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Is This a Threat From Sharon Spokesman, Gissen?

"On Tuesday, the daily Ha'aretz reported that disengagement guidelines drawn up by the government specify that security forces may fire on anti-pullout activists if they feel their lives are in danger, similar to a policeman who is threatened by a criminal.

But Gissin said as long as marchers stay within the acceptable bounds of protest, 'No one will shoot them. We're not talking about terrorists,' Gissin added."

Tell me, what exactly does Gissin mean by "acceptable bounds of protest" and "feel their lives are in danger" -- can anyone know until heaven forbid a judge decides? How is a protester supposed to feel safe at all under these circumstances?

Read the whole story here...

Israeli Settlers Plan to March Despite Gaza Closure:

Landau: Sharon Acts like Bolshevik Gov't

Uzi Landau blasts "OUR LEADER"

( Likud anti-expulsion leader MK Uzi Landau said Wednesday evening that today's closure of Gush Katif to non-residents is part of 'Bolshevik' measures taken by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Landau said the Prime Minister has continued to use anti-democratic measures instead of 'listening to the people' and holding a national referendum on the expulsion plan.

MK Ehud Yatom (Likud) said the closure of Gush Katif deepens the rift in Israeli society. "

Sharansky to Participate in Mass Protest March

"Also set to take part are Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) and MK Natan Sharansky (Likud). "

Read the whole story here...

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News:

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Global 500 - Intel Outside - In Israel

"The technology behind Centrino, now a $5 billion business for Intel, was born in an R&D lab in Israel."

Read the story here...

Global 500 - Intel Outside - FORTUNE - Page:

Mark Levin Defends Israel After Tony Blair's Comments

Go to this link ...
and click on the audio box at the July 12th posting titled "The Libs don't get it."

You will hear some great stuff.

Aryeh Zilber, Israeli Musical Legend, Vocally Opposes Expulsion

"The famed musician moved his home to the threatened northern Gaza community of Elei Sinai last year and has since then used his performances as a platform to attack Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policies of withdrawal and transfer. 'Anyone with even a bit of Zionism in their head must get up and move to Gush Katif,' Zilber told the packed Tzavta Club in Tel Aviv in January.

Zilber has stated that he will chain himself to his home in Elei Sinai. 'What is this? Does Sharon think he is Queen Isabella of Spain that he can just expel Jews?' Zilber told Army Radio last year."

Read the whole article here...

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News:

Caroline Glick Tells the Truth

Our World: Scorched-earth Kulturkampf
Jul. 11, 2005

A district attorney in a Middle Eastern country last week indicted a citizen for writing a letter to a public servant accusing him of being a quisling. The remarkable thing about the episode is that it did not take place in Syria or in Egypt. It took place in the only democracy in the Middle East.

Last Thursday, the Jerusalem District Attorney's office indicted Nadia Matar, head of the right-wing, largely religious women's movement Women in Green for the crime of "insulting a public servant." The "insult" came in the form of a faxed letter to Yonatan Bassi, the head of the government's withdrawal authority, last September, in which she referred to him as "a modern version of the Judenrat." The Judenrat, of course, were the Jewish officials in the Nazi ghettos who were forced by the Gestapo to carry out eviction orders of their fellow Jews to death camps.

It was certainly not nice, and indeed not historically truthful for Matar to have used this analogy. The Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria are indeed set to be expelled from their homes and communities for no reason other than the fact that they are Jews. But they are not being sent to death camps. So to use the analogy of the Judenrat is both nasty and wrong.

As the analogy does not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny, it would have been easy enough for government spokesmen to refute her charge or ignore it as unworthy of a response. No one would have thought any worse of the government if it had taken either of these reasonable courses of action. But rather than do this, the police opened a criminal investigation against Matar and now the District Attorney has decided to indict her for the specious criminal charge of "insulting a public official."

Why would the state prosecutors do this? What are they trying to accomplish by criminalizing Matar?

The weekend papers provided an explanation of the reasoning behind the move. In Haaretz's Friday editorial the rationale for the Left's support of Sharon's plan was laid bare: "The disengagement of Israeli policy from its religious fuel is the real disengagement currently on the agenda . On the day after the disengagement, religious Zionism's status will be different," the paper explained. It then concluded: "The real question is not how many mortar shells will fall, or who will guard the Philadelphi route, or whether the Palestinians will dance on the roofs of Ganei Tal. The real question is who sets the national agenda."

Doron Rosenblum, one of the paper's chief columnists, spelled the message out even more bluntly on Sunday, fulminating, "There is an enemy on the Right. Anyone who behaves like an enemy, walks like an enemy and makes the sounds of an enemy ­ at least let him not complain about being treated like an enemy. And don't forget: Let the IDF win."

To Rosenblum and Haaretz's editorialists must be added Dan Margalit, the senior commentator at Ma'ariv. In his Friday column, Margalit argued in favor of placing quotas on the number of religious Jews allowed to serve as officers in the IDF. Referring to religious Jews serving in the IDF as "the dear brothers," Margalit invoked the Latin expression for quotas for Jews restricting their right to study in European and American universities in the early 20th century ­ the infamous numerus clausus. He warned religious Israelis that if they refuse to carry out the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, "the reaction to their action is liable to be a "numerus clausus," this time in Hebrew, Jews against Jews. Hair-raising, but there is no choice."

WHAT WE see here unfolding is a situation where the anti-religious Left, the primary supporters of Ariel Sharon's policy to forcibly expel 10,000 Jews from their homes and communities, has given the policy their support ­ through its members' legal authority and public platforms ­ not because they see any security benefit arising from the move. In fact, they support the plan despite its security dangers because they see it as a culminating battle in their cultural war against religious Zionism.

Saying so much in an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post this past March, former Haaretz and Globes editor Mati Golan wrote, "Religion and democracy simply do not go together. Democracy requires an open mind, freedom of choice, the ability to criticize. Religion on the other hand is based on virtually blind obedience to its priests. What some in the religious settler population want is to eat their democratic cake and, as believers, have their anti-democratic one too."

The inanity of this view is matched only by its basic misunderstanding of both Jewish tradition and democracy. Anyone vaguely familiar with the former would know that blind obedience is the last thing Jewish faith endorses. As well, the basic values of democracy demand respect for all views in a society, even those that Golan and his colleagues reject.

There are multiple and weighty arguments against the withdrawal and expulsion plan. Some of them relate to the moral issue of expelling Jews from their homes and making areas of the Land of Israel ­ or any land for that matter ­ off-limits to all Jews. The main group of opponents to the withdrawal and expulsion plan who base their arguments against it on the plan's moral dimension are religious Jews, in Israel and abroad.

Aside from the moral questions, all Israelis who don't have a death wish are concerned with the security implications of handing land and strategic positions over to a junta of terrorists who have repeatedly stated their intention to use that land and those positions to advance their terror war against the State of Israel. Yet, to date, due to the negligence of the media and the courts, no government official ­ from the prime minister on down ­ has been called on to answer how Israel will be militarily better off without Gaza and northern Samaria. Indeed, no government spokesman from Sharon on down has been able to coherently explain how Israel will defend itself when Gaza and northern Samaria are under Hamas and Fatah control.

The security consequences of the plan have been systematically ignored while the full brunt of media scrutiny has been placed on its religious opponents. They are reviled as zealots, criminals and extremists. Rabbis are threatened with firings and the closing of their yeshivot if they do not toe the government line. Gaza residents are accused of being money-grubbing and wasteful of government resources for forcing the IDF to expel them rather than leaving their homes quietly and meekly. Religious Jews are being intimidated with threats to keep them out of the army or prevent their promotion in the ranks, simply because it will be necessary to prevent what Margalit refers to as "difficulties with future operations."

There are ample reasons to be concerned about and, indeed, oppose a plan that involves no security opportunities ­ only expanding threats ­ for Israel. But at the end of the day what is even more debilitating are the plan's implications for the future of Israel as a democracy.

When the loudest voices favoring it are those espousing hatred and exclusion of religious Zionists, or what Haaretz refers to as "a Trojan horse that has infiltrated Zionism in order to destroy it from within," it becomes absolutely clear that for the plan's strongest advocates, capitulation to terror is a means of carrying out their culture war against religious Jews.

And just as security can be readily sacrificed, democracy and the rule of law become mere Pascal lambs on the altar of cultural supremacy ­ ignored, reviled and happily trounced on the path to victory in the culture war these priests of enlightenment instigated against their brethren years and years ago.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Column: Road Blocking Demonstration

Last week I was at two different anti-expulsion demonstrations in Safed. The first one was on Monday and it was pretty tame -- there was no road blocking and little police presence. The one that followed on Wednesday was different. It was understood before hand that there would be road blocking and police and most likely beatings and arrests.

I arrived at the entrance to the city on Wednesday, at 5:00 pm, as the demonstration was getting under way. The road blocking had not yet started. Soon a teenage girl approached and asked if we would join those that would be sitting in the street. She had an orange t-shirt on that said, “You were arrested? You won!” Her hands were tied together with an orange ribbon and she held them in front of her, showing that she wanted to get arrested for the cause. She and her peers, boys and girls, came to the demonstration to lead it, stop the traffic, and deal with whatever the consequences might be. Altogether there were about 200 demonstrators of all ages – a diversified group.

The level of police response that began after the road blocking started never reached anything like what I had seen in Jerusalem over the years -- where baton wielding police on horseback are a very real threat. One officer even had a smile on his face and told anyone that would listen that he really didn’t want to be there but it was his job. Another officer, surprisingly a religious one, was the most aggressive -- angrily pushing and dragging people out of the street. Those that were dragged out generally were released and came back and sat down again in a cat and mouse game – although there might have been an arrest or two – it was hard to tell what happened to a couple of demonstrators who were carried off to a police car.

The following day there was this coverage in the leftwing paper, Haaretz;
“Four officers were lightly injured in Safed, where hundreds of protesters blocking the Egged intersection attacked the officers, kicking and biting them. One of the demonstrators was arrested with a knife in his hand.”

I saw nothing of the kind. No biting, no kicking, no knives, and certainly no injured policemen – although I don’t know what is meant by “lightly injured.” What I can assure you of is that there was no reason to think that any of them were injured at all by the way they acted and carried themselves and I stayed until nearly the very end of the demonstration – a good hour after the road blocking had stopped.

Almost across the board, the motorists who had been stopped in the road reacted calmly and showed their support – many wrapping orange ribbons around their antennas. A few were upset and one even got out of his car and there was some pushing – but it ended quickly. An ambulance and a fire truck were let through immediately as the protestors cleared the way.

An hour and a half or so into the demonstration – the road blocking lasting about an hour – the word was being passed around that the Yassam was on the way and it might be a good idea to break up the demonstration. The Yassam is the riot squad and they can be brutally violent. About 40 minutes later they did arrive in a police van and four of them charged into the street. One of them grabbed a teenage girl and threw her hard onto the pavement where she bounced and skidded to a stop.

Miraculously, she sufferred only minor injuries and was released from the hospital later on. After she was thrown to the street on that first Yassam charge the demonstration effectively came to an end.

At that point, the police (about 10 in number) and the four Yassamnikim were standing in a row on an island that seperates the traffic. The demonstrators were now off the street and standing on the sidewalks. Everyone just stood around for a while to see what would happen and if the protest was over.

One woman walked over to the little island and began to speak with the Yassamnikim. To her surprise one of them didn’t know Hebrew and answered her in fluent Spanish.

Was one or more of those Yassamnikim mercenaries brought in from abroad to beef up the Israeli police? There has been some talk that mercenaries are training here for that purpose. It seems that at least one of them was here on Wednesday, raising the suspicion that those rumors may indeed be true.