In another case of what if they were Muslim, Israeli settlers spurred by a mandate from G-d attacked a West Bank Mosque, sprayed graffiti on it and burned Qurans inside of it. Of course this isn’t big news for most, and we will see the likes of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Rabbi Jonathan Hausman either remain silent on this or somehow justify it. (hat tip: retaane)
Suspected Jewish settlers today attacked a mosque in the northern West Bank, burning holy books and spraying threatening graffiti in Hebrew on the building, Palestinian officials and Israeli police said.
Extremists broke into the mosque in the village of Yasuf, near the city of Nablus, and burned Muslim holy books and prayers carpets, while sprayed slogans on the floor reading “Price tag – greetings from Effi.”
The so-called price tag is the Jewish settlers’ policy of attacking Palestinians and their property in retribution for any Israeli government curb on settlement expansion. Effi is a Jewish name.
The dawn attack appeared to be the work of hardline settlers furious that the right-wing government of Binyamin Netanyahu has given in to US pressure to try and enforce a temporary freeze on the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, where some 300,000 settlers live.
While the attackers escaped, the Israeli government was quick to condemn the attack. “This is an extremist act geared toward harming the government’s efforts to advance the political process for the sake of Israel’s future,” said Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, whose department is overseeing the freeze.
When they discovered the desecration of their mosque, Palestinian villagers started throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, whom they often accuse of complicity with settlers when they carry out such attacks on them and their olive orchards. Two Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were hurt in the clashes.
There have been rising tensions since Mr Netanyahu announced the proposed freeze last month, in an effort to meet US and Palestinians demands for a total halt on settlement construction, deemed illegal by the international community but often backed by the Israeli state.
Thousands of angry settlers gathered for a demonstration close to the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem this week, vowing to continue building and condemning Mr Natanyahu’s decision to bow to pressure from Barack Obama, the US president. They carried banners that said “Obama wants us frozen, God wants us chosen,” and “God’s Bible gave us this land.”
The settlers believe that the West Bank – which they call by its Biblical name, Judea and Samaria – should be part of a greater Israel, and are adamantly opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state.
They have torn up freeze orders delivered by the Israeli authorities to settlements in the West Bank, and blocked inspectors trying to enforce the building ban. Last week at the settlement of Qedumim, close to Nablus, residents prevented inspectors from entering while cheering as trucks of building materials were brought in.
A right-wing cabinet minister said that the freeze was largely a sham and that the settler population could grow by as many as 3,000 people in the next 10 months, the period of the proposed moratorium.
“This is neither a freeze nor a suspension,” Benny Begin, the son of former prime minister Menachem Begin, told a conference in Tel Aviv, according to an Israeli newspaper. “Construction in Judea and Samaria will continue in the next 10 months.”
“We are … saying that we don’t intend to restrict or suspend new building permits,” he added.
And Mr Netanyahu has tried to temper anger by allocating special development grants to tens of thousands of the settlers, sparking anger from Mr Barak’s centrist Labour party, which has threatened to vote against the measure.