Haaretz’s Ami Issacharoff had some striking reporting of the rampage militant Israeli settlers in Hebron went on through the Palestinian parts of the city yesterday, after the IDF evicted some of their fellow-settlers from a Palestinian-owned building, as per Israeli High Court order.
Issacharoff unabshedly described what happened during the rampage as “a pogrom”. He wrote about the enraged settler civilians attacking with stones and flames a Palestinian family home in which 20 family members– 17 of them women and children– cowered in terror. And as the pogromists attacked, people described as “security guards from Kiryat Arba” stood round the house preventing the Palestinians’ neighbors from coming to their aid.
- The brain requires a minute or two to digest what is taking place. Women and children crying bitterly, their faces giving off an expression of horror, sensing their imminent deaths, begging the journalists to save their lives. Stones land on the roof of the home, the windows and the doors. Flames engulf the southern entrance to the home. The front yard is littered with stones thrown by the masked men. The windows are shattered and the children are frightened. All around, as if they were watching a rock concert, are hundreds of Jewish witnesses, observing the events with great interest, even offering suggestions to the Jewish wayward youth as to the most effective way to harm the family. And the police are not to be seen. Nor is the army.
Ten minutes prior, while the security forces were preoccupied with dispersing the rioters near the House of Contention, black smoke billowed from the wadi separating Kiryat Arba and Hebron. For some reason, none of the senior officers of the police or the army were particularly disturbed by what was transpiring at the foot of Kiryat Arba…
Issacharoff was one of a group of Israeli journalists who decided to abandon the “neutral observer” role and intervene to try to save the family members from the lynch mob:
- A group of journalists approach the house. A dilemma. What to do? There are no security forces in the vicinity and now the Jewish troublemakers decided to put the journalists in their crosshairs. We call for the security guards from Kiryat Arba to intervene and put a halt to the lynch. But they surround the home to prevent the arrival of “Palestinian aid.”
The home is destroyed and the fear is palpable on the faces of the children. One of the women, Jihad, is sprawled on the floor, half-unconscious. The son, who is gripping a large stick, prepares for the moment he will be forced to face the rioters. Tahana, one of the daughters, refuses to calm down. “Look at what they did to the house, look.”
Tess, the photographer, bursts into tears as the events unfold around her. The tears do not stem from fear. It is shame, shame at the sight of these occurrences, the deeds of youths who call themselves Jews. Shame that we share the same religion. At 5:05 P.M., a little over an hour after the incident commenced, a unit belonging to the Yassam special police forces arrives to disperse the crowd of masked men.
These journalists deserve the highest awards possible, for their integrity and courage.
And the New York Times? Its writer Ethan Bronner (or his editors?) made no mention at all of what was happening to Hebron’s indigenous and rightful Palestinian residents during the day yesterday. Their account portrayed what was happening as only an intra-Jewish drama. They had space to give detailed accounts of what the Israeli settler women were wearing, and an incendiary quote from someone from a pro-settler party. But the fact that the lives of 20 members of the Abu Sa’afan family were directly threatened during an anti-Palestinian pogrom, conducted by Jewish extremists while the Israeli security forces stood aside– ?
Nah, no room for that in the New York Times.