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A Circle of Violence: Deir Yassin to Har Nof

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Reprinted from Wallwritings

Jerusalem's chief rabbi Shlomo Amar shakes hands with an imam as leaders from the Christian and Muslim communities gathered outside Kehilat Yaakov Synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof
(Image by From the Times of Israel by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
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Early Tuesday, November 18, two young Palestinians broke into a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of West Jerusalem's Har Nof.

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Armed with a gun, knives and axes, the assailants killed three rabbis and a fourth worshipper.

The New York Times reported that in the gun battle that ensued, one Israeli policeman and the two Palestinians intruders were killed.

In its coverage of the Har Nof killings, the Washington Post put "Americans" in its headline, leaving the impression they were tourists. They were not. They were Orthodox rabbis with dual citizenship, American and Israeli.

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Few media outlets have taken note of the glaring fact that a circle of violence connects Har Nof to Deir Yassin, the Palestinian village destroyed before the formation of the modern state of Israel by the terrorist Jewish group, the Irgun, on April 9, 1948.

Deir Yassin was part of the "ethnic cleansing" strategy of the invading Israeli army. It was this strategy that launched the Nakba. This strategy is well-documented in Jewish scholar Ilan Pappe's book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Should the media have acknowledged the circle of violence in the Deir Yassin-Har Nof connection? If the murder of six contemporary Americans occurred outside Washington's Ford Theater, where Abraham Lincoln was killed, would that be an ignored connection? I don't think so.

Meanwhile, back to 2014 in the world according to Israel and the Western media, this is what happened:

"On Tuesday night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Palestinian leaders of inciting the violence and committing 'blood libel' by suggesting that Jews were responsible for the death this week of a Palestinian bus driver who Israeli police say committed suicide by hanging."

The Prime Minister has also reactivated a former Israel government policy of destroying the East Jerusalem homes of the two men responsible for the synagogue killings and the homes of other Palestinians linked to other recent attacks.

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This is, of course collective punishment, a violation of international moral and legal standards, and what "Human Rights Watch says could be war crimes."

Samia Nasir Khoury, a revered Palestinian leader and activist, and the author of the highly praised memoir, Reflections from Palestine -- A Journey of Hope, spoke for many Palestinians in her posting on November 18, in which she expresses sadness over the horrendous Har Nof attack, even as she puts it in its historic context by linking it to another act of violence.

"Ironically, Har Nof where the events of today took place is originally a Palestinian suburb adjacent to Deir Yassin where the infamous massacre of the Palestinians took place on April 9, 1948. That was the spark that terrorized the Palestinian residents of West Jerusalem that led to their exodus.

"Yes indeed, it is brutal and completely unacceptable to attack worshipers in their place of worship, as was the attack of settler doctor, Baruch Goldstein, on Muslim worshipers during the month of Ramadan at the Hebron Mosque in February 1994. Twenty-nine Palestinian were killed and 125 wounded at the time."

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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