Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What the heck happened in Peki'in?


For those a bit detached from day to day news in Israel; there was a major police incident in the Druze village of Peki'in the the Galil (Northern Israel). Peki'in has Jews living in it since the destruction of the second Beit HaMikdash (Jewish Temple).

Upset over the installation of a cellular antentta in their neighborhood, Pekiin Druze teens burned it down this past weekend. With over 100 cancer patients in Peki'in, the residents had been lobbying with the cell phone company to remove it, but to no avail (it's good money to have a cell tower on your property in Israel, and you receive over $1000 a month)

Hundreds of Israeli police arrived at 4:00 AM to arrest the teens, and all hell broke loose.

Hundreds of rioters, many of them masked, surrounded the policemen and hurled rocks and stun grenades at them, and allegedly shot at the police as well.

Rioters also set fire to the house of one of the few Jewish families in the town who live near an ancient synagogue.


Making matters even worse, the rioters captured a border policewoman, and held her hostage.
"The nightmare began just moments after we arrived at the scene to apprehend those suspected of rioting last Saturday night," Douadi recalled.

"At some point I became separated from my battalion. A group of masked men spotted me and then dragged me 20 meters to an alleyway, where some of them began kicking me and trying to stab me with a sharp utensil," the 19-year-old said.

According to the policewoman's account, the rioters shouted "you won't get out of here alive unless we get what we want". Douadi was finally whisked away to a prayer house by a retired police officer until she was rescued from the area with the cooperation of local religious leaders.

"Everyone knows I wasn't released for free; they received everything they demanded," Douadi told Ynet.

Thirty-one people were injured in the clashes, which broke out early Tuesday as Peki'in residents protested the installation of a cellular antenna in the the town. Police and Border Guard officers, local residents and Magen David Adom paramedics were among the injured. (YNET)
My take?

1. Had a cell tower been trashed in Tel-Aviv, it would have been seen by most as a noble gesture, since there is widespread grass-root support for removing cell towers.

2. Had a cell tower been trashed in Tel-Aviv, the police would not have sent in hundreds to arrest the perpetrators.

3. Druze Arabs used tremendous violence against the police...and even against Magen David Adom medics! It's also been reported that the police were also shot at, and wounded by demonstrators.

4. I'm not a huge fan of the police, and they routinely use excess violence against all sorts of groups ranging from settlers to Druze to Arabs to Leftists to student demonstrators.

5. That said, the Druze rioters gain no sympathy from me for this sort of violence, let alone burning Jewish homes. However, the State will now bend over backwards and accommodate them...police violence against Druze is not tolerated...while police violence against passive civil disobedient settlers in Amona is basically ignored.

6. Good thing I wasn't taking anyone on a tour of Peki'in when this happened -- it's much safer in Hevron! (you can even see exclusive pictures of the back of my head, and a video with my voice dubbed)



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

12 comments:

JoeSettler said...

For more on Peki'in visit JoeSettler.

http://joesettler.blogspot.com/2007/10/pekiin.html

JoeSettler said...

Are you sure Jameel's voice was dubbed?

http://www.gcast.com/user/JoeSettler/podcast/main

JoeSettler said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/918704.html

Fern said...

I don't understand why cell phone towers are so controversial? They're ubiquitous in the U.S. and no one gives them 5 seconds of thought. How can you use a cell phone without a cell phone tower? Most of the time, we drive right by them and don't even realize it, as most of them are disguised as trees.

Holy Hyrax said...

Fern,

Maybe this is a guess, but perhaps it has something to do with the cancer risk. My dad watches Israeli news and he remembers watching about many families getting cancer from living next to power lines. I think the phone towers is the same issue.

Fern said...

Maybe this is a guess, but perhaps it has something to do with the cancer risk. My dad watches Israeli news and he remembers watching about many families getting cancer from living next to power lines. I think the phone towers is the same issue.

Is that a legitimate concern? Because again, I never hear anything about that here, and we have people who live near power lines too. To be honest, it sounds sort of conspiracy theory-ish to me. And I know Middle Easterners love conspiracy theories...

Holy Hyrax said...

actually, living next to power lines is NOT a good idea. We had a DWP guy over our place to test the electric magnetic field from the power lines in our home. Suffice it to say, I am still trying to get this tail surgically removed ;)

Baila said...

Jameel,

now we all want a tour of Hebron with you and trep as guides. When can we get one? (We'll see Peki'in some other time)

HH and Fern: Cell towers scare the heck out of me, so do cell phones, onion soup mix, aluminum tins, deoderant, diet soda, and my microwave...

elchonon said...

Jameel,
You came to Chevron and did not text me to come join or say hello?

I am offended ? I mean I do live here and perhaps the ONLY jblogger living in chevron area..

ok so I stopped blogging but still..

You guys suck! I think I will boycot you guys next time I see you.

פייגא דבורה said...

Read about why cellular towers most likely do not cause cancer.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_1_3X_Cellular_Phone_Towers.asp

They should think about checking the pollution levels...

פייגא דבורה said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
פייגא דבורה said...

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content
/PED_1_3X_Cellular_Phone_Towers.asp

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