Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Amira Hass: The anti-Semitism that goes unreported

18 July 2012

By Amira Hass, Haaret – 18 July 2012

Tens of thousands of people live in the shadow of terror

Amira Hass

Amira Hass

Here’s a statistic that you won’t see in research on anti-Semitism, no matter how meticulous the study is. In the first six months of the year, 154 anti-Semitic assaults have been recorded, 45 of them around one village alone. Some fear that last year’s record high of 411 attacks – significantly more than the 312 attacks in 2010 and 168 in 2009 – could be broken this year.

Fifty-eight incidents were recorded in June alone, including stone-throwing targeting farmers and shepherds, shattered windows, arson, damaged water pipes and water-storage facilities, uprooted fruit trees and one damaged house of worship. The assailants are sometimes masked, sometimes not; sometimes they attack surreptitiously, sometimes in the light of day.

There were two violent attacks a day, in separate venues, on July 13, 14 and 15. The words “death” and “revenge” have been scrawled in various areas; a more original message promises that “We will yet slaughter.”

It’s no accident that the diligent anti-Semitism researchers have left out this data. That’s because they don’t see it as relevant, since the Semites who were attacked live in villages with names like Jalud, Mughayer and At-Tuwani, Yanun and Beitilu. The daily dose of terrorizing (otherwise known as terrorism ) that is inflicted on these Semites isn’t compiled into a neat statistical report, nor is it noticed by most of the Jewish population in Israel and around the world – even though the incidents resemble the stories told by our grandparents.

The day our grandparents feared was Sunday, the Christian Sabbath; the Semites, who are not of interest to the researchers monitoring anti-Semitism, fear Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Our grandparents knew that the order-enforcement authorities wouldn’t intervene to help a Jewish family under attack; we know that the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police, the Civil Administration, the Border Police and the courts all stand on the sidelines, closing their eyes, softballing investigations, ignoring evidence, downplaying the severity of the acts, protecting the attackers, and giving a boost to those progromtchiks.The hands behind these attacks belong to Israeli Jews who violate international law by living in the West Bank. But the aims and goals behind the attacks are the flesh and blood of the Israeli non-occupation. This systemic violence is part of the existing order. It complements and facilitates the violence of the regime, and what the representatives – the brigade commanders, the battalion commanders, the generals and the Civil Administration officers – are doing while “bearing the burden” of military service.

They are grabbing as much land as possible, using pretexts and tricks made kosher by the High Court of Justice; they are confining the natives to densely populated reservations. That is the essence of the tremendous success known as Area C: a deliberate thinning of the Palestinian population in about 62 percent of the West Bank, as preparation for formal annexation.

Day after day, tens of thousands of people live in the shadow of terror. Will there be an attack today on the homes at the edge of the village? Will we be able to get to the well, to the orchard, to the wheat field? Will our children get to school okay, or make it to their cousins’ house unharmed? How many olive trees were damaged overnight?

In exceptional cases, when there is luck to be had, a video camera operated by B’Tselem volunteers documents an incident and pierces the armor of willful ignorance donned by the citizens of the only democracy in the Middle East. When there is no camera, the matter is of negligible importance, because after all, you can’t believe the Palestinians. But this routine of escalating violence is very real, even if it is underreported.

For the human rights organization Al-Haq, the escalation is reminiscent of what happened in 1993-1994, when they warned that the increasing violence, combined with the authorities’ failure to take action, would lead to mass casualties. And then Dr. Baruch Goldstein of Kiryat Arba came along and gunned down 29 Muslim worshipers at the Ibrahim Mosque. The massacre set the stage for a consistent Israeli policy of emptying the Old City of Hebron of its Palestinian residents, with the assistance of Israeli Jewish pogromtchiks. Is there someone among the country’s decision-makers and decision-implementers who is hoping for a second round?

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Editor 22 July 2012 at 12:31 PM


Amira Hass’ commentary was originally on this Haaretz page: from which it was removed.

It has now been restored and accessible via the link at the top of this page.

Editor 21 July 2012 at 7:46 PM


As a result of the removal of this article by Haaretz (see below) and a couple of IOA readers comments, this article page on the IOA website received thousands of visits from all over the world. Perhaps a case of poetic justice…

Thank you for sharing IOA stories with others, especially when doing so in readers comments on major publications and, of course, on Facebook and Twitter.

Editor 19 July 2012 at 6:14 PM

This article — one of Amira Hass’ best — originally published in Haaretz, was expunged from the Haaretz English edition. As of 19 July 2012, it was still available on the Hebrew edition website, entitled “Caution, anti-Semitism,” here:

Not for the first time, the Haaretz English edition dilutes its content to satisfy an invisible (self) censor, perhaps not to share offending opinions with the rest of the world. This is sometimes done by excluding a controversial article, removing particularly offending paragraphs of text or details that might drive the point “too far,” or even by altering a story header so that it sounds ‘benign.’

Still, it is surprising that Amira Hass’ work receives such treatment: it has been published in Haaretz for many years. Rest assured that the entire story, as presented here, was on the Haaretz website on 18 July 2012.

Marlene Newesri 19 July 2012 at 4:41 PM

I clicked on the Ha’aretz link you left, however, the article that appears there now in Ha’aretz is “Women don’t be suckers” written by another author. I did a search in Haaretz and could not find this article at all, although I did notice that the comments to the article there now apply to the Amira Hass article, and has nothing to do with “suckers.” It seems to be that Haaretz has removed the article, but inadvertently left the comments, Perhaps there’s an error somewhere. On the other hand, if that is not the case, maybe too many complaints that Amira Hass was stealing “anti-semitism.” when all she was doing was trying to return it to its rightful owners.

Marshalldoc 19 July 2012 at 12:48 PM

Be advised that this article is no longer available at Haartez. The link provided goes to “Women, don’t be suckers – The protest’s female voice is not being heard.” This article cannot be found either under its own name or under a list of Hass’ articles on Haaretz. Odd considering Haaretz’ policy of publishing articles critical of the Israeli government’s positions…

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