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Sunday, December 07, 2014

Fire At The Hand In Hand

(Mirvat, a second grade school girl, practises her Oud at the Hand in Hand Arab Jewish bilingual school in Jerusalem December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Like school arsonists, Netanyahu rejects Arab-Jewish coexistence
By Mairav Zonszein
|Published December 1, 2014
The prime minister’s reaction — or lack thereof — to the arson attack against Jerusalem’s bilingual school reflects what can only be understood as contempt for Palestinian-Israeli partnership.

The arsonists who set fire to the Arab-Jewish bilingual school in Jerusalem Saturday night decided to pile up the first graders’ books and burn them in the middle of the classroom. Jews burned books. Belonging to six years olds. In Israel’s capital.

All Israeli citizens should feel they were targeted. A premeditated, intentional act aimed at instilling horror and fear into a small minority of Palestinians and Israelis whose only crime is an attempt at living in partnership and equality. An act of terror. It is reflective of nothing less than a national crisis.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not see fit to issue a special statement, nor did he find it necessary to visit the school. He sufficed with this condemnation at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday:

We are making great efforts to restore calm and tranquility to Jerusalem. Of course, we will not tolerate attacks from any quarter and we will not tolerate setting fire to a bilingual school as we saw last night. We condemn any such attempt and we will act as vigorously – and with as much unity – as possible to restore quiet and law and order in all parts of the city.

He couched his statement in the larger context of unrest in Jerusalem. Netanyahu does not see the burning of schoolchildren’s books and a first-grade classroom as a stand-alone incident worthy of independent mention. It is on the same level as Palestinians throwing stones at soldiers who control their movement from behind shields and walls and armored vehicles. Jewish citizens in the Jewish state burned Jewish books. He can’t blame this one on Mahmoud Abbas – so I guess he has nothing to say.

Ms. Zonszein's article left out details supplied by Reuters:
...One of its classrooms was set ablaze, books were burnt and graffiti reading “Death to Arabs” was sprayed on a wall.

This is not a mere burning of a few textbooks; this is a part of our return to the darkness we thought we had escaped from in World War II.
This is Brennungsnacht 2014 - (Book) Burning Night  2014.


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