Thursday, November 19, 2015



Rabbis For Human Rights has a message for the military authorities at the conclusion of the Olive harvest:
We at RHR are against giving in to Jewish terror. Just as surrendering to Palestinian terrorism is a mistake, so too is surrendering to Jewish terror. Yet the army does just this when it postpones and delays the issuing of permits and provision of protection to Palestinians seeking to harvest in places where the army fears conflict with extremist settlers. One must act according to a position of principle. This means recognizing the human rights of all and not responding to the threat of violence of any party.
During times of increased tension in the security situation, the provision of security by the Israeli army is especially beneficial. Unfortunately, it is in the areas near outposts and settlements known for high levels of violence where the army has postponed or delayed carrying out its commitment to Palestinian farmers the most. These are the farmers whose need for protection is the greatest. Crops are now damaged due to these postponements. RHR however also wishes to express its appreciation for the quick police apprehension of a suspect believed it be in involved in the recent attack of Rabbi Arik Ascherman in a private Palestinian owned grove near the settlement of Itamar.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman:
"If they were to evacuate Jewish settlements due to the fear of Palestinian terrorism – and not from recognition of the fact that creating Israeli settlements in the midst of a Palestinian population denied basic civil rights is a moral mistake and infringement of international law – I am sure that even amongst those opposed to the settlements there would be voices of dissent exclaiming such behaviour encourages terrorism. The army's weak response to Jewish terror by postponing Palestinian access during this year's harvest season is just such a mistake : It encourages the extremists."
It should be emphasized that we see the army's protection of the Palestinian olive harvest against this year – despite the tense security situation – as a positive development. Even so, it is disturbing that the delays and postponements continue to occur in areas known for the greatest amount of Jewish violence. This behavior leads to damage to the crops and enables thefts and vandalism to continue, as access is prevented for the rightful owners.
For example: We accompany a farmer from the village of Farrata named Ibrahim who is unlucky enough to have an olive plantation close to the "Gilad's Farm" outpost, characterized by much violence. Over a number of years, the IDF has so much so delayed issuing permits for Ibrahim to access his fields until the very end of the harvest season that when Ibrahim finally reaches his land, nearly 100% of his olives have been stolen. Ibrahim, the owner and farmer of the land, is denied access to the land extremist Israeli citizens can enter freely and, apparently, steal the olive crop every year. Whatever the case, the army is responsible for these thefts since it is they that prevent the farmer access to his fields.

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