come out much more strongly
against Israel's presence in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip.
With the fate of the Jewish
settlements in the balance, the
extremists feel duty-bound to
take action to establish facts on
the ground, even at the cost of
disobeying Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon's government, which is
expected to win the elections.
The fervor of the extremist
wing, which has established illegal
outposts throughout the West
Bank and has clashed with soldiers
sent to dismantle them, was evi-
dent at the funeral early Jan. 20.
Eulogizing his friend Ozeri,
Israeli settlers carry the body offillow settler
activist Michael Ben-Horin
Netanel Ozeri, 34, who was killed in a Ham. a - s
called on settler youth to "rise
attack on Jan. 17. Ozeri co-wrote a book praising
up, you mountain lion cubs, and Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish settler who killed 29
avenge Netanel creatively, with
Muslim worshipers in 1994.
vengeance against your enemies,
and God will be with us."
Ben-Horin blamed former
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin for the
Even by the standards of Hebron-
Palestinian intifida (uprising), for hav-
area funerals, which are often strident
ing given weapons to the Palestinian
and angry affairs, Ozeri's funeral was
extraordinary. Friends and loyalists,
Ben-Horin and his youthful follow-
including Ozeri's widow, Livnat, essen-
ers also chanted against the "leftist
tially kidnapped the corpse three times
Sharon" government, which they say
on Sunday, Jan. 19, playing a bizarre
goes too easy on the Palestinians.
game of keep-away both from Ozeri's
A youth then told the raging crowd,
elderly parents — who wanted their
"We won't take part in their degenerate
son buried in Jerusalem so they could
Western game of 'elections.' That's
visit the grave — and from Israeli
how we'll pull the rug out from under
police and soldiers.
their feet." Others called for "sweet
Livnat and Ozeri loyalists claimed
that Ozeri wanted to be buried on
Disgust with the episode cut across
Hill 26, the illegal outpost outside
partisan lines. The Yesha Council, the
Hebron where he lived in a tin and
governing body of the 200,000-strong
wood hut, to establish another "fact
settlement movement, said it wanted
on the ground." The outpost was re-
to cut any ties to such "half-crazed
established in 2001, after the govern-
ment of former Prime Minister Ehud
Yesha spokesman Yehoshua Mor
Barak had evacuated it.
Yosef also described the episode as
Loyalists believed that burying Ozeri
"sacrilege against the dead."
on Hill 26 would have ensured that
Asked if his council had tried to
the outpost remained in Israeli hands.
mediate between the groups, Yosef
Even before Ozeri's body was
replied, "These are not people you can
snatched, the funeral had started to go
talk with. They ignored the police, the
awry. Livnat Ozeri decided that her
army, the rabbis," he said. "They were
husband should be carried to his grave
completely out of control, leaving the
site. Barely 100 yards from the cou-
orphans to chase around the body of
ple's home, some in the 2,000-person
their father through the hills." The
procession began throwing stones at
lawlessness among certain settler ele-
nearby Palestinian homes while chant-
ments is a "very alarming phenome-
ing, "Death to the Arabs."
non," Yosef added.
Privately, settler leaders fear that
extremists could bring down the entire Attacking Arabs
settlement venture, driving Israeli pub- Police and soldiers could do little to
lic opinion firmly against them and
stop the mob, which used pipes, stones
paving the way for the settlements'
POLITICS on page 22
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