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May 22, 2014 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-05-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

DESIGNS IN DECORATOR WOOD & LAMINATES, LTD.

n

Oz's analogy drew immediate
criticism.
Reuven Rivlin, a Likud Knesset
member and former Knesset speaker
who was present for the speech,
called it "a cheapening of the
Holocaust:' The Samaria Residents'
Committee, a West Bank settlers'
advocacy group, filed a police com-
plaint accusing Oz of incitement to
racism.
Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu has condemned price tag
attacks, but some said the govern-
ment needed to give security forces
a freer hand to prevent them. Last
week, Livni and Public Security
Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch
recommended that Israel's Shin Bet
internal intelligence agency classify
the price tag attacks as terrorism.
The former head of counterterror-
ism operations in Netanyahu's office,
Nitzan Nuriel, told JTA that contin-
ued price tag incidents could lead to
a bloody backlash from Palestinians,
either against the attackers them-
selves or other Jewish targets.
Last week, in an apparent
response to the price tag attacks,
graffiti was found in northern Israel
on the tomb of Abba Halafta, a sec-
ond-century rabbi, reading "Tag will
pay a price."

Working To Prevent
Nuriel called for a preemptive
approach to the price tag attacks,
similar to how Israel deals with
Palestinian terror groups.
"We need to frustrate it, to cause
it not to happen," said Nuriel,
now a research associate at the
Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya's

International Institute for Counter-
Terrorism. "We need to act against
it with more determination, to set
rules:'
Some Israeli media have taken to
calling the attacks hate crimes, but
Hebrew University political sociolo-
gy lecturer Eitan Alimi said the defi-
nition obscures the political element
in the attacks. The hateful language
is a means of protest, Alimi said, not
an end in itself.
"There's no doubt that the price
tag phenomenon is very influenced
by political processes:' Alimi said.
"I'm not sure these are primarily
hate crimes. They're violent acts
with political logic and political
goals."
While government officials decide
on how best to respond, a group of
civilians has attempted to help the
attacked communities heal. Founded
in 2011 and called Light Tag, the
coalition of activists from a range
of left-wing and pluralist nonprofits
has visited places where attacks took
place to meet with community lead-
ers and offer emotional support.
Light Tag recently organized a
protest opposite Netanyahu's resi-
dence in which it invoked guarantees
of tolerance in Israel's Declaration of
Independence. Gadi Gvaryahu, Light
Tag's chairman, noted that price tag
attacks have included attempts to
burn down mosques and feared they
could lead to deaths if not curbed.
"A Jewish state cannot allow itself,
based on Jewish beliefs, to burn
down a mosque," Gvaryahu said.
"People think that price tag is just
graffiti. It's not just graffiti. They
hurt people:'

rt

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