‘Price Tag’ Transforming Israel

By Jamal Kanj

‘Death to Christians’ and ‘death to Arabs’ was scrawled in Hebrew last week on an old monastery and properties of Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem. On February 20th a Baptist church was defiled with graffiti insulting Jesus’ mother. Earlier in the same month, an 11th century Greek Orthodox Monastery was desecrated. The work carried the hallmark signature of ‘Price Tag.’

Price Tag is a pugnacious Jewish organization established in 2008. Its members come mostly from illegal “Jewish only” settlements in occupied Palestine. The organization targets Muslim and Christian sites in the West Bank and Native Palestinians inside Israel.

Israeli Human Rights organizations have documented Price Tag’s violence like burning mosques, desecrating churches, vandalizing Muslim and Christian grave yards, physical assaults, uprooting of olive trees, destroying and stealing crops from Palestinian farms.

According to Btselem, an Israeli Human Rights organization, Price Tag attacks against Muslim and Christian sites have increased exponentially in the last three months. Btselem documented seven such attacks during the month of last December alone.
In one of the documented incidents, Price Tag attacked Palestinian women traveling next to the “Jewish only” settlement of Gilad. When the driver complained to a military check point few hundred meters away, Israeli soldiers shrugged him off.

In fact, out of thousands of racist assaults against Palestinians between 2005 and 2010, Israel investigated only 97 cases. Out of which none was brought to court.

Like Nazi groups in Europe or the Klu Klux Klan in the USA. Price Tag members are indoctrinated by deep hatred toward those who are perceived as a threat to their self-professed “superior” race, color or religion.

In this case, Israeli Price Tag membership is drawn mostly form Haredi Rabbis and students or graduates from Jewish Madrasa or Yeshiva. They advocate building new “Jewish only” settlements and killing or expelling Native Palestinians.

Price Tag spiritual leaders, Rabbis Yitzhak Shapiro and Yosef Elitzur co-authored a controversial book “The King’s Torah.” Rabbi Elitzer runs Yeshiva or Madrasa in the “Jewish only” colony of Yitzhar.

In their book, the Rabbis pontificate that under Jewish laws “It is permissible to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation… If we kill a Gentile… there is nothing wrong with the murder."

Credence to the Rabbis’ authority on Jewish Law was bestowed on them by several prominent Israeli rabbis, including Rabbi Yithak Ginzburg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef by recommending the “King’s Torah” book to their students and followers.

Indeed these Jewish theologians represent a growing creed, ignored by Western media, of ultra racist religious movement advocating separate laws for Jews and another for gentiles. Some Rabbis went as far as asserting that laws prohibiting the killing of civilians were Christian values and not binding to Jews.

This was exemplified in 2006 when the Rabbinic Council of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank issued an appeal to Israeli soldiers "to ignore Christian morals and exterminate the enemy in the north (Lebanon) and the south (Gaza Strip)."

Price Tag membership is currently around 3000. Proportionally larger than Hitler-Jugend (youth) who numbered less than 5000 in 1925. While ignored by world powers, Hitler-Jugend (HJ) membership swelled to 25,000 by 1930, propelling the Nazi party to power in 1933.

Should the world powers continue to condone Israel’s intransigence disregard to international law by building illegal “Jewish only” colonies on the very land designated for the future Palestinian state, Jewish Price Tag’s propensity will soon transform Israel, “officially,” into a racist state; thus taking the region to a new level of hate and destruction.

-Jamal Kanj writes frequently on Arab World issues and the author of “Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America ”, Garnet Publishing, UK . Jamal’s articles can be read at www.jamalkanj.com. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: jkanj@yahoo.com.

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