By Felix Quigley
June 19, 2008
Two Jewish men who are citizens of Israel are at this very moment languishing in jail, in an Israeli Jail. Their names are Itzik and Danny halamish.
These 2 men have been arrested and sentenced by other Jewish men and women of the present Israeli state.
The reason being that they were defending their village and homes from Arabs who are hostile to Israel and hostile to Jews. Or more precisely…from antisemitic Arabs.
Other issues involved: the very right of Jews to live in Judea (Got that! JUDEA…Jew) and in Samaria as part of Israel
Raised also the right of Jews to organize defence against an Arab, Islamic and antisemitic enemy.
And if all that is not enough, as we shall see, in the background is the Gaza betrayal of Sharon and the great danger to Israel from Olmert, Livni and Barak. This situation that the Halamish Brothers now find themselves in is but a microcosm of the horrible betrayal of Gaza by Sharon and his ilk.
INTRODUCTION AND WHY I SEE THIS AS A VITAL ISSUE
I read this on Israel National News:
[start quote here]
IsraelNN.com) The Women in Green organization protested Tuesday at the Jerusalem International Convention Center at Binyanei Hauma to call for the release of Itzik and Danny Halamish, residents of the Gush Etzion community of Ma’aleh Rechavam. The two brothers are currently serving eight months in jail for allegedly shooting Arabs who infiltrated the community in February, 2004.
[end quote here]
I have read a little around this and will add further later. I will depend on an excellent report by Caroline Glick.
In a few words here it is. It is the case that these young men, now commonly referred to as “The Haradish Brothers” had been in the IDF. They lived in a village in Judea and Samaria and in this village there had previously been a brutal murder of a Jewish boy, unsolved. A large group of Arabs were seen by another man in fields close to their village. It was thought and feared that they may be casing the place for a future attack. They went to investigate. No more than that. Were surrounded by Arabs and in danger! To get out, and only to get out from an attacking Arab and hostile mob, they fired a gun into the ground. No Arab was hit. But this is the kicker to this tale…The police came and arrested the Jewish men. They are now in prison. I felt it was so urgent and serious I wrote the following (inadequate as it is):
The organization which is www.4international.wordpress.comis lining itself up in Europe totally on the side of the Halamish Brothers (Itzik and Danny) who are Jews now languishing inside an ISRAELI jail because courts decided to believe Arabs rather than believe them.
The facts of this case show that it is a total travesty of justice. I will deal with these facts in a following article in detail and with precision. But there is even more to this case than that. It touches on the whole position of Jews in Israel today and on the very reason for setting up the Jewish state of Israel in the first place. The jailing of these brothers by an Israeli state goes against the setting up of that state, and this is going to be one of many test cases that has to be fought.
Before I go into these reasons let us be clear! The reactionary anti Jewish Government of Sharon pulled every last Jew out of Gaza, you can say pulled them out by the hair of their head, such was the intense nature of the struggle at that time and the sense of betrayal felt by the great majority of true Jewish people in Gaza and in the world.
On the Jewish Canadian website Israpundit alongside the founder Joseph Alexander Norland I campaigned day after day (in opposition to a number on Israpundit) to condemn the cowardly and traitorous action of Sharon and to oppose the betrayal of the Gazan Jews.
Nothing really changed. Sharon is in a coma but his followers are in the Israeli Labour Party and the Kadima Party led by Loivni and Olmert.
That is the whole point of the jailing of these Kalamish Brothers. Nothing has changed. The situation is precisely the same as the betrayal of Gaza.
And look what happened after Gaza was made Judenfrei thanks to Sharon and his ilk. How many good ordinary Jews have lost their lives as a result of Hamas and other Antisemitic Fascists raining rockets onto Sderot in the past years.
And since every action has a reaction, every cause is followed by effect…then the jailing of these Brothers is going to end in the same way. Not just the Brothers are suffering, but Jews will suffer.
We are a Trotskyist movement and some may be surprised at this position we take. But Jews in Israel must by now know a lot about lies told against Jews. So in a similar way Leon Trotsky, the great Russian Revolutionary, before he was assassinated by a Stalinist thug in Mexico, had taken up very strong positions of support for the Jewish people, and most especially and specifically, for the Jewish people as a Nation. That has been lied about and hidden until we launched our website at the end of last year.
We do send our sincere congratulations and support to Nadia Matar for the excellent demonstration that she and her friends mounted in support of these two Jewish Brothers.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED BEST EXPLAINED IN THESE EXTRACTS FROM CAROLINE GLICK
[start quote here]
On April 10 two brothers are scheduled to begin serving prison sentences for a crime they never committed. Yitzhak and Daniel Halamish were convicted of aggravated assault and were sentenced respectively, to seven and eight months in jail. The two men, who live in Ma’aleh Rehavam south of Bethlehem, were arrested on February 22, 2004. The day before their arrest, the brothers were serving as IDF-trained and armed security guards in their community. They were called by Baruch Feldbaum, the head of security at the neighboring Sde Bar community, to assist him in dispersing an illegal gathering of Beduin in land adjacent to Sde Bar.
Feldbaum’s concern over the gathering was heightened because Beduin shepherds are suspected of having carried out a number of unsolved terrorist murders in the area. These include the murder by stoning of 14-year-olds Kobi Mandell and Yosef Ish-Ran on May 8, 2001. Feldbaum feared that the Beduin were conducting surveillance of the community ahead of a future attack.
Armed with their IDF-issued M-16 rifles, augmented in Yitzhak’s case by a handgun, the Halamish brothers rushed to the scene. Once they arrived the two were surrounded by some 20 rock and club-wielding Beduin. In an attempt to disperse the hostile crowd, and enable the Halamish brothers to escape unharmed, Feldbaum shot a warning shot into the ground. Yitzhak Halamish similarly shot a warning shot in the air with his handgun. The two brothers then pushed their way out of the crowd.
Later in the day, the Beduin filed a complaint with the police against the three guards. They alleged that Feldbaum and the Halamish brothers all shot at them with their rifles and beat them with their fists.
The issue of who was telling the truth was not a purely subjective question of whom to believe. When the police arrested the Halamish brothers, they also seized their rifles. The Halamish brothers had both denied ever shooting their rifles at the scene. Had the police wished to objectively weigh the credibility of the two sides, they could have conducted ballistic tests of the rifles to determine whether or not they had been used. But they did no such thing. Rather, they indicted Feldbaum and the Halamish brothers for aggravated assault and sent them to trial.
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That we could say is the bare guts of the story. I think it speaks for itself so I will not labour any point. Please read the full report by Glick on http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1206632349293&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
But in order to complete I would like to add this additional analysis in the same article by Glick:
[start quote here]
Today, with the courts closed to them, the Halamishs’ only hope for avoiding prison is a presidential pardon.
Supporters of the Halamish brothers have launched an interesting campaign to lobby for clemency. They have asked for US citizens to call the office of Israel’s military attaché at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and demand that the IDF advance their pardon requests with the Justice Ministry and Beit Hanassi. Since the Halamish brothers were effectively acting as soldiers while performing their security responsibilities, their supporters contend that the IDF is honor-bound to defend them.
But the campaign doesn’t stop there. Supporters have also asked US citizens to contact their Congressmen and ask them to send inquiries about the case to the embassy. Finally, they have asked US citizens to contact the State Department and complain that the State Department’s Human Rights report on Israel is silent on the government’s abuse of Jewish civil rights.
THE NOTION of running a campaign for an Israeli presidential pardon of Israeli citizens in the US is alarming for what it says about the Halamish supporters’ perception of Israeli democracy. Specifically, as Datya Yitzhaki from Pidyon Shevuim who has spearheaded the campaign argues, they believe that domestic pressure will have no impact on either Israeli political leaders or on the justice system because in their view the Olmert-Livni-Barak government feels no need to account for its actions to Israeli citizens. Indeed, they contend that the only force that can hold the government and the legal system accountable is international pressure and fear of international condemnation.
Organizations like Women in Green and Pidyon Shevuim who are running the campaign cite as precedent the case of Tzvia Sariel. Sariel, 18, was arrested last December on assault charges. She was accused of attacking Arabs who entered her community of Eilon Moreh on December 4. Sariel was incarcerated for three and a half months.
On March 5, the allegedly assaulted Arabs appeared in Kfar Saba Magistrate Court and recanted their accusations against Sariel. One claimed that since he is illiterate, he had no idea what he was signing when he signed his complaint against her. Yet, despite the fact that the prosecution’s case fell apart in front of her, trial judge Nava Bechor ordered a continuance until April 4 and sent Sariel back to prison for another month.
An outcry ensued and activists in the US began calling the embassy and the State Department. On March 19, Bechor dismissed charges against Sariel and sent her home. Her supporters believe that without their US campaign, Sariel would still be sitting in prison for a crime that she didn’t commit.
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THIS GREAT TRUTH DISCOVERED BY SUPPORTERS OF THE HALAMISH BROTHERS AS EXPLAINED ABOVE BY CAROLINE GLICK
It would appear to me that the supporters of the Halamish Brothers have hit on a vital truth that will stand them in good stead. But I go further even than that. It will stand the whole of the Jewish people of Israel and even in the whole world also in good stead.
Let me put it like this. I recognize that Jews have been battered and shattered by humanity (really by an ideology inside humanity called antisemitism) for a very long time, at least 2000 years. This has produced a feeling that they are alone. But yet if Jews are actually isolated in this period then they will be beaten. It is necessary to break out of the isolation.
During the course of life you meet people who you support but have differing political views. I have met many Jews like this.
I support and defend all Jews against Antisemitism unconditionally. The latter word is very important and I do not take it lightly. No matter what the political differences I defend all Jews against antisemitism. However, Trotskyism is a distinct ideology and that unconditional defence does not imply political agreement on programme. That briongs me to a Jewish person I met on the net.
I have met and entered into conflict with a Jewish poster called Yamit82 on the Israpundit website (By the way I totally oppose the present orientation of Israpundit editor Ted Belman who is campaigning for the election of Butcher of the Serbs McCain in the American election) One of the points of conflict with this Yamit82 (a pseudonym) who is close to a Samson Blinded is that Yamit82 has been saying that Jews of Israel only need themselves and do not need any international support.
This is so wrong! Of course, the struggle is the struggle of the Jewish people of Israel! But the Jewish people need all the support they can get from abroad. I would have thought that that is a no brainer and that a primary 3 kid would grasp that!
It must be emphasised once more (see above) that I defend Yamit82 and all Jewish people without condition. But we have our own independent programme so our defence of Jews does not mean we agree!
And so it fills me with wonderment that the colleagues of Matar are making the very point. That what exists in Israel is a veritable dictatorship which is motivated by a kind of Stalinist Labourist faux-secularist hatred of the revolutionary Jewish people in the settlements in Judea and Samaria. And that the vital cog in the struggle to overcome this Labourist Stalinist excrescence is a big movement abroad, and especially in the key United States.
Not the United States, mind you, of the pro Arab and anti Judaic Rice and the Bush Family, but to the ordinary American people and to their Congress. The orientation of Ruth and her colleagues is thus spot on in this regard. This proves the true and genuine progressive nature of the Judaic settlers and we on this site are with them all the way.
So Yamit82 who has been parroting this Samson Blinded (whose politics ramble all over the place) is proved to be barking up totally the wrong tree when he says Israeli Jews need no help from abroad.
It is a terrible chore to have to explain the ABCs of political reality, strategy and tactics to a grown man like Yamit82 when the smallest little child on a Jewish settlement in their beloved Judea could have set him straight. Those are however the kinds of things that we have to put up with in Europe and America when we seek to fight for the Jews of Israel against the hostile islamists and Arabs who hate Israel. As if the task was not hard enough we have to even do battle with so-called Jewish “experts” like this Samson Blinded fellow and Yamit82!
Oh by the way, Yamit 82 has repeated other mouthings of this Samson Blinded guy when he calls for Olmert to stay in power. Such a kick in the teeth that must be to all of you who fight alongside Ruth, her friends and these two jailed brothers.
So to sum up, I believe that the followers of the Haradish Brothers around Ruth Matar have hit on a real nugget of gold when they direct the campaign to the American ordinary people, and through them into Congress. We have written much already on exactly this strategy on this site.
Do not listen to the isolationists like the Yamit 82s of this world. That is a real nugget. Go with it!
WHY THE JEWISH MOVEMENT IS A REALLY REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT
The proof that the Jewish movement of Israel is a truly revolutionary movement is that it is prepared to discuss political ideas in an open and a frank manner. The political discussion is now vital.
There is an election now on the cards in Israel. The great thing about bourgeois erlections is not just a change of government but that there can be open discussion of issues among the ordinary people, in this case of Israel.
The great warning of the Gaza betrayal by Sharon, Olmert, Livni and Barak is that they are not part of the discussion. There was no discussion whatsoever over gaza. What they did was to prepare the prisons and the repressive apparatus to stop the discussion taking place. That is essentially the great danger again of the present and why this issue of the Haradish Brothers is so important.
Essentially a way must be found to 1. create a discussion among the ordinary masses of Jewish people in Israel and in the Diaspora and 2. To protect this discussion from an evil ruling class in Israel and from a Fascist US and British Imperialist class (on this see all of our writings on Kosovo and Bosnia and the role of Imperialism and its lies against the Serbs)
This has come before in 1933 certainly and is why we must examine the policies of Trotsky against Stalinism and Fascism, especially his calls for a United Front and what he meant by a United Front.
This is very vital. Many of my friends believe that Jews are again in danger of a great genocide.
These are some of the ideas that must be discussed in the election campaign and are closely linked to the struggle to free the Karadish Brothers.
In a recent article called “Prepare for War and do not fall for the Hamas trap” we wrote and it is worth repeating:
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So the struggle in the coming election must be about political programme.
- Kick Barak and Olmert, Labour and Kadima, into the dustbin of history.
- Elect leaders who oppose a Palestine state of any shape or form
- Strike to destroy the Iranian Nuclear Bomb making ability
- Make it clear that Israel will strike at all such in Arab League countries, especially in Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia
- Oppose the US programme in Iraqwhere an Islamist state has been formed in alliance with Iran
- Only Arabs who support Israel can remain in Israel proper.
- The exact same applies to these areas: Gaza, Judea, Samaria, the Golan
What all of this means is war. War is inevitable because the Arabs are not a stupid people and will not accept bribes to go away or to close down their anti-Semitism. The Arabs are a people who in general are indoctrinated with Jew hatred. So what to do?
This is the purpose of a general discussion inside the Israeli masses. The only vehicle for this is the United Front in which all those opposed to a Palestine state can offer an opinion. Such a great discussion can enter into the very soul of the ordinary Israelis.
At the centre of this is the reason for the existence of Israel. The Jews represent the greatest and most spirited revolutionary national liberation movement in the world.
But the world must be made to face up to the reality of Antisemitism in the world as a whole. Leaving aside for a moment the religious Jewish factor, one big reason for the existence of Israel (why Israelmust exist) is as a safeguard to Jews from anti-Semitism, to create a space where Jews can worship or not worship as they see fit, but in any case be free to carry out their ancient religious customs and traditions, unmolested.
Jews must have total power in their hands in their state. That is why hostile nationalities such as Arab “Palestinians” must be sent to Jordan without any ceremony whatsoever. The same applies to “Jews” who are hostile to Israel and the IDF, often members of “Peace” groups, really groups financed from abroad whose aim is war, war on Israel. They must definitely be expelled. But Arabs must be welcome who will fight in the Israeli Army, will defend Israel verbally to the Foreign Media, and who will not wish to vote in the Jewish parliament. That latter right belongs only to the Jewish people. Only in that way can Israel be safeguarded as a refuge from anti-Semitism.
We on 4international line up with all Jews in a great United Front in order to defend Israel. In doing so we never for an instant surrender our political programme as revolutionary socialists. But socialist revolution is not posed in the situation in which Israel faces today. However the defence of Israel as a Jewish state and as a refuge from Antisemitism certainly is. That is why we join in unity with our Jewish fellow fighters against Imperialism.
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To those points we now certainly add “FREE THE HARADISH BROTHERS NOW!”