Aletho News


Arab ‘Thugs’ Steal Olives from Poor, Downtrodden Israeli Settlers

By Richard Edmondson | Fig Trees and Vineyards | November 4, 2013

Every now and then we run across stories in the Jewish media that are amusing for their unintended humor. Several days ago the Jewish Press published an article about West Bank Palestinians who crept into a Jewish-owned olive grove, apparently in the night, and stole a number of bushels of olives, breaking off tree branches in the process.

The story—a total of five paragraphs—is written by Yori Yanover, who, in common with most Israelis, refers to Palestinians not as Palestinians but as “Arabs,” and who additionally applies the word “thugs” to the particular thieves in question. (Truly a masterpiece of journalistic objectivity). We also are informed the theft took place at a Jewish-owned farm located between the West Bank settlements of Shiloh and Eli:

Someone should alert Philip Gordon – the US Middle East Czar who was so adamant in his condemnation of those pesky Jewish settlers out to ruin Arab olive trees, he should express at least the same amount of rage at what has taken place today in the Eretz HaTzvi farm, between the towns of Shiloh and Eli.

According to a report by the Tazpit news agency, Jewish farmers who arrived Thursday at the olive grove belonging to Eretz HaTzvi, discovered that Arab thugs had stolen bushels of olives and broke off tree branches. The damage is estimated in tens of thousands of dollars.

Note: we are talking about Jewish farmers who decided to grow their olive trees on stolen Palestinian land—and who now feel put upon because the people they stole the land from pilfered some of their olives. But that angle to the story seems to escape Yanover.

The author also goes on to quote one of the farmers, who speaks of “telltale signs” left by “Arab fruit thieves,” thus arousing our sympathy by letting us know that he, poor fellow, has had to deal with this sort of heinous thievery in the past:

“I arrived at the grove a short while ago, and from the highway I recognized the telltale sign of Arab fruit thieves – Jute sacks that were spread on the ground. Walking around the grove I identified many broken branches and a large amount of olives that fell out of the thieves’ sacks.”

Again note: we’re talking about some broken branches. Nothing is mentioned about whole trees being uprooted or destroyed. In fact, here is one of the photos that accompany the story. You’ll notice, of course, that a limb has been broken from a tree but that the tree itself is still standing:


And here is a second photo that accompanies the article. Again notice, a few broken limbs in the foreground, with unharmed, whole trees standing in the background.


I want to be clear: I do not think theft is ever justified, whether it be a single olive or an entire parcel of land. But at the same time it can be useful to us to put things into perspective. I have posted numerous articles about Palestinian olive groves that have been attacked and vandalized by Jewish settlers (see here, here, here, here, here, and here ). In many of these instances, whole trees have been uprooted or destroyed, and in some cases the number of trees destroyed was in the hundreds. But apparently many Jews are incapable of seeing things from the perspective of their victims. Here is a sampling of comments that accompanied the Jewish Press article:


The commenters seem almost out of touch with reality in a certain sense. But in the interest, again, of perspective, here’s a little dose of reality. The following comes from a report published last year entitled “When Settlers Attack,” by Yousef Munayyer for the Palestine Center:

Executive Summary

  • Israeli settler violence presents a direct and consistent threat to Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied West Bank and instances of Israeli settler violence are on the rise.
  • From 2010 to 2011 there was a 39 percent increase in incidents of Israel Settler violence. In the five year period from 2007 through 2011 there has been a 315 percent increase. Conversely, over the same 5-year period, there has been a 95 percent decrease in Palestinian violence in the West Bank.
  • There is a noticeable shift in the proportion of violence as it occurs geographically in the West Bank. In the past, the southern part of the West Bank saw the largest number of instances but in recent years the northern part of the West Bank is becoming increasingly targeted and has overtaken the southern part of the West Bank in terms of number of attacks.
  • The period of the olive harvest annually brings a peak in violent settler activity. The presence of Palestinian civilians in olive groves, where they are easy targets for unrestrained and violent Israeli settlers, is the main reason why this occurs on an annual basis.
  • There is a noticeable increase in the frequency and proportion of arson attacks employed by violent settlers. This suggests that violent settlers are increasingly choosing this method of violence and will continue to do so. The percentage of arson among all attack types in 2005 was 6 percent and has risen to 11 percent in 2011.
  • While minimal variation in Israeli settler violence over time can be explained as a response to Israeli state actions against settlements, like the dismantlement of outposts, the vast majority of Israeli settler violence is not responsorial but rather structural and symptomatic of occupation.
  • Over 90 percent of all Palestinian villages which have experienced multiple instances of Israeli settler violence are in areas which fall under Israeli security jurisdiction.

To View the Full Report as PDF (2.8 MB)

At the top of this piece I referred to Yanover’s article as providing us with “unintended humor,” and so it does. But what I also detect in it is an element of self pity.

November 5, 2013 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , ,

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