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Israel’s ‘Price Tag’ Bogeyman

Posted By Steven Plaut On May 9, 2014 @ 12:25 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 4 Comments

The madness continues.  The Israeli media, the world media, the Obama administration,  and a growing number of Israeli politicians are screaming at supersonic-jet decibel levels against the “hate crimes” of the “Price Tag” delinquents. 

You will not be surprised if I tell you that the use of the term “hate crimes” by the Israeli leftist media and their fellow travelers never has anything at all to do with Arab terrorists murdering Jews.  Indeed, a young woman from Afula was murdered a few days ago and the police believe it was a political murder by Arab terrorists.  You would only learn about that murder in the back pages in small font in the far-leftist daily Haaretz, although headlines on the front page and throughout this “newspaper” decry “hate crimes.”  Let us note that Haaretz NEVER denounces Arab terrorism as “hate crimes.”  And it refuses to use the “T” word (terrorist) to label these folks.  Instead, following CNN and MSNBC, these are always “activists” or “militants.”

The “hate crimes” over which the media and politicians are all up in arms consist of teenage mischief and graffiti.  Really.  The Obama people have also called for action against these “hate crimes.”   Small groups of Jewish teenagers have gone running about the country and engaging in petty vandalism and graffiti.  They call themselves “Price Tag.”  Their mischief is usually directed against Arab property (although in a few cases they have vandalized police and army vehicles).   Their graffiti is anti-Arab and they have targeted churches and mosques.  In a few cases, vandalism was in fact carried out by leftists and Arabs as provocations to be blamed on the Price Tag urchins.

Now I am the first to demand that these teenagers be apprehended and taken out back behind the woodshed and spanked thoroughly with a hickory switch.  Yes they are an embarrassment and yes they are up to no good.

But hate crime?  Come on!

“Price Tag” urchins are petty juvenile delinquents.  While they have gotten away with their mischief and have not been apprehended, this may be because the police and army in Israel have real hate crimes to deal with, like genocidal terrorists.   The Price Tag punks are as much involved in “hate crimes” as are the subway graffiti vandals in any large city in the world.

Almost no one in Israel justifies the vandalism and graffiti of “Price Tag.”  But almost no one in Israel sees it as anything more than a mild nuisance and petty mischief. 

No one, that is, except for the Leftist Establishment.

Oh, and you know what ELSE is NEVER a hate crime in Israel?  Arabs burning or vandalizing synagogues.   You have not heard of such cases recently?  It is not because such incidents do not take place in Israel.  They occur all the time.  It is because the media do not report them, certainly not on page one.  After all, it is only news when the postman bites the dog.

Leftist Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni and another cabinet minister just called for declaring “Price Tag” members to be terrorists because they engage in mischief and write anti-Arab graffiti on walls.  Think they are bluffing?  Many years back the Israeli government declared the Kahanists to be a terrorist group, and their main activity back then was also writing tasteless graffiti!  A leftist lecturer at Tel Aviv University, one Meirav Alush Lavron (from Film and Television studies — yes, such a thing exists there) says that denunciation of the “Price Tag” acts of vandalism by the Israeli Government just proves that the government is guilty of those.  Kind of reminds you of that famous Hebrew University thesis that claimed that the fact that Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab women proves how racist Jews are. 

Minister Livni’s call to proclaim the Price Taggers terrorists is amusing.  Since her anti-terrorism policy is basically to make concessions to terrorists and capitulate to them, then perhaps this is really her call for a full capitulation to the Price Taggers?  Politics in Israel are so confusing.

Another newspaper “report” here spread the rumor that the Price Taggers consist of 100 people who are led and inspired by the radical Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburgh.   He is a controversial character who makes statements that the Left and some not on the Left dislike.  How many of Rabbi Ginzburgh’s followers have been arrested for involvement in the mischief?  Zero.  I certainly hope he will file defamation suits against all the newspapers who claim that he commands the Price Taggers.  And the proof that they are wrong?   Clearly Price Tag does not have 100 members.  In Israel no group of 100 people can possibly keep anything secret, and anything known to 100 people is leaked into the media within minutes.  If there were 100 Price Taggers, the cops would have busted them months ago.  My guess is that Price Tag has 3 teenage members, but to be cautious I suppose I could be convinced there are as many as 5 members.   That is what all the ruckus is about.  

Let me tell y’all a little story,   When I first came to Israel for an extended stay in the 1970s, all of Jerusalem and some other places were filled with leftist graffiti demanding that one Giora Neuman be freed.   Neuman was a member of the ultra-anti-Israel Maoist organization “Matzpen.”   He was arrested for refusing to serve in the military in 1972.   His Maoist friends turned every wall in Jerusalem into a pro-Neuman billboard.  It turned out soon after this that five members of this very same Matzpen organization were involved in anti-Israel espionage and had even undergone terrorist training in Syria.  They were led by a kibbutznik named Udi Adiv who is today a lecturer in Israel’s “Open University.”   Other Matzpen alumni today star in the Israeli media and have professor jobs.

That of course was not the only time that far leftists engaged in graffiti incitement.   And anti-Jewish graffiti by Arabs has long been so common in Israel that it almost never makes the evening news.  In recent days lots of anti-Jewish graffiti has sprung up, probably partly in response to Price Tag mischief, and swastikas on synagogues, gravestones, and Jewish shrines have always been common vandalism in Israel.  While a few cases have been discovered where vandalism apparently by Price Tag was in fact provocations done by Arabs and leftists, I do not buy the paranoid conspiracism of some on the Israeli Right that all the Price Tag vandalism is being done as Black Ops by the section of the General Security Services that persecutes right-wingers.    

The remarkable thing to note is that not a single one of the big mouth postureurs denouncing Price Tag vandalism as terrorism and hate crimes has ever denounced leftist or Arab graffiti and vandalism in the same words.  Haaretz has never called for making apprehension of the anti-Jewish graffiti vandals or swastika painters the highest national priority.  

Oh, and the selective assault against speech also continues.  Consider this news item from the Jerusalem Post, May 8: “A 22-year-old woman – who was detained on Wednesday and then freed to house arrest – wrote: ‘I am in favor of throwing stones, even if it would cause the death of a soldier.’”   She had posted that on Facebook.  That is right – she was arrested.  Now I happen to disagree vehemently with her words and would like to see fire hoses turned on people who throw stones at soldiers.  So guess who has never been arrested?   The countless Arabs, including Arab politicians, who call for throwing rocks at soldiers and Jewish babies and doing far worse things than that.  Neither have the leftist professors calling for settlers to be murdered by terrorists.   Neither have the “anarchists” who regularly assault Israeli police and soldiers violently and not just with rocks.

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