love thy neighbour as thyself-Leviticus 19:18
by Roy Tov
Few languages are better equipped than Hebrew to deal with pain and institutional abuse.
It differentiates between a regular scream (tze’aka) and a painful one (ze’aka), creating a linguistic paradise for torturers.
It even has a special word for unjustified collective punishment, “gzera,” the result of the people’s need to deal linguistically with the intrinsic injustice of their despotic leaders.
In July 2013, the Zionist leadership imposed “gzerot”—the plural of gzera—on its Palestinian population ahead of Ramadan.
Israel and Ramadan
Since the 1967 War, Israel became the military ruler of Jerusalem, including what is colloquially called The Old City, though it is not exactly old.
Two millennia of debris had changed the landscape of Jerusalem. Old City is the name of the area enclosed by an Ottoman Empire Wall, which by local standards cannot be considered truly old; it is not even middle-aged, it was built in 1538 by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Biblical Golgotha is within its walls; within them everything is quite flat, to the extent that it is difficult to imagine the Via Dolorosa as the steep way Jesus walked to His crucifixion. In 1980, Israel formally annexed the Old City in a step condemned worldwide.*
Until 1967, this newish Old City was divided in six parts. The Armenian, Christian, Jewish, Moroccan and Muslim Quarters were all dwarfed by the Temple Mount, Haram Al-Sharif in Arabic, Har HaBait in Hebrew. The Dome of the Rock on it dates back to the 7th Century, to the Umayyad Caliphate, and is one of the oldest surviving structures in the city.
Following the 1967 War, the Moroccan Quarter, which was located in front of the Western Wall—the largest reminder of the Jewish Second Temple—was removed by the IDF in order to create the large esplanade existing nowadays in front of the Wall. The remaining area of this quarter was annexed to the Jewish Quarter.
The religious/ethnic definition of the quarters is true historically, but not enforced by the different civilian authorities that controlled the area in recent centuries; all the quarters had mixed populations.
Showing how weak the Israeli presence in the area is, the Old City was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site only in 1981, by petition of Jordan. Similarly, Bethlehem’s Nativity Church was awarded the status by a petition made by Palestine. This is due to a simple fact; once the site is registered as a World Heritage Site, it must be restored and faithfully kept. Israel doesn’t want to keep it, but to recreate Biblical Jerusalem. Accordingly, one year after it was awarded the prestigious status, the Old City was defined as “endangered site.” This is true also in 2013, when Israel started expansion works.
On the ground, Israel is constantly expanding the Western Wall area (see Israel Expands Western Wall) and preparing the construction of the Third Temple on the site of Haram Al-Sharif (Israel gets closer to Third Temple).
Yet, every Friday, Israel is reminded that the Temple Mount is Muslim. During the holy month of Ramadan, about to begin this year on July 10, Israel regularly imposes “gzerot” on the Muslims attempting to pray at their holy site, the third holiest mosque in Islam. This year, Zion surpassed it usual collective punishment practices.
Hebrew is not a formal language. In prayer, God is referred to as “you.” If one sees an official document forcing Hebrew into formality, it has only one meaning: “State violence is on the way.”
In this context, the announcement made by the Ministry of Defense is terrifying. On July 7, it announced: “According to the recommendations made by the Head of the General Headquarters, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, and as part of the policy to improve the life of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, the Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon approved to ease the conditions of life of Palestinians during Ramadan.”
Let me skip from now on the formal document and just present the “gzerot:”
Palestinian men and women over 60 will be allowed to enter Israel without any special permits.
A permit to Palestinians residents of the West Bank to Friday’s prayers and to the al-Qader night prayers would be given to men over 40 and women without age limitations.
Men between 35 and 40 will need a special permit.
Children below 12 years-old can enter with their parents through the check points.
Children between 12 and 16 may receive a special permit if arriving with their parents.
Those allowed to enter can do so up to a quota of 20,000 per day.
Visiting families within Israel (first and second grade relatives) is allowed with children up to 16 years-old.
Foreigners can enter through the Allenbi Cross for Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan’s closure), up to 500 permits would be issued.
The check points serving people walking into Israel will function until 12AM. Food may be passed only through the “Meitar” cross.
Other sanctions were imposed during the days preceding Ramadan.
Hearts of Darkness
Dear Zionists, weren’t you the ones crying murder for arbitrary administrative steps taken against Jewish communities worldwide? Aren’t you perpetrating the same crimes now?
Dear Zionists, didn’t you read “love thy neighbour as thyself?” Do you think it applies only yo your Jewish neighbours?
Dear Zionists, as others respect your paganism, please respect others worshipping Abraham’s God, even if you are not related to him.** Meanwhile, please stop your vicious violence for one month, just one month refrain from attacking people.
God knows that it may lead to peace.
full version at http://www.roitov.com/articles/ramadan.htm
*Unlawfulness in the West Bank has various layers. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. The international community considers Israeli settlements a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention’s prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory. Thus, they are illegal under international law. Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them. This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The vast majority of West Bank settlements are in between these definitions; they are considered illegal by the entire world, but legal by the Israeli government. However, sometimes they are considered unlawful even by the Israeli government when they create outposts to existing settlemnts without permits. The status of Jerusalem was formalized with the 1980 Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel. The world opposed this law; UN Security Council Resolution 478, adopted by fourteen votes to none, with the abstention of the United States of America, declared that the law was “null and void” and “must be rescinded.” Israel ignored it.
** Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:6-9 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:28:29
In other words, the real inheritance is by spirit. Zion denies the spirit, thus it denies the inheritance.
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.