The violent events of this week in Israel have left us in a state of shock and horror struggling to resist despair. Two brothers, Hillel Yaniv, 22, and Yagel Yaniv, 20, from Har Brakha, were murdered in cold blood by a Palestinian gunman affiliated with the terrorist group, Lion’s Den.
May Hillel’s and Yagel’s memories be for a blessing.
The reactionary anger led to the swift mobilization of mob violence by Jewish settlers in the Palestinian village of Huwara, the suspected shooter’s home town. Thirty homes were damaged or burned down, fifteen cars and even emergency vehicles en route to the crisis were also destroyed, with over one hundred injuries and one death.
This is not what Hillel and Yagel would have wanted.
Rabbi Yaakov Hidel from Har Brakha, who knew them well said, “I think that if the two that died would be alive, they would condemn these acts.”
The attack on Huwara is unprecedented in scope and impact and it represents a major escalation in the ongoing reciprocal violence that is coming to define Israel’s condition under Netanyahu’s far right coalition. It is reprehensible that Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich had “liked” a tweet by Davidi Ben Zion, a deputy mayor in the region, that called “to erase the village of Huwara today.”
As Jews who love and support Israel, we are ashamed of this reciprocal violence and unequivocally condemn it as terrorism. Progressive Zionists of California calls on our fellow activists and Democrats to support peace in the region, support the resumption of security coordination, and support the ongoing protests in Israel which demand a return to the core pillars of democracy.