Out with the Anarchists

Arutz Sheva report that Arabs in Hebron have actually approached Jewish leaders about a problem that has arisen.

Arab leaders in Hevron have contacted the city’s Jewish leaders for help in getting rid of self-proclaimed anarchist volunteers who, they complain, are destroying their traditional way of life. 


The anarchists, many of whom are members of the International Solidarity Movement, flock to flashpoints throughout Judea and Samaria, ostensibly to help PA Arabs contend with IDF closures and protect them from harassment. In actuality, many of the volunteers seek confrontations with IDF soldiers and local Jewish residents, taking advantage of their Western passports to cause havoc – knowing that, at worst, they will be deported, not jailed.


The local Arabs in the Hevron region whom the activists claim to be helping are now complaining that the American and European students behave in a provocative and offensive manner in Hevron’s public areas. The Arabs say the activists disrespect the moral norms and standards of the local population.


Several local Arab residents told the Kol Ha’Ir newspaper that the activists have been exposing the local youths to drug use and sexual promiscuity.


One interviewee told Kol Ha’Ir that the volunteers show a disregard for the religious norms of the local villages and teach the local youth to reject and disrespect the traditions of their forefathers. “These anarchists come here and undermine the education we give our children. At first we took them in with hospitality – after all, they claimed they wanted to help us, so why kick them out? But very quickly they infuriated me with their lewd behavior.”


In a bid to rid the region of the anarchists, local Arab leaders approached representatives of the Jewish community in Hevron – a rare, but not unheard of occurrence – in order to find a solution. The two sides agreed to have Arabic-speaking Jewish observers along Hevron’s main thoroughfares to replace the anarchists in ensuring calm between the city’s Jewish and Arab populations. The left-wing activists would then be informed by the local Arab population that they appreciate their offer to help, but that they are no longer needed.


Hevron spokesman Noam Arnon confirmed the arrangement to Arutz-7, saying that the new replacement observers will be acceptable to local Arabs. He added that the international anarchists came to Hevron come from Western cultures steeped in sexual lewdness and depravity, permissiveness, and drug use. “Their presence in Hebron serves to inflame violence because they are seeking to create provocations and encourage violence,” Arnon said.


He added that the observers end up causing more trouble for the local Arab population, by antagonizing soldiers and brazenly leading local Arabs in between Jewish homes.


Arnon recalled a specific incident in which an Arab woman tried to stab an IDF soldier with a knife. The soldiers grabbed her, but were attacked by a group of anarchist volunteers who tried to free the woman and take the knife out of her hand and hide it.


In recent months, Jewish organizations have also come to Hevron to stand up to the anarchist activists. The Jewish activists investigate the anarchists regarding their entry to Israel and strengthen the morale of the soldiers in withstanding attacks by leftist extremists.

Some have expressed skepticism regarding the veracity of this story. One such blogger is Mobius, who make his views regarding Arutz Sheva clear from the outset.

Arutz Sheva (the right-wing Jewish nationalist news service run by unrepentant Arab-hating Kahanists

He almost lost me there, since I happen to know some of the people involved with Arutz Sheva, who are anything but Arab-hating Kahanists. Maybe Mobius considers his sister to fit this description, but she doesn’t represent everyone.


Mobius then proceeds to raise a number of points to refute the notion that this story has a grain of truth to it.

Number one: The ISM is not even active in Hebron. The only international activist presence there is the Christian Peacemakers Team who function as human shields, defending Palestinian school children from being attacked by settlers. 

Is that a fact? So how do you explain this and this? * 

Number two: Palestinians may, indeed, have grievances with ISM and other Palestinian solidarity activists for their possible promotion of anti-nationalist political views and their likelihood of challenging sexism, homophobia and antisemitism in Palestinian society. However, every ISMer I have ever known (and I’ve met quite a number) has been excrutiatingly sensitive to Palestinian and Islamic culture, tip-toeing on eggshells trying to tread as lightly as possible. They seek to serve Palestinian interests to the point where they’ve been accused of helping facilitate terror attacks (which is also fallacious considering ISM is committed to principles of non-violence; though I could see ISMers being taken advantage of for their naivite and eagerness to assist). Take Rachel Corrie, for example, and the famous photo of her covering her hair out of respect for the Palestinians with whom she was active. One day they’re willingly covering their hair (which pro-Israel fanatics take as a sign of their romanticization of jihadis), and the next they’re having wild sex orgies and getting the kids hooked on drugs? It’s a highly dubious allegation.

The story does not mention anything about getting the kids hooked on drugs nor wild sex orgies. This is merely hyperbole used by Mobius to make his point. Even if we accept his point about the ISMers sensitivity towards palestinians, it is not inconceivable that, at the same time, they may be showing public displays of affection, or even smoking dope in their lodgings. It is also not inconceivable that they may be doing these things with local young palestinians whom they have befriended. The ISMers are relatively young themselves, and do not necessarily possess the maturity to abstain from these things entirely.


Regarding the point about Rachel Corrie, I suppose that this was also an example of her just being “excrutiatingly sensitive to Palestinian and Islamic culture”?

Number three: Noam Arnon, the Hebron spokesman who was interviewed by Arutz Sheva, is obviously full of it. It is suspected that he did not speak with any Palestinians at all — because it’s unlikely that he’d have come within five feet of a Palestinian other than to engage in armed combat — but rather hatched this plot with the assistance of an Israeli agent provocateur (whose name I have been requested to withhold due to impending legal proceedings) to whom he has been directly linked. This provocateur is a Jew of Arab descent, a fluent speaker of Arabic, and one who maintains relations with both the Jewish and Palestinian communities of Hebron. This individual also has a history of instigating, including leading Israeli anti-occupation activists into both Kahanist and Israeli military ambushes. He is about to be served with a suit for libel — specifically for spreading the lie that one Israeli anarchist raped his own friend, and the alleged rapist and “rapee” are in the process of filing joint charges against him. Some believe that this provocateur used the story of this rape to mislead the Palestinians interviewed by Kol HaIr.


I haven’t yet seen the Kol HaIr piece, but something does certainly seem fishy about the interviews. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing turns out to be a fabrication.

Regarding the comments about Noam Arnon, I ask Mobius whether he actually knows him well enough (or even at all) to paint him as someone not only incapable of conversing with palestinians, but also very capable of harming them. From what I have read online about Arnon, I have no basis to believe that he is as Mobius characterizes him. For instance, consider this statement by him I found in an interview.

“Here we want to live in peace. We, we want to live in peace with the Arabs here, and I’m sure most of the normal people in the world will support us.”

I can’t comment on Mobius’ conspiracy theory, except to say that it seems weird that Mobius would mention it in the context of conjecturizing that the palestinian interviewed by Kol Hair was mislead, yet in the next paragraph express the view that the whole interview was probably fabricated. Which is it?

Number four: Why in God’s name would Palestinians take up a grievance they have with the international activist community with Jewish settlers? If the Palestinians have the Left-wing in their back pocket, as is often the stated charge, why wouldn’t they just address their eager minions of fresh-faced activists?

Perhaps they feel more comfortable speaking with others who frown upon “sexual lewdness and depravity, permissiveness, and drug use.” And perhaps the relationship between the Arab and Jewish communities of Hebron, goes beyond the simplistic “settler beats Arab” model that you advocate. Of course, you could also ask “Why in God’s name would Palestinians take up a grievance” by blowing themselves up. Logic does not always enter the equation.

Number five: As if there weren’t enough sex and drugs in Tel Aviv, anarchists need to go into Palestinian communities to get high and f***? Oh-puh-leeze. The logic is baffling.

This is not the contention. No-one suggested that the anarchists go into the palestinian communities with the express purpose of getting high and copulating. But that sure doesn’t preclude the possibility that while they are there, they engage in such activities.

Number six: You’ll notice the agenda of the article from its language alone. Palestinians are “PA Arabs” because “there’s no such thing as a Palestinian” according to Kahanism and other right-wing philosophies which negate Palestinian identity. Further, the Palestinian territories in the West Bank are referred to as Judea and Samaria which are the ancient biblical names for those lands, which Kahanists and their ilk still see as ostensibly Jewish. The author’s seething contempt for Palestinians is apparent, though he has no compunction using alleged Palestinian claims to advance the Kahanist agenda to bar all humanitarian activists from monitoring and counteracting settler activities in the occupied territories. Anyone who would take this article at face value needs to develop a more thorough grounding in media criticism.

There is no denying that Arutz Sheva have an agenda – a worthwhile one at that. However, this fact alone doesn’t automatically negate the veracity of this story.


* After posting this, I noticed that a commenter on Mobius’ blog confirmed that the ISM are indeed involved in Hebron

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media