Ban Arabs from driving cars, prominent Israeli rabbi urges

Six-year-old Toleen Asfour lies in a hospital bed on 19 October after she was hit by an Israeli motorist. Five-year-old Inas Khalil was killed in the same incident near the West Bank village of Sinjil.

Shadi Hatem APA images

A prominent Israeli rabbi with a government-funded salary has urged that Palestinian citizens of Israel be banned from driving cars outside their towns.

“Every car is a terror institution and every gas station that provides fuel to Arab cars that travel the roads is a station that supplies weapons and ammunition,” said Elyakim Levanon, the “Regional Rabbi of Samaria” – the name Israel gives to the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Levanon made his comments to the Ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Hai and they were reported by the Israeli news website NRG.

“Arab cars may not leave Arab cities,” Levanon said. “Arabs who want to do so can travel by bus. Those who use a private vehicle to attack and kill people will not travel in a car … it will take a week, two weeks, or a month until the Arab street [public] will calm down and understand that there is order in the state.”

Levanon’s call came after several recent instances of Palestinians in eastern occupied Jerusalem driving cars into pedestrians, incidents Israel calls “terrorism.”

Palestinians say that the incidents are either accidents, or acts of desperation by individuals responding to Israel’s escalating violence and colonization in the occupied city.

As The Electronic Intifada’s Rania Khalek notes, Israeli settlers have a long history of running down Palestinians with their cars. Last month, for instance, a settler rammed Palestinian schoolchildren as they made their way towards their mothers after exiting a school bus in the West Bank town of Sinjil. Five-year-old Inas Khalil was fatally injured, and another girl, Toleen Asfour, six, was left in critical condition.

But Levanon does not see Jews driving cars as a threat. And, according to NRG, his call extends to “preventing cars belonging to Arabs from leaving Arab towns in Israel” – even though the recent incidents have occurred in areas of occupied Jerusalem where Palestinians are being displaced for Jewish-only settlements.

Levanon is the official rabbi of the so-called “Samaria Region” and is based in the Jewish-only settlement of Elon Moreh near Nablus. As such, he would receive a government salary.

He previously made headlines when he said that religiously observant Israeli soldiers would rather face a firing squad than listen to women sing. Last summer, he also called for the death penalty for the murderers of the Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khudaireven if they turn out to be Jewish.”

Levanon’s call to ban Palestinians from driving recalls a previous demand by dozens of state-funded rabbis that Jews should refuse to rent homes to Arabs.

Indeed, in much the same spirit, the Ultra-Orthodox website Yeshiva World News has interpreted Levanon’s statement as a binding religious edict that “one may not sell gasoline to Arab motorists.”

With thanks to Dena Shunra for translation.

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That is apartheid in action. And the Israel supporters with their hasbara postings always deny vigorously any apartheid in Israel.

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I pray every day to my God and Savior Jesus, that He will intervene with some direct action, against those who use his name in vain, and as a way to justify their treatment of Our Fellow Human Beings. Please God, my government ignores or monitors me. My fellow jews video tape and call me vile names because I love the Palestinian people so much, that I cannot sit by and watch them be treated this way. My faith and belief in you is real. I ask you every day, to guide my actions when dealing with all of your creatures. Your stronger than Satan, so please do something now, to stop him. If you ingore my prayers to end such evil behavior, then Satan is winning. Money will not gain a person access to the Kingdom of Heaven. Your World has become so evil, corrupt and consumed with so much greed, that it's governments are allowing this behavior , to continue. Please make it stop. My heart is so heavy after my decision to not look away, because I believe that I must bear witness to this atrocity. Please help us all and FREE PALESTINE NOW❤❤❤

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Wasn't the very first intifada sparked by an incident where Israelis hit or collided with some Palestinians .. (Checks wikipedia page on the First Palestinian Intifada) .. Yes it was :

"In the Jabalia refugee camp after a series of escalating actions and deaths of Palestinian and Israeli citizens, and tensions reached a boiling point when an IDF truck struck a civilian car, killing four Palestinians.[9] Rumors that the crash was deliberate quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem."

Hmm .. Clearly it isn't just the Palestinians who've used cars as weapons.

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And all Jews who wish to travel from Tel Aviv to Jaffa can go by
airplane or if they can afford it by heliocopter! Perhaps they have buses.
All buses must ,of course, go through tight Israeli security including
special visas , ID's etc.

Got it!

-----Peter Loeb, Boston, MA. USA

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.