Entry: Burning former synagogues Sunday, September 18, 2005

Why didn't the IDF tear down the synagogues in the abandoned Gaza settlements? Some say it was for religious reasons - a Jew can't destroy a holy synagogue. Others, including the PA, suspect the Israeli authorities left that task for the PA so that the Palestinians would look bad when people - inevitably, driven by the two factors 'revenge' and 'poverty' - would start scavenging and destroying the former settlements, including the former synagogues.

Foreign minister Silvan Shalom kind of wraps it up. "A Jew does not destroy a synagogue", he said, adding that if the PA cannot restrain Arabs from demolishing or desecrating the buildings, "The world will know with whom we are dealing." (Quotes from unitedjerusalem.org.)

Well, technically, the synagogues are synagogues no more, as all religious symbols have been removed.

Besides, some settlers left not only anti-disengangement graffiti, but also their welcome greetings for the Palestinians on the walls of their former homes and holy places. Lotta Schüllerqvist, in Dagens Nyheter 16/9, is one of the few foreign correspondents who has bothered to write about this graffiti: "Death to Arabs", "I will come back to kill you, motherfucker".

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Still, I have to say Islamic Jihad militants look rather kick-ass:

(Photo by Emilio Morenatti, AP.)
Black flags have traditional connotations of revolution in Arab cultural history. For instance, the rebellion in 747 that brought down the Umayyad caliphate started with revolutionaries flying black flags in Khorasan.


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