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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

from the Voice of Judea

The battle of Tapuach synagogue continues

Anyone who thought that it would be easy to destroy the Tapuach synagogue is in for a bit of a shocker. After several hours of fierce resistance on the roads adjacent to Tapuach west hill and on the roof and in the synagogue itself, the police and troops finally succeeded in tearing down the Kahane synagogue.

Close to a thousand Israeli soldiers and Israeli policeman battled with several hundred men women and children who came to defend the synagogue. Twenty five people were arrested in the Malay, 2 are still being held. Six Jewish worshipers and two soldiers were wounded during the demolition.

In spite of the apathy on the part of the Yesha council hundreds of Jews from neighboring towns attempted to make their way to the synagogue Tuesday afternoon. Left wing parliamentarians, such as Ofer Penus from Labor as well as right wing activists claim that a deal was struck between the Yesha council and the Government, permitting the destruction of the Kahane synagogue in exchange for other political favors.

This might explain the passive reaction by Yesha council leaders who told many people who called them yesterday, "they are not getting involved in organizing or aiding the Tapuach synagogue, in spite of the tragic precedent that was being made by the synagogue's destruction.

Volunteers who arrived on the scene after the synagogue was already destroyed began clearing the rubble and rebuilding a temporary house of prayer, with the broken beams and wood that remained. At approximately 4:00 am IDF jeeps rammed the new makeshift synagogue causing the new and flimsy building to collapse. Worshipers who arrived on the scene early Wednesday morning began rebuilding the synagogue yet a third time.

At 1:00 pm approximately 50 soldiers arrived on the scene to dismantle the building and arrest those present. A scuffle is presently underway between troops and worshipers.

Residents of Tapuach West vow that "they have no plans of changing their religion or their religious practices and that they will continue to prey 3 times a day and study Torah in the place where the synagogue once stood. They explained that their spirit can not and will not be broken and that they will continue to live and practice Judaism as proud Jews in the land of Israel".

A tour conducted by the OU - orthodox union of America - brought a bus load of Rabbis and community leaders to view the damage only moments before the IDF had returned to destroy the third synagogue. Members of the group pledged 2 new caravans that can be used to house the torah and the synagogue. The 2 members of the tour, Harvey Schwartz and Jay Herzog pledged to sponsor 2 immediate caravans to be placed on the hill. If the first one is destroyed than the second one will be placed and so on.

Residents of Tapuach west are urging Jews and non Jews from around the world to file complaint with their local Israeli consulates and embassies a well as with the Israeli government to measure their protest against this desecration. The sponsor of the first Sefer Torah, Eric Greenberg, pledged to donate a second Sefer Torah in the coming year as well.

People who would like to contribute towards the rebuilding of the synagogue as well as to help with our efforts should call 718 874 2057 or email info@defendisrael.net
According to the Freemanlist, MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) attacked the demolition:
"It's a national embarrassment," he said. "The government of Israel establishes a new town in the Negev like thieves in the night for fear of the Arabs, but it destroys a synagogue in Samaria in broad daylight, on the strength of a racist order that applies to Jews only."

See also Arutz Sheva: Three Strikes at Synagogue
"The synagogue may be broken, but we surely aren't." So says David HaIvri of Kfar Tapuach this morning, following no fewer than three demolitions of a synagogue in a Tapuach neighborhood in the past 24 hours. "We've had better days, and we'll yet have better days."
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A Jewish settler prays at a synagogue in the Jewish West Tapuach outpost after settlers partly rebuilt it during the night, near the West Bank city of Nablus, January 21, 2004. Israeli troops swooped on a Jewish outpost in the West Bank and dismantled the unauthorized synagogue on Tuesday, sparking scuffles with settlers and the arrest of 20, witnesses said. ISRAEL OUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY REUTERS/Flash 90/Haim Zach.

There's that damned "ISRAEL OUT" again . . . as I'm always pointing out, Reuters very often sticks that in their photo captions. I have an idea: BIAS OUT!