The New Israeli Guardsman had a big day last week on Yom Haatzmaut (May 8th). A week before Yom Ha’atzmaut, their leaders got wind of the Israeli Arab leadership’s intention to organize a mass march on Moshav Tzipori that day to demand the Arab’s “right of return” to Tzipori’s lands and to commemorate the so-called “Catastrophe” or Nakba of Israel’s founding.
In anticipation of the Israeli Arab assault, the New Israeli Guardsmen organized hundreds of volunteers to come to the moshav for Yom Ha’atzmaut. The volunteers spread out along the perimeters of the moshav, had barbeques and sang songs and generally had a great time while carrying out their deadly serious task of protecting the moshav from assault. The basic idea — which was correct — was that the more people on the scene, the smaller the chance that the Arabs would go through with their plans.
As a result of the massive Jewish presence at the moshav, the Arabs — organized by anti-Zionist Arab members of Knesset Wassel Taha from the Balad party and Muhammed Barakei from the Hadash party — were forced to hold their demonstration in the forests off of the moshav’s land.
There in the woods, the Arab MKs gave incendiary speeches praising Hizbullah and calling for attacks on Jews. It should be noted that the former head of the Balad party, Azmi Bishara fled Israel last year. He was about to be indicted for spying for Hizbullah during the war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006. According to the police, Bishara was providing Hizbullah with targeting information to use in attacking Haifa and other northern cities in the midst of the war.
Most of the Arab demonstrators dispersed at around 3 pm. But incited by the MKs’ speeches, several hundred Arabs began marching to Tzipori in the late afternoon. On their way they were confronted by a contingent of policemen. They physically assaulted the police with rocks in what became a full-blown anti-Jewish riot. In the ensuing clash, five police officers were wounded. Six demonstrators were placed under arrest for rioting. The police were forced to use tear gas to disperse the rioters.
It is absolutely clear that had it not been for the actions of the New Israeli Guardsmen, given the incendiary nature of the Arab speakers and rioters, Tzipori’s lands would have been assaulted by the Arabs. As it was, due to their success in bringing out hundreds of supporters, the Arabs only marched on the moshav in the afternoon, and when they came, most of the demonstrators who had come to the forest in the morning had already left.
When I wrote my original article, the New Israeli Guardsmen were only beginning to get organized. They hadn’t yet completed the process of registering as a non-profit group in Israel and so had no bank account where people could send donations. But two weeks ago, they finished registering and now have a bank account. I will post the account information and the telephone contact information for the group’s representatives in a separate post. I urge all of you who are looking for a good Israeli cause to support to consider helping this vital new group expand its operations and grow.