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Apr-17-2011 21:00printcomments

Itamar Rabbi Calls for Ethnic Cleansing

Some Itamar settlers espouse extremist views; father says daughter and grandchildren "received the privilege of being sacrifical lambs"

Rabbi Yehuda Ben Yishai
-- Rabbi Yehuda Ben Yishai

(SACRAMENTO) - Following the brutal murder of five family members in the illegal Israeli settlement of Itamar, some settlers are espousing extremist views, including calls for ethnic cleansing.

In an interview reported by Israel National News, the father of the family killed in Itamar, Rabbi Yehuda Ben Yishai, said that his daughter and her family "received the privilege of being the sacrificial lambs and to sanctify the name of heaven."

Yishai called for a greater strengthening of "Jewish identity and pride."

The New York Jewish Week reports that some Itamar residents have been calling for the expulsion of all Palestinians from the West Bank, quoting David Schneerson, who lives next to the house of the murdered family:

"As long as there is one Arab here, it’s not enough... Kahane is the closest to correct in all of the politics in areas,” he said, referring to Rabbi Meir Kahane, who advocated the transfer of West Bank Palestinians. “No one wants Arabs here in the state.”
Jewish Week reports that Schneerson, 30, is a Chabad Lubavitch emissary and says that Israeli military officers told David Schneerson that the murderer cased his home.

According to the report, "Schneerson believes that a picture of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, saved the lives of his family and five children." The story quotes Schneerson: “Our door was open. We are sure that he saw the rebbe and fled.”

The Rebbe, as Rabbi Schneerson is known, is highly revered by thousands of followers in Israel and the U.S.; some believed him to be the messiah.

Schneerson taught an extreme form of Jewish supremacism, stating that Jews constitute a separate, superior species, writing that "the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world...A non-Jew’s entire reality is only vanity" and that "The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews."

Schneerson was recently honored by a proclamation by President Obama, following a tradition begun by Congress in 1978.


Alison Weir's goals are peace and understanding and the realization of a real multi-cultural place where people are not continually scrutinized and referred to as 'terrorists' in order for one side to further its difficult political position. As a former journalist, Weir has traveled throughout the West Bank and Gaza, and speaks widely on this topic; in the past having given two briefings on Capitol Hill, three talks at the Asia Media Summit in Kuala Lumpur (at the end of the month she will be speaking at the Summit in Beijing), presentations in Ramallah and Bethlehem, and lectures at numerous campuses across the US, including Harvard Law School, Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley, MIT, Vassar, and the Naval Postgraduate Institute.

Weir has received awards from the Council on American Islamic Relations and the American Arab Anti-discrimination Committee, and she was asked to contribute a chapter to Project Censored's 2005 volume. She was inducted into membership of Phi Alpha Literary Society, founded in 1845 at Illinois College, the award citing her as a “Courageous journalist-lecturer on behalf of human rights." She was the first woman to receive an honorary membership in Phi Alpha history. Her writings on this topic have appeared in publications including The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, The Link, CounterPunch, the Bay Guardian, and anthologies published in the US and abroad. She was the narrator of the award-winning documentary "Occupation 101." Weir was the subject of the Public Access program "Off the Charts," produced by Alternate Focus, and is a member of the board of directors of the Council for the National Interest and New Policy. You can write to Alison Weir at:

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