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Religiously-motivated terrorism

Terrorism by Jewish extremists

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Jewish terrorist actions are performed on a much smaller scale, and are limited to the Near East. However, the sentiment behind those actions appears to be similar to the sentiment governing  attacks by followers of other religons.

Author Karen Armstrong notes 1 that in 1980 Rabbi Israel Hess published an article entitled "Genocide: A Commandment of the Torah" in the official magazine of the Bar-Ilan University. In it he argued that

"... the Palestinians were to the Jews what darkness was to light, and that they deserved the same fate as the Amalekites."

This is apparently a reference to 1 Samuel 15:3 where the ancient Hebrews were told:

"Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

King Saul did Godís bidding.

Among the best known cases of Jewish terrorism is the 1994 machine-gunning of Moslem worshippers at a mosque in the town of Hebron. The terrorist killed 29 people and wounded about 150 before being killed himself. The killer, Baruch Goldstein, was an American medical doctor and a devoted follower of Rabbi Meier Kahane. He became a hero to the extremists. The marble plaque on his grave reads: "To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah, and the Nation of Israel."

Among the lesser known cases are:

bulletThe unsuccessful attempts to destroy the Dome on the Rock and the al-Aksqa Mosque, combined with the killing of Muslim worshipers at the site.
bulletThe killing three and wounding 33 students during a noon-time assault of Israeli terrorists on an Islamic college in Hebron in 1985. In the latter case, the terrorists had rabbinic dispensation.
bulletThe killing of the Israelís Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin by a Jewish religious fanatic Yigal Amir. This was motivated by the Israeli-Palestinian accords. Extremist rabbis had reportedly ruled that the Prime Minister deserved to die because of his role in these accords.

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update this essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. book cover image Karen Armstrong, "The Battle for God," Ballantine Books, (2001). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

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 Home > Religiously motivated violence >  terrorism > here

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Copyright © 2006 by Vladimir Tomek
Originally posted: 2007-OCT-02
Latest update: 2007-OCT-02
Author: Vladimir Tomek

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