Yesterday morning I noticed above our local synagogue the infamous spy balloon. The Palestinian village of Issawiyah borders the neighbourhood I live in and the balloon supposedly was flying to protect the worshipers from its inhabitants. Nothing but the continued policy of promoting the fear factor in the predominantly Jewish communities of Jerusalem.

Photo credit: AP

Photo credit: AP

My question is ….. Where was that balloon last night when a Jewish- Arab kindergarten in Jerusalem was torched by Judeo nazis in an apparent ‘price tag’ move against a terrorist attack in a local synagogue last week. Notice how these types of actions are referred to as ‘price tags’, where if Arabs might be involved it’s a terrorist attack ….

This is the school which was targeted ….

The concept of the school alone is a threat to the agenda of the growing fascist movement in Israel today. Coexistence and fascism CANNOT coexist!

Below is a report of the incident followed by some reactions to it …. BUT, the question remains, WHERE WAS THAT DAMNED BALLOON and why wasn’t the incident stopped before it started?

Jewish-Arab school in J’lem torched in suspected arson

Firefighters contain fire that broke out in school in capital, later find anti-Arab slogans including ‘death to Arabs’ scrawled nearby.

Firefighting teams were dispatched on Saturday to the Hebrew-Arab bilingual school in Jerusalem after a fire broke out in the building. The blaze was located in the premises of the preschool. After extinguishing the fire, the firefighters found anti-Arab slogans including “Death to Arabs”, “Kahane was right” and other phrases against Israeli-Arab coexistence nearby.

Firefighter Arik Abulof said that four firefighting teams arrived at the scene after receiving a report about a fire in the school building. “We spotted thick smoke inside the entire structure. After extinguishing the fire, (the firefighters) found graffiti outside a classroom.” Abulof said that the slogans included: “No to assimilation”, “There’s no coexisting with cancer”, and “Kahane was right.”

'No to assimilation' scrawled across school wall (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)
‘No to assimilation’ scrawled across school wall (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)

Shaanan Street, lead singer of popular Israeli hip hop band Hadag Nahash, whose children go to the school, expressed hope that “whoever did this act would be caught and pay for their actions.”

'Cahane was right' (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)
Kahane was right’ (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)

Shuli Dichter, director of Hand in Hand, an Israeli organization that founded five bilingual schools in Israel, including the school in Jerusalem, said in response: “This is not the first act of harassment against the school and our establishment of civil partnership. Even if they manage to dirty the walls, they won’t be able to destroy our project.”

'Death to Arabs' (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)
‘Death to Arabs’ (Photo: Arik Abulof, Jerusalem Fire Brigade)

“In addition to a harsh condemnation and calls of support, we invite all of the Israeli public to join us in building civil partnership between Arabs and Jews in Israel. We will continue to develop our educational and social establishment in which 1,200 students learn every day, along with 200 teachers and thousands of family members of students who are involved,” Dichter added.

Classroom that was set on fire
Classroom that was set on fire

Hatem Matar, chairperson of the school’s Parent’s Committee said that in contrast to previous incidents, this time the arson was carried out within the school’s premises, and caused the burning down of an entire first grade classroom.

“This act of arson was carried out by abominable creatures. We will open the school as usual tomorrow; we already arranged an alternative classroom. We will explain to the children what happened, come to school and support them. This incident can only benefit for the good, because every time people try to drag us down to negative places, we only grow stronger,” Matar added.

Education Minister Shai Piron said that incident was a “violent, criminal and despicable act that could harm and undermine the foundations of Israeli democracy. The fact that the arson took place in an educational institution that promotes coexistence constitutes a harsh blow to the fabric of relations between Jews and Arabs. The incident is particularly serious considering that the criminals chose to target the soft underbelly of Israeli society, in a preschool where innocent children learn.”

Piron called on the Israeli police to act immediately in order to “bring the despicable criminals to justice.”




And the reactions ….


Police: Fire at Jerusalem bilingual school was set intentionally

An initial investigation of the fire that broke out in a joint Arab-Jewish school in Jerusalem showed that the fire was set intentionally from within the school, Israel Police reported Saturday.

Earlier in the evening, firefighters were called to the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School to put out the fire and prevent its spread to the rest of the school’s facilities.

The fire is now under control and no injuries were reported.


Politicians condemn arson at bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school

Classes proceeded as normal at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School, which serves more than 600 Arab and Jewish pupils from throughout Jerusalem, one day after part of the school was set on fire and spray painted with racist graffiti.

The suspected hate crime sparked condemning reactions from lawmakers and Knesset members.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the arson, saying “we cannot let pyromaniacs and violators who take the law into their own hands ruin the routine of our lives.” He added, “we’ll continue to condemn the extremists and do all that it takes to restore the peace to Jerusalem.”

Shai Piron, minister of education, said the lighting of a bilingual school on fire was a hard hit for Israeli-Arab relations. He spoke out against the incident, calling it a “serious, violent act done to undermine the foundations of Israeli democracy,” and called on police to act immediately to bring the perpetrator’s to trial.

A Meretz representative commented, “This is a direct result of the ‘Jewish state’ bill, which gives legitimacy to harming the fabric of relations between Jews and Arabs. It is no coincidence that this violent action was against those who want to establish coexistence and equality.”

Justice minister Tzipi Livni visited the site this morning. Reacting to the vandalism on site calling for “death to Arabs,” Livni said, “we won’t let radicals set coexistence on fire.”

Barkat said that the investigation of the incident, a top priority of the district police force, is underway.



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