In Israel, unchecked growth of home-grown extremism assures that any sane voice for peace with Palestian is shouted down – sometimes violently so. This time, this voice belonged to Arik Asherman, the president of Rabbis for Human Rights.
Conscious of the constant threat of violence against Palestinians, Asherman and other Israeli activists accompanied a group of Palestinian farmers to an olive harvest to safeguard them against settlers’ violence.
It was after this harvest, coordinated by the Israeli army, that the group noticed some settlers stealing olives and trying to set the hillside on fire.
Asherman himself tried to put out the fire because the firefighting squad wouldn't arrive until the damage had been done. It was then that a Jewish extremist threw stones at Asherman and threatened to stab him with a knife, as can be seen in the video above.
Asherman and other activists remained at the site, trying to guide the police toward the attackers. But much like the firefighting squad, the police seemed reluctant to put out any flame of intolerance set ablaze by the settlers. The police took 30 minutes to arrive, by which time the attackers had fled the scene.
Rabbis for Human Rights has been working to ensure military protection for Palestinians since 1988. Usually, the organization takes foreigners and Israelis to accompany Palestinian farmers, as settlers are reluctant to attack other Israelis.