It seems the reports of the harassment suffered by Major-General Elazar Stern may have been a bit off. The Jerusalem Post reported the following:
When Stern exited the synagogue after the prayer service, a number of residents approached and began shouting at him, calling him “traitor” and “trash” and accusing him of destroying hesder yeshivot. Some of the residents spat on him.
Here’s the YNet Version:
Coward, chicken, traitor â€“ those were some of the words hurled at Major-General Elazar Stern during a ceremony in honor of his daughter’s wedding in the Elazar settlement in Gush Etzion Saturday… Residents gathered around the settlement’s synagogue and blamed Stern for turning Gush Katif’s residents homeless… One of the settlers, Menachem, told Ynet, â€œAll day Saturday it seemed as if Major-General Stern was stressed, and acting like he was being persecuted. He felt uncomfortable, and after what he did in the disengagement, I think that is warranted.â€ … According to him, Stern’s wife pushed people away from the synagogue and yelled, â€œGo away, crazies. Leave us alone.â€ Eventually, the Stern family left the synagogue.
Shocking huh? Except apparently it may have never happened remotely like that according to someone who was there, namely Jameel at the Muqata. Now I know he’s one of those settler guys, but in multiple conversations with him, I never felt his words were obstructed by foam in his mouth area. We don’t always see eye-to-eye politically but he’s definitely a mentsch. So when he says that JPost and YNet et al. got it wrong, it bears repeating.
The reason I chose to write about this item, is that an insignificant, private visit by General Stern to a settlement in honor of his daughter’s Sheva Brachot was turned into a media event of massive proportions, when in fact…nothing really happened… The reason I know this, is that I happened to be in the same shul this past Shabbat.
Jameel goes on to describe a rather benign Shabbat, certainly compared to the hate-fest bash-a-thon described in the press. There was no angry mob and there was no spitting. OK, Jameel does admit to throwing a candy at Stern’s head but I mean come on – which of us hasn’t done that in shul? Anyhow, I hope they find this Menachem guy who was the source for this story – maybe he can explain. But somehow I doubt that will happen…