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 – 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, “All 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.” … According to him, Stern’s wife pushed people away from the synagogue and yelled, “Go away, crazies. Leave us alone.” 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…

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Apples and oranges TM. According to Jameel – and I discussed this with him and find him to be credible – there was no spitting, and the yelling involved one woman, not a mob, and it lasted for under a minute. In all other respects Stern was treated with deference and decorum was maintained. The story here is not that the behavior reported was “no big deal” but rather that it never hapenned the way it was reported.

    As for Professor Weiss – the editorialist never said his curses were no big deal – only that they were not a criminal matter. I mean the dude is a grandfather who witnessed the police manhandling his grandchildren. How would you react in his place? How would I? I know my Mom would in all likelihood verbally assault anyone who was rough with her grandchildren – and that would of course be wrong in this case, but would it be criminal?

    And yes, I am not ignoring the fact that those grandchildren should not have been there in the first place and Weiss’s anger should have been levelled at their parents. But you try and think rationally in the heat of the moment.

    Prof. Wesiss can and ought to say whatever the hell he wants to. He can and has been subject to scorn because of his intemperate words. That’s how free speech works. Criminalizing speech is just not a good idea.

  • What’s all the fuss about? It sounds no different than any other family simcha.


  • … here’s a towel, middle, wipe the egg off your face. And whatsamatter – you couldn’t find a story with the H-word (holocaust) to use this time as your distracting, emotional non-sequitir?

    Another one of those “false but accurate” alternate realities, brought to you by left-liberal types who have increasing difficulty with actual reality.

    Why am I not suprised?

  • Shy Guy: Actually, at family simchas, the guests yell at each other. In this case, the yelling came from someone who wasn’t even a guest…or a resident of the yishuv.

    TM: From the IDF spokesman, as relayed to the Elazar community:

    במהלך השבת עצמה (בניגוד למשתמע מהידיעות בתקשורת) לא הייתה כל פרובוקציה כנגד האלוף ומשפחתו, והדבר אומת הן עם המשפחה והן עם האלוף שטרן עצמו, שביקש להודות על השבת הנעימה שבילה בישוב.

    During the Shabbat itself, (in direct contradiction to the Yediot/YNET/media reports), there was no provocation against General Stern and his family, and this fact has been verified by General Stern himself that personally wish to thank the Elazar settlement for the wonderful shabbat he had there.

    Therefore, I think you should first:

    1. Chill out.
    2. Realize that Prof Weiss apologized.
    3. A little “dan lekaf zechut” never hurt anyone.

  • Weiss apologized under pressure and then insulted all the Lefty politicians who made his university president force him to apologize.

    Some settlers spent many months calling the IDF “Nazis” because of the Disengagement.

    The head of the Disengagement was ostracized in his own community to the degree where he moved his family after decades of living and building the community.

    Officers from the IDF were forced away from praying at the Kotel because of the Disengagement.

    Rabbis from the settler community, including some involved with hesder yeshivas, have called on soldiers not to participate in certain IDF actions and to disobey orders.

    Let’s not play deaf dumb and blind.

    I am glad to hear that Stern wasn’t maltreated at Elazar and I will accept that the media isn’t always a reliable source. Reporters can be duped or fall into preconceived biases and this report about Elazar was published in two different papers (and hasn’t been retracted) so I assumed it was true.

  • When the Romans had sieged Jerusalem, we turned on each other.

    Its what caused the entire destruction of Jerusalem

  • TM wrote: “Some settlers spent many months calling the IDF “Nazis” because of the Disengagement… etc.”

    But the point is that this time it did not happen. Why was the story so grossly misreported by every major Israeli paper? Why are folks so eager to fan the flames? I’m not talking about you TM. I know you reported what you faithfully believed to be the truth – and had it been true it would have been yet another black mark against the settlers. But it didn’t happen. At the Kotel, settlers and soldiers pray together. The country does not seem at risk of civil war. Let’s not try to make things out to be worst than they actually are.

  • Summer is journalism’s silly season with a lack of political news to cover. Yet journalism is a rat race: to be assigned good stories, you first have to deliver good stories. And if delivering a good stories means adding some storm to your tea, many a journalist will take that as a necessary evil. A mole hill in your garden could easily translate as a blind terrorist attempting at detroying your eco system through subterranean activities.
    Honi soit qui mal y pense.

  • What makes this story so bad is that anyone associated with being religious came out looking bad.

    Fight all we want, but at the end of the day, the media loves to lump us all together. And make us look bad.