In Acre (how did it get that spelling in English?) tensions flared up between an arab-israeli driver and observers of the fast. Then the shit hit the fan. Or so says Jpost. Any of our readers/posters closer to the scene care to fill in some first-hand details?

Muffti hopes you all are having/had an easy fast. He thinks – he’s no bible scholar but isn’t the point that it not be easy on you?

Arabs and Jews were clashing in Acre on Thursday in a continuation of friction that began the previous day when an Arab drove his car through a Jewish Acre neighborhood.

Police were using water hoses in an attempt to disperse rioters and the chief of police was on his way to the Acre station, Channel 2 reported.

On Wednesday, serious clashes between the Jews and Arabs of Acre left dozens of wrecked cars, smashed windows, flat tires and uprooted trees on the eve of Yom Kippur, Wednesday.

At the end of the riots, three people were lightly wounded, eight people were arrested, the windows of 40 stores had been smashed, and 120 vehicles were damaged.

The clashes reportedly erupted after an Arab resident of Acre’s Old City entered the Ben Gurion neighborhood on Yom Kippur – when traffic comes to a halt across the nation – arousing the fury of Jewish residents there who pelted his car with stones.

Yom Kippur is one of a few Jewish holidays whose prohibitions are observed in public by virtually all Jews and even secular Israelis refrain from desecrating the holiness of the day in public.

United Arab List MK Abbas Zakhur, who lives in the city, said it was a father and his family who drove through the neighborhood on his way home.

“He didn’t drive to a place where he had nothing to do, he was on his way home. One must respect the holiday and the fast but it is illegal to prevent a man from using the road during the holiday. When he reached near his home he was attacked by hundreds of Jews and when I arrived there I was also attacked, as well as my vehicle.”

Meanwhile, word spread in the Old City that the driver had been killed. Hundreds of Arab youth stormed the streets heading for the Jewish neighborhoods.

Violent clashes ensued and police managed to calm the situation only after they asked Arab dignitaries to pull their weight and influence the youngsters to stop.

But en route home, the Arab residents destroyed property, reportedly shouting “Death to the Jews,” “Allah hu Akbar [God is Great in Arabic]” and threatening to kill Jews “if you dare leave your houses.”

A bystander said the driver who sparked the clashes was driving threateningly near several girls sitting in a park. After the girls started screaming, he reportedly incited the Jewish youths who came to see what had happened when he said, “you don’t know what’s coming for you”.

Some time later his car was attacked and shortly after the Arab youths of the Old City enacted their vengeance.

The bystander said that Jewish residents were afraid to leave their houses even to go to synagogue. He told of “400-meter rows of cars, each and every one with smashed windows.” He said the devastation seen in the streets was worse than after a Katyusha rocket fell in the city in the Second Lebanon War.

Police were not quick to respond, according to eyewitnesses. The team manning the Acre station on Yom Kippur is Arab and residents claimed that this was why they were afraid to intervene. Only after Acre’s Jews called the Kiryat Shmona and Motzkin stations did police arrive.

The Arab driver told channel 2 on Thursday evening that he was driving “calmly, at 25 kilometers per hour” and did not threaten the girls in any way.

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  • Oh, that’s not the end of it, according to the JPost article now posted. It says the driver was especially provocative, driving through the Ben-Gurion neighborhood with his radio blaring.

  • One false issue that exacerbates hostility is the use of Barack Obama’s name to instill fear. We can let the middle name speak for itself– to me, it has as much significance as “Joseph.” But Barack is a different kettle of fish, entirely.
    It does not mean “Lightning” as the unrelated Hebrew name “Barak” does. it means “blessed” like its hebrew root name, and i wish more Jews would understand this. A friend of mine wrote a great little article in the Washington Post (August 28) that explores the relationship between Barack and Baruch in the light of historical/archeological/linguisitc/ and biblical scholarship. Regardless of who you vote for, you might enjoy it. Check it out:

    http://tinyurl.com/5q2zm5

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