Has ISIS Come To Israel? Zionist Orthodox Jews Smash ‘Immodest’ Biblical Statue Over Alleged “Idol Worship”
A local artist made a statue of a woman depicting a scene from Tanakh (the Hebrew bible) and put it up on a traffic circle in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Tekoa, sparking a backlash of fundamentalism in the town that resulted in the statue being smashed and claims that local Zionist Orthodox Jews are acting like “ISIS.”
Above: The statue of the Wise Woman of Tekoa before it was smashed
Has ISIS Come To Israel? Zionist Orthodox Jews Smash Biblical Statue Over Alleged “Idol Worship”
by Shmarya Rosenberg
A local artist made a statue of a woman depicting a scene from Tanakh (the Hebrew bible) and put it up on a traffic circle in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Tekoa, sparking a backlash of fundamentalism in the town that resulted in the statue being smashed, Ha’aretz reported.
Many of the town’s Zionist Orthodox residents claim the statue violates Jewish religious principles and offend them. Secular residents accuse the local Orthodox of behaving like ISIS.
On Sunday, local artist Ariela Beit placed the concrete statue in a local traffic circle.
On Tuesday a note was posted near the statue calling it “idol worship” and warning that “if you don’t take it down, we’ll smash it.” Later Tuesday, someone smashed the statue’s breasts and eyes.
The sculptor was shocked, angered and upset.
“I worked on this for a long time. In my view, it’s a wise woman. It’s a story from the Bible, from 2 Samuel. She was a woman from Tekoa, and I positioned her facing Jerusalem. She’s modestly dressed, and she has a modest gaze,” Beit reportedly said.
But a petition against the statue was almost immediately posted on the Atzuma website.
“A statue of a human form is a fundamental and sensitive issue in Jewish identity and culture. Everyone knows the second commandment, which says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image [Exodus 20:4]. The Talmud and the Jewish legal tradition forbid making human statues, even for ornamentation. Putting this statue in a place we and our children pass every day is inappropriate and hurts our Jewish sensibilities…We support the right of every person to put whatever statues he likes on his private property. But why put such a statue in a public space that belongs to us all?” the petition reportedly reads, adding that the statue is especially inappropriate for Tekoa, which was intentionally created as a mixed Zionist Orthodox-secular settlement and therefore should respect both sides’ sensibilities.
“I’m not interested in having a provocative statue (male or female) in my town opposite my house,” a local Zionist Orthodox woman said. “Yes, provocative — one that emphasizes sexual organs. In my view, this is compulsion. Let me decide when and how I want to give my young children an anatomy lesson.”
Shahar Mizrahi, a local resident fighting for the statue, complained that Tekoa had become more Orthodox and coercive as secular people have over time stopped moving there to live.
“And like everywhere, the religious don’t know where to stop. So the statue broke the camel’s back…Maybe it hurts their sensibilities, but things also hurt my sensibilities,” he told Ha’aretz.
Another secular resident likened the smashing of the statue to ISIS.
“The Islamic State has come to our town! Welcome! When will you throw stones at me on Shabbat because I’m not like you? Will the next stage be a Kristallnacht against secular/religious houses?” he reportedly asked in an email.
The Wise Woman of Tekoa appears in 2 Samuel 14.
Absalom has been banished because he murdered Amnon.
But Yoab wants King David to reconcile with Absalom, and to facilitate that he sends a messenger to Tekoa to find a specific unnamed “wise woman.”
Once brought to Yoab, he tells the Wise Woman of Tekoa to pretend to be mourning.
She does and tells King David that her son killed his own brother, and now the rest of the family wants to kill him.
David hears her story and decides that her son should be spared death.
The Wise Woman of Tekoa then tells the king that he should do the same for his son Absalom who killed his brother Amnon and spare his life, as well.
Four men were throwing concrete blocks at 15 tombstones, broke crosses off headstones when apprehended by nearby policemen.
“Four suspected Jewish nationalists were arrested for smashing headstones in a Christian cemetery near Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday.The four men, two of whom were settlers from the West Bank, were throwing concrete blocks at about 15 tombstones when they were caught by policemen who were nearby, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.Several of the headstones, some of which dated back to the early 1900s, had had stone crosses broken off.”