Israel's Next War?
Produced and Directed
by Dan Setton
ANNOUNCER: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is the most
guarded Israeli leader in history. Now the threat to his life is perhaps less from Palestinians than from
among his own people. While most
Israelis welcome his negotiations with the Palestinians, his intention to remove
the Jewish settlements from Gaza and parts of the West Bank has made him an
enemy to many settlers and their
supporters among Israel's extreme right. For them, the man who was once their most admired leader is nothing less
than a traitor.
PROTESTERS: [subtitles] Hang the traitors! Gaza for the Jews! We will not let it happen. Removing settlements is the worst crime
in Israel's history!
ANNOUNCER: The extreme religious right has daily
confrontations with the Israeli police. They hope that anarchy and chaos will stop the political process. But the religious extremists have a
greater long-term agenda, a war against the secular Israeli state itself, a
vision of restoring the Kingdom of Israel and rebuilding the Temple in
PROTESTER: [subtitles] The Lord is God!
ANNOUNCER: Tonight on FRONTLINE, an investigation of a
small but dangerous group of extremists who threaten both the peace process and
BEN YISHAI, Settler, Hebron: [through interpreter] Only chaos can change the situation. The Israeli secular entity has to
be destroyed. God can't reveal
himself until it's all wiped out. As long as the state of Israel stays as it is, there will be no
NARRATOR: Every November, tens of thousands of
Israelis gather in Tel Aviv to honor the memory of Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin. Rabin received the Nobel
Peace Prize for his efforts to reconcile with the Palestinians. In 1995, he was murdered by a Jewish
November around the same time, people from the extreme religious right meet to
commemorate the murder of a very different leader. Rabbi Meir Kahane was murdered in New York in 1990 by an
Arab assassin. Born and raised in
New York, he preached for violent Jewish self-defense. He emigrated to Israel and was elected
to the Israeli parliament, where he called for the expulsion of all Arabs from
the Holy Land. His racist views
were so extreme that his party was outlawed, and in 1994, Kahane's party was
declared a terrorist organization.
today his ideas remain strong.
KAHANIST: [subtitles] Kahane was right!
NARRATOR: Kahanist ideology has been adopted by
several splinter groups, a small percentage of the Israeli population. Several thousand strong, they are
united by religious zealotry and ultra-nationalism.
KAHANIST: [subtitles] Kahane lives on!
NARRATOR: They oppose Israeli democracy and any
peaceful dealings with the Palestinians.
BEN YOSSEF, Kahanist, Jerusalem: [through interpreter] If we want to understand Rabbi Kahane, his message was that we need to
go to war because, in fact, what will bring our redemption is not prayer. What will bring redemption is war.
today, we're going in exactly the opposite direction. Instead of war, there's Peace Now. There's an attempt to prevent war at all costs. And if we can force the army to go back
to being offensive, an army of revenge, an army which cares about Jews more
than anybody else, then we'll be able to bring the final redemption in the only
way possible, through war. War
NARRATOR: This is the West Bank, captured by
Israel during the Six Day War in 1967. The first settlements were built here for security reasons. Since then, settlements have expanded
across the West Bank. More than a
quarter of a million Israelis now live here. Some have come for economic reasons, good subsidized
housing. Others are making a
political and strategic stand. Many believe they are fulfilling their religious destiny, living on the
biblical lands of Judea and Samaria.
the last five years, a new group of young radical settlers have illegally
occupied over a hundred remote outposts. Called the "hilltop people," they are one of the splinter groups who
identify with the Kahanist ideology. They see themselves as pioneers, taking back the land of the Bible.
of the hilltop people who emerged as a leader was Netanel Ozeri.
OZERI: [subtitles] We took over this area and that area. We have to make roads.
NARRATOR: Ozeri carried the Kahanist ideology to
the hilltops. Hundreds of young
men followed him to keep the land out of Arab hands. Together they built outposts and trained in the use of
weapons. In 2000, Ozeri took over
Hill 26, which overlooks Hebron. Living in an isolated house with his wife and children, without
electricity or running water, he embodied the ascetic ideal for the new hilltop
disdained Israeli law and believed that the Arab-Israeli conflict would be
resolved only by war, a war triggered by settlers like him.
OZERI: [subtitles] We believe that Jews should live in the Land of Israel. It's a matter of sanctifying God's
name, as opposed to desecrating
it. And it's only a matter of time
until the war, with God's help, will begin, and it will begin with us. And in the end, we'll win. We'll inherit the land and expel the
people who are in it.
NARRATOR: The hilltop settlers see themselves as
the authentic Jews, true to their own interpretation of the Bible.
TOR, Settler Mt. Hebron: [through interpreter] We're returning to the way it was
before. We want it to be like it
was before the diaspora, as this land was before the destruction of the holy
temple. Back then, our people
lived naturally in our own land, with the God's presence among us, and it was
natural. This was living. We are following our hearts. What we should be doing is all written
in the Bible. We just read it in
our weekly Torah portion: Expel the Arabs. Kick them out!
NARRATOR: Disputes between the radical settlers
and their Palestininan neighbors are constant. In this case, a shot fired at the settlers provokes an
instant response against the next Palestinian on the road. The Israeli army has to intervene.
SETTLER: [subtitles] Don't film! Stop filming!
NARRATOR: The radical settlers have weapons and
military training. They believe
that if they could do things their way, everything would be different. Unlike most settlers, who accept the
reality of living next to the Palestinians, the radicals claim an exclusive
right to the land and everything that grows here. It's a message they're getting across to their neighbors,
the Palestinian farmers, often with violence.
BEN YISHAI, Settler, Hebron: [through
interpreter] There are certain conditions, according
to Jewish law, under which non-Jews may live here. This doesn't apply to the Arabs. They don't fit the category. They have to get the hell out. Whoever leaves under his own steam will save his own
life. Whoever doesn't, will have
to pay the price. This is the land
NARRATOR: Antagonisms between the radical
settlers and their Palestinian neighbors were fed by the second Intifada, which
started in late 2000. Palestinian
suicide bombings killed hundreds of Israelis. While Israeli security forces tracked the bombers among the
radical Palestinian groups, they also became aware of a pattern of random
killings of Palestinians by Israeli civilians.
in February 2003, there was a dramatic killing just outside Hebron, on Hill
26. Late on a Friday night, the
leader of the hilltop people, Netanel Ozeri, was murdered by Palestinians in
front of his wife and children.
OZERI, Netanel Ozeri's Wife: [through
interpreter] We were sitting in the living
room. We heard a knock at the
door. Nati got up with a pistol to
see who it was. He managed to cock
the pistol. I yelled, "Nati, don't
open it!" Then Nati asked, "Who is
it?" Someone said, "Open up. It's Mordechai." Then I heard a blast of gunshots.
NARRATOR: Israel had never seen a funeral
procession like Ozeri's. It became
a radical demonstration of all of the Kahanist splinter groups. Carrying his body with his face
uncovered, contrary to Jewish custom, Ozeri's followers set out to bury him on
the hill on which he'd lived.
BEN YISHAI: [through interpreter] Nati was a leader with a vision, a
vision of the Holy Temple. He
inspired the youth, who, in the eyes of the mainstream, are the fringe youth,
in the eyes of the settler establishment are the hilltop youth, but in my eyes
are the salt of the earth.
NARRATOR: They hoped that Ozeri's grave would
sanctify the hill and serve to hold it for all time, but the military was
ordered to stop them. All through
that day, Ozeri's followers carried his body on a funerary trip across the
hills of Judea.
BEN YISHAI: [through interpreter] The army prevented us from burying him
on the hill. We wanted to take him
all around the country in order to enrage people. Do you see? Today, it's back to normal. Back to normal, a Jew is murdered, you have a ceremony. When a soldier is killed, his whole
unit comes. They cry, two
gunshots, and it's over. We wait
for the next victim. We wanted him
to be the last victim, the last one! People, look at this. Be
PROTESTERS: [subtitles] Revenge! Revenge!
FEDERMAN, Kahanist, Hebron: [through
interpreter] Revenge is an important value. The Talmud says that it is one of the
greatest things. Revenge is great.
DVIR, Settler, Bat Ayin: [through
interpreter] Almost every one of the Psalms mentions
revenge in one way or another. Usually, people recite Psalms for the sick. In all of the Psalms, there are maybe two verses about the
sick. About revenge there are
hundreds of verses.
NARRATOR: That night, Ozeri was buried in a
Jewish cemetery in Hebron.
against settlers had set in motion a cycle of revenge that had been playing
itself out since the beginning of the Intifada. At least seven Palestinians had been murdered in apparent
acts of pure revenge since 2000. Israeli security forces uncovered dozens of other attempts and, as they
continued investigating, realized that they were possibly dealing with an
organized Jewish underground.
Ayin is a settlement in the West Bank, between Jerusalem and Hebron. In recent years, it's been a center of
religious Jewish militancy.
MORAG, Settler, Bat Ayin: [through
interpreter] We are born-again Jews who understand
each other well. Among us are
people with certain opinions that aren't acceptable even by religious society,
including the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. We have all kinds of ideas.
NARRATOR: Built entirely by the people who live
there, Bat Ayin had started as an unauthorized settlement and has since grown
into a community of over 50 families. Unlike most settlements, everything is done by Jewish labor. They do not
allow Arabs here. They say this is
how it should be in the Kingdom of Israel.
View map of West Bank settlements]
DVIR: [through interpreter] I envision the whole people of Israel
living on the land, within its true borders, which include much more than we
have, both sides of the Jordan, parts of Lebanon, parts of the Sinai. A kingdom would be unlike this rotten
democracy. A king would be loyal
to one thing, to what God tells him, to what is written in the Torah.
GAMLIEL, Settler, Bat Ayin: [through
interpreter] We should live here according to the
Torah, first and foremost, the laws of the Torah.
NARRATOR: The people of Bat Ayin live in enmity
with their Palestinian neighbors, who don't dare come near. While other settlements are fenced in,
the people here prefer a different approach: deterrence.
MORAG, Settler, Bat Ayin: [through
interpreter] The Arab knows that when a Jew fences
himself in, the rest of land is his. We want to prevent that. He
puts his plow next to the Jew's fence and starts plowing all the way to his
village, and that's unacceptable. If I don't have a fence, it confuses him. Our fence, in fact, goes as far as an M-16 can reach. The range of an M-16 bullet is our
MORAG: [through interpreter] If they shot a few rounds at you, you
go to their village and shoot a few more. These were simple reactions. If they damaged an orchard, you damaged
10. Two eyes for an eye, teeth for
a tooth. And then there was an
escalation to where I crossed all the red lines. From a desire to scare the Arabs off, you get to attempted
murder. All the way, big-time.
NARRATOR: In Bat Ayin, a plan began to take shape
in the Spring of 2002 which would come to shock the entire nation.
DVIR: [through interpreter] It was my idea. It started as my idea.
MORAG: [through interpreter] I supplied the explosives.
GAMLIEL: [through interpreter] I'm an explosives expert.
MORAG: [through interpreter] Someone got a trailer from somewhere.
DVIR: [through interpreter] The wagon belonged to the Jewish
settlement in Hebron. It contained
200 liters of gasoline.
MORAG: [through interpreter] Something like that. This is the trailer a propane tank, a
barrel, a propane tank and a barrel. An explosive charge attached to the propane tank, another charge was
attached to this barrel, and the fuses come out to a clock that was placed here,
attached to the barrel.
DVIR: [through interpreter] We set the clock for 7:30 AM.
NARRATOR: This was the intended target, an Arab
girls' school in East Jerusalem. The huge bomb was meant to go off at the entrance at the busiest time of
the morning, as the children were arriving at school.
MORAG: [through interpreter] This street is usually full of people,
a place which is next to a school, between a school and a hospital.
DVIR: [through interpreter] Whoever gets hurt gets hurt.
INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] Just like Hamas does?
DVIR: [through interpreter] Just like they do.
GAMLIEL: [through interpreter] They came to me at my house late at
night, and somehow, when they left, it was clear to me what would happen.
NARRATOR: At 2:00 in the morning, Yarden Morag
and Shlomi Dvir hitched the booby-trapped trailer to the settlement security
vehicle. They left Bat Ayin,
prepared to the last detail, ready to take innocent lives.
DVIR: [through interpreter] We got there at about 3:00 AM. We passed the Hebrew University and
entered the Arab neighborhood. And
then it got complicated because that night, a police car happened to be in the
PATROL UNIT OFFICER: [subtitles] I guess we were sent to stop them.
INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] You mean that God sent you?
PATROL UNIT OFFICER: [subtitles] Yes, that's what I think.
PATROL UNIT OFFICER: [subtitles] I saw them come in with the vehicle,
with the wagon in back. I flagged
them down. I signaled them to
MORAG: [through interpreter] He saw that we were Jews. He asked where we were going. I said, "To Beit Orot." That's a yeshiva in the area.
DVIR: [through interpreter] Then they drove off. They didn't suspect a thing. We turned around at the gate at Beit
Orot and drove back. We got to our
destination, and we unhitched the wagon, tied it in its place and drove off. We could have gotten home.
again, the finger of God. We had
planned to— after we unhitched the wagon, we were going to puncture a tire so
it wouldn't look suspicious, but we forgot. With all the pressure, we completely forgot. And after we had driven about 200
yards, I told Yarden, "Hey, we forgot to puncture the tire." So he put the car in reverse and drove
back 200 yards
PATROL UNIT OFFICER: [subtitles] After he put it in reverse, I thought
he was trying to get away from me. My patrol car was at the center of the intersection, and a car goes into
PATROL UNIT OFFICER:
[subtitles] They wouldn't answer any questions, not
who they were or what they were doing there.
PATROL UNIT OFFICER:
[subtitles] We searched the car. We found a mini-Uzi, a pistol,
DVIR: [through interpreter] So within 10 or 15 minutes, they sent
in lots of patrol cars, security vehicles, all kinds of blue lights. And it takes a while to realize it, to
get it into your head that you've gone from being a free man to being a prisoner. The handcuffs they put on me will stick
with me for years.
MORAG: [through interpreter] Well, from the moment we were caught, I
started to realize that we might have made a mistake, in terms of— in terms of
heaven, you know, in terms of what God wants from me.
NARRATOR: The next morning, back in Bat Ayin,
Yarden Morag's father received the news about his son's arrest.
MORAG, Yarden Morag's Father: [through
interpreter] When I found out, I was filled with
rage, overflowing with anger, and I wanted to find Yarden at the police compound
and slap him. The security service
man tried to calm me down. He said
that what Yarden needed is a hug from his parents because he was going to go
through a tough period of interrogation and a very long trial.
NARRATOR: The interrogation of Morag and Dvir
soon led back to Bat Ayin and another member of the terror cell, Ofer Gamliel.
GAMLIEL: [through interpreter] It was obvious that I would be
arrested. I left the
marketplace. They closed off the
road, and it was like a Hollywood movie. They got out of the cars, the doors open, they stood behind the doors
with guns and megaphones. As soon
as I got there, they showed me testimonies given by Shlomi and Yarden. They showed me their detailed
testimonies, what they said, everything. And it turned out the police had me followed until I was arrested.
NEWSCASTER: [subtitles] The arrests became the talk of the
NARRATOR: In Bat Ayin, the settlers didn't want
to believe the security forces and tried to minimize the arrests.
SETTLER: [subtitles] The security service reported a lot of
underground groups, which turned out to be tempests in a teapot.
NARRATOR: But across the West Bank, most settlers
were shocked by the scale and target of the plot. The Israeli Press was united in its criticism. The Settlers Council issued a strong official condemnation. The arrested men expected support from
their fellow settlers.
DVIR: [through interpreter] I had hoped to see different headlines—
"This is what needs to be done," "Our blood is not for sale," "They kill our
children, so we'll kill theirs." That's what I'd expected them to write. But instead, it's, "Tempest in a teacup," "We are
law-abiding citizens," "We are not terrorists." It's ridiculous. The settlers are obsessively trying to get the approval of— I don't know
who, maybe the media or the state.
NARRATOR: The security forces were convinced that
the three men had not acted alone. They kept up interrogations. Then, a month after they'd been arrested, when Shlomi Dvir was brought
to court, he tried to trick his guards by giving a copy of the Talmud to his
wife. In it, he had encoded a
message: "They want the names of Parrot and his friends. Warn them."
Security Service interrogators are now convinced that "Parrot" is a code-name
for Yosi Ben Baruch. Yosi Ben
Baruch was another of the hilltop settlers. He'd built his home on a hill south of Hebron. The Israeli security service, Shabak,
had come to believe that he was the brains behind the failed bombing outside
the school in East Jerusalem.
the Spring of 2002, Shabak's Jewish Unit classified him as their most wanted
man, ambushed him, arrested him and brought him to the security service's
underground interrogation center.
BEN BARUCH, Settler, Mt. Hebron: [through
interpreter] You go in there, they put big, opaque
sunglasses over your eyes. A
jailer grabs you by the arm and drags you along. There's no window, of course. You can't tell if it's day or night. They take your watch away first thing,
so you'll lose your sense of time
day, they move you to a different cell so you won't get used to one place. Sometimes they move you a few times a
day. You come back from
questioning, your things are gone. They have been moved to a different cell. They do this to break you, so you can't get a solid grip on
NARRATOR: Shabak's interrogators tried to break
him, but he wouldn't give up anyone. Ben Baruch would remain silent for 600 days. In a rare appearance, the chief of Israel's internal
security forces went public with his concern.
DICHTER, Head of Israel's Security Service: [through
interpreter] Over the first two years of the
Intifada, seven Palestinians were killed and nineteen were injured just for
being Palestinians. The Jewish
terrorists stopped at nothing. Every target was fair game. School children and hospital visitors were legitimate targets for
them. But the most worrisome thing
is their dream.
NARRATOR: The dream of the religious extremists
is to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem destroyed 2000 years ago. Where it once stood, there are now two
mosques, the Dome of the Rock and al Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam.
DEMONSTRATORS: [singing] [subtitles] We will bear our freedom with blood and fire. Rifle to rifle, the barrels will salute—
NARRATOR: Every month radical Jewish groups try
to enter the Temple Mount to worship. The greatest fear of the security forces is that someone will try to
blow up the mosque.
DICHTER: [through interpreter] The dream of these extremists should give us sleepless nights. Jewish terror is liable to create a
serious strategic threat that will turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a
conflict between 13 million Jews and a billion Muslims all over the world.
DEMONSTRATORS: [singing] [subtitles] The Temple will be rebuilt, the city of Zion will be filled—
LEADER: [subtitles] We demand to go up to the Temple Mount, to our holy place!
PROTESTER: [subtitles] They have to know that someone will
blow up the mosques.
AYALON, Fmr. Chief, Israel's Security Service: [through interpreter] There are many among these
ideologically motivated groups who would like to see the collapse of the
mosques on the Temple Mount become the catalyst for this process. And there is more. There are those who talk about it and
there are those who are working toward it on the operative level in order to
bring about a process of so-called redemption.
More on religious extremists' goals]
NARRATOR: The security service tried to
infiltrate the religious extremists and to enlist agents from among them, but
they proved hard to crack. Years
of arrests and interrogations had toughened them. Up against the strongest organization in Israel, Shabak,
they had learned always to be suspicious.
BEN YISHAI, Settler, Hebron: [through
interpreter] We live in a harsh reality, firstly
because of technology. This cell
phone is a bugging device. Then
everything is controlled. Third,
it's the government who is in control. Every time a photographer takes my picture, I wonder when a copy will
find its way to the security service.
NARRATOR: A year after the arrest of the Bay Ayin
terrorists, the security service was still working the case. Then the criminal identification unit
put a name to some fingerprints on the trailer-bomb that had been planted near
the girls' school. They belonged
to Zuriel Amior. He was arrested
and brought in for interrogation. But like Yosi Ben Baruch, Amior denied the charges and remained silent.
months later, Shabak had a break. Acting on a tip, they picked up two men and found eight army explosive
charges in their car. They
believed that one of them, Yitzhak Paz, was intending to use them against
Palestinians. But this arrest was
big news and triggered demonstrations of sympathy. Yitzhak Paz is famous across Israel for events that occurred
in Hebron a year earlier.
PAZ, Settler, Hebron: [through interpreter] We lived in the Beit Hadassah in
Hebron— me, my wife and Shalhevet, who was 10 months old. That day, unfortunately, changed my
life completely. We decided to visit my wife's Parents who live in the Avraham
NARRATOR: Paz and his family came under fire from
a Palestinian sniper.
PAZ: [through interpreter] I felt a blast near my feet, and when I
looked down, I saw that a bullet had hit me. Blood was spurting out, and I realized I had been shot. At that point, I was sure that only I
had been wounded. Meanwhile, my
wife took Shalhevet from the stroller and took her behind a wall. Suddenly, she felt that her hand was
wet with blood, and then she turned Shalhevet over and she saw the entrance
wound and the exit wound and realized that I was the minor victim of the
tried to keep her alive, but God decided what he decided. I believe that she was a great soul who
came to this world to go through this. That was her purpose in life, to further the process we're going
through, the process of the Jewish people returning to its land and struggling
for it. And in the end, God
willing, the Messiah will come and the Temple will be rebuilt. It's all part of a process that will
lead to the goal. That was the
judgment. That was God's
wish. We try to accept it with
love, with all of the difficulty and sadness.
NARRATOR: Hundreds of settlers gathered at his
daughter's funeral. Yitzhak Paz
recited the Kaddish, the traditional mourners' prayer. On the walls of Hebron, graffiti called
to avenge the blood of Shalhevet. Yitzhak Paz would be convicted for possession of explosives.
Shabak made another breakthrough in the Bat Ayin investigation. This rare footage shows the
interrogation of Shahar Dvir, brother of one of the Bat Ayin terrorists. He gave up detailed information about
the Jewish underground and eventually led his interrogators to a hidden cave on
a hill near his settlement. There
they found a large cache of explosives and arms stolen from the Israeli army. Ballistic tests revealed that these
weapons were used in a number of unsolved murders of Palestinians.
Dvir's interrogation, Shabak brought in nine new suspects for questioning. What had begun as a chance arrest one
night in East Jerusalem had become the biggest breakthrough in the security
service's battle against Jewish terrorism.
FEDERMAN, Settler, Hebron: [subtitles] Hello? Who? Who? Yes? What did
he say? What did he admit to? Do you want to know? Well, he said like this— He said that—
NARRATOR: Noam Federman is a leader of one of the
Kahanist splinter groups. Shabak
suspects that he was linked to the Bat Ayin cell. He denies it. He was put under house arrest. He has been in jail many times, often without specific charges, to keep
him out of circulation.
FEDERMAN: [through interpreter] They think that I am at the least the
head of a terror organization. Now, we have some guys in jail, guys who were Arrested recently. Ask any one who was released. I was the main subject of the
FEDERMAN, Noam Federman's wife: [through
interpreter] I'm very worried about what the Shabak
is capable of doing. They will
stop at nothing. I see now they—
they use really dirty, lying means to put them in jail. But it doesn't work. They arrest them, but it still doesn't
FEDERMAN: [through interpreter] I think the government is mainly afraid
of us because we represent an alternative, an alternative that's not part of
the game. We basically explain the
Arab problem as Rabbi Kahane saw it, but not only, because what is really
preventing the solution is not the Arabs, but some of the Jews. And those Jews— let's be direct, the
leftists— it's not all of the leftists, but a particular sector of the left,
who want to take control of the country. The secret service, the attorney general, the media, they want to create
a new religion called "Israelism," and within this religion, you can be an Arab
Israeli or a Jewish Israeli.
the other hand, you have us. We
say this country should be a Jewish country, with all of the far-reaching
implications. And I think that
that is what threatens them, so that they act in every possible way in order to
try and stop us.
NARRATOR: Federman trains his followers—
FEDERMAN: [subtitles] Basically, a person is brought into the room like this.
NARRATOR: —giving instructions based on his
personal experience on how to stand up to the tough interrogations by Shabak.
FEDERMAN: [subtitles] The chair is locked to the floor. The basic rule is, Don't say anything, not "Yes," not "No," not a
word. If you want, you can talk to
interpreter] I'm trying to teach that the basic
principle is that your decision— when you enter a security service building for
interrogation, your decision from that moment, You should consider them as
enemy for all intents and purposes. This is what I try to teach. Once you realize that you are dealing with an enemy, your behavior changes.
NARRATOR: Federman also wrote a detailed handbook
on how to get through a tough interrogation.
headings, subtitles: "The Arrest," "The Interrogation," "The Interrogator's
BEN BARUCH: [through interpreter] I was familiar with Noam's guidebook,
and I put what he wrote to use. As
you go in for interrogation, the mantra which they repeat is, "You won't get
out of here without a confession."
PAZ: [through interpreter] "You're accused of A, B, C, and D. We know that you did
such-and-such. We know this. We know that. He confessed and"—
BEN BARUCH: [through interpreter] They keep pumping into our head that
he's in their hands, he's under their thumb, and therefore, we'd better
FEDERMAN: [through interpreter] I try to teach them the exact opposite,
that while they're there, they are not alone. Someone else is with them. He has no body or form. And that's God.
BEN BARUCH: [through interpreter] I locked into prayer. I prayed. I didn't look at them. I didn't open my eyes. No
"Hello," no "Thanks," no "Good morning," nothing. I cut myself off completely.
NARRATOR: This close-knit group represented a
special challenge for Shabak's Jewish section.
DAR, Division Head, Security Service: [through
interpreter] The glue that holds them together is
ideology. It's a very dangerous
ideology. As long as they're only
thinking it, as long as they're only talking about it, we can live with
it. When they try to put it into
action, through the murder of the prime minister, through the murder of Arabs,
through the massacre at the Hebron mosque, it's the beginning of the end of a
nation that can defend itself.
NARRATOR: Kfar Tapuach is another West Bank
settlement and a center for the followers of Meir Kahane. They are constantly under surveillance
by the security service. David
Haivri is American-born and publishes Kahane's texts.
HAIVRI, Kahanist, Tapuach: [through
interpreter] I was in America for two weeks. At the Tel Aviv airport, I was held up
at passport security. They took me
to a side room, where two security officers were waiting. They told me, "We think you're planning
an attack on the prime minister." So I said, "I think you know me very well. You don't really think I'm planning to attack the prime
minister. So tell me what you
really want from me." They said,
"Look, you're an influential person. You have a certain message. And we're warning you."
NARRATOR: Although the Kahanist party was
outlawed, his followers remain active spreading his ideology. Another American-born leader of the
group is Mike Guzovsky.
GUZOVSKY, Kahanist, Tapuach: [through
interpreter] I'll tell you what I told the security
service. They asked me to stop the
guys here from encouraging acts of revenge against Arabs, so I said all right,
not because philosophically or ideologically or religiously or practically that
is not possible or it shouldn't be done, but simply because you hear every
word, every word we say. Big
Brother is watching from every direction, so we won't succeed. They said, "Only
because tactically you won't pull it off, because we'll hear you, because we'll
stop you?" I said, "Yes, that's
the only reason."
believe the day will come when secret services and the government will want
Jews who are willing to risk their lives and go into Arab villages and kick
them out, kill them. We have
thousands of civilians with the military know-how to instigate a mega-attack
against Arabs, unidentified people, like Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir, who can
do such a deed. No matter how much
the security service and the police harass us, it won't do them any good.
INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] Do you think it will happen?
GUZOVSKY: [through interpreter] I think it will happen.
AYALON, Fmr Chief, Israel's Security Service: [through interpreter] The individual terrorist isn't acting in a vacuum. And as for Yigal Amir— and what I'm
saying is very severe, but I mean it. Yigal Amir is seen by tens of thousands of people as representing their
community. And therefore, Yigal
Amir is their messenger. That's
NARRATOR: In September 2003, the security forces
suffered a setback. A month after
the wave of arrests, they were forced to release most of the suspects for lack
of firm evidence. Many of them had
remained silent throughout their interrogations. All would later be released and Zuriel Amior acquitted.
and strengthened, members of the Kahanist group, the hilltop people and the
other right-wing extremists gathered for a celebration. Three months later, the Kahanists held
SPEAKER: [subtitles] To preserve the sanctity Of the
occasion, we ask the men to be near the canopy and the women to stay a little
bit behind. Keep the men and women
separate for the ceremony of the introduction of the Torah scroll.
NARRATOR: On a hill near Tapuach in the West
Bank, a synagogue was being dedicated to the memory of Meir Kahane. Here his teachings could be passed on
to a new generation. Thousands
traveled to the hill for the ceremonial introduction of the Torah to the new synagogue. It was not only a reunion of
generations of Kahanists from various groups but also a challenge to the
government, which is trying to disband them.
More about the Kahanists]
GUZOVSKY: [through interpreter] Our message to the prime minister— our message to the prime minister: We
have built here a 200-square-yard building. We thought it's the biggest in Kfar Tapuach, but there isn't
enough room here to hold everyone. So if the prime minister's wiseguys come and tear it down, they should
know that the day after tomorrow, we'll build a new synagogue of 400 square
KAHANISTS: _[singing] [subtitles] Kahane lives on, Kahane lives on,
Kahane lives, Kahane lives, Kahane lives on.
GUZOVSKY: [through interpreter] We are now fighting the real struggle against the Hellenists of our
time. They are not opposed to
Kahanism. They are not opposed to
Rabbi Meir Kahane. They are
opposed to the Torah of Israel.
KAHANISTS: [subtitles] Kahane! Kahane! Kahane!
GUZOVSKY: [through interpreter] This is the true struggle, and they will never win.
NARRATOR: Only two weeks after the celebrations,
the Israeli army moved in to remove the unauthorized building.
PROTESTER: [subtitles] Whoever touches a Jew, God won't forgive
PROTESTER: [subtitles] Just great! The true followers of Hitler. This is all you know how to do, tear down synagogues like
NARRATOR: A month later, the Kahanists began
rebuilding. Once again, the
security service arrested Noam Federman. He was put under an extended administrative arrest. Shabak was hoping that he would
BEN YISHAI, Settler, Hebron: [through
interpreter] You can break us financially. That's what they're doing. We, the "right wing" that is associated
with us, is financially bankrupt. You can put us in jail. You
can kill us. But you can't break
our spirit. Noam Federman, even
under administrative arrest, is no less Noam Federman. He's Noam Federman squared. Squared. So this is what you want, this is what you'll get.
NARRATOR: Federman, isolated in his cell, kept
silent throughout the interrogation. Every Saturday night, his family and followers gathered outside the
prison walls in a show of support.
PROTESTERS: [subtitles] Free Noam Federman! Free Noam Federman.
FEDERMAN: [subtitles] Noam, regards from your kids. They miss you very much. They don't understand why they don't let you call, why they don't let
them visit you. But I explain that
the more trouble they give you, the stronger we get. So keep being strong there. We're with you.
NARRATOR: After a lengthy trial, the three men
from Bat Ayin who had planted the bomb near the girls' school were brought in
for sentencing. All three were
found guilty of attempted murder. Yarden Morag was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
REPORTER: [subtitles] Do you have regrets?
GAMLIEL: [subtitles] I regret the way this country looks.
NARRATOR: Ofer Gamliel and Shlomi Dvir were
sentenced to 15 years. Soon after,
Yosi Ben Baruch was also brought into court. He was accused of being the head of the Bat Ayin terror
cell. He denied it. The charges against him were based on
conflicting testimonies by his friends, and the evidence against him was
circumstantial. He had been silent
throughout his interrogations. After 600 days in prison, Ben Baruch had become a symbol of
determination and commitment to his supporters.
was set free. The court acquitted
him on grounds of reasonable doubt.
BEN BARUCH: [subtitles] I felt that it was a battle the of faith against apostasy. There were times when they asked me,
"Why bother praying? Your prayers
can't penetrate the concrete here." I felt like I was battling enemies of God.
AYALON, Fmr Chief, Israel's Security Service: [through interpreter] It's impossible not to respect the power of faith and personality that
can survive these interrogations. The security service needs to understand what kind of people they're up
against, how strong they are in their personality and faith. It's similar, in some cases, to
fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. Ideologies like these provide immense strength
DAR, Division Head, Security Service: [through
interpreter] Some of the suspects who kept silent
and were tried were acquitted due to reasonable doubt, and I accept acquittal
for reasonable doubt. We all
understand the meaning of acquittal for reasonable doubt. Once something has happened, the
question is not whether it can happen again but how it will happen again.
Usually, the second time is worse.
NARRATOR: For nine months, Noam Federman had been
held under administrative arrest. He would not cooperate with the authorities. In the summer of 2004, he was released from prison.
FEDERMAN: [subtitles] First of all, I have to praise and thank God. That's what I'll do now. Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who is
good and makes better. Amen.
NARRATOR: Federman, Ben Baruch and a number of
their comrades held out against the security services. They are now back among their
the spring of 2005, tensions are mounting. As Sharon's disengagement plan in Gaza draws near, the
security forces are on high alert. They are worried that this small but determined group of extremists may
derail movement toward peace with the Palestinians. They are dedicated to a country without Arabs and without
democracy. They see themselves at
war with secular Israeli society. They believe that they are acting out God's will.
AND DIRECTED BY
PRODUCER FOR WGBH
Studios - Ronen Ben-Tal
- Gil Mitrani
2 - Israel
10 - Israel
Producer for C-Films - Switzerland
Producers for Keshet TV - Israel
Producers for Spiegel TV - Germany
SET Productions film for WGBH/FRONTLINE.
FRONTLINE is a production of WGBH
Boston, which is solely responsible for its content.
ANNOUNCER: There's more to explore about this
report at FRONTLINE's Web site, where you'll find an interview with
producer Dan Setton, a map of Jewish settlements in the West Bank that includes
the remote outposts featured in this report, a chronology of the settlements'
growth over three decades and the policies of Israeli and U.S. governments on
this issue, background readings on the religious extremists and their splinter
groups. Plus, watch the full
program on line and join the discussion at pbs.org.
time on FRONTLINE: Karl Rove had
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... He was
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ANNOUNCER: It took 30 years, but he changed the
Rove came to town with one goal, and that was this massive Republican
ANNOUNCER: How did he do it, and what does it mean
Rove wants a permanent Republican majority.
the god inside the machine.
ANNOUNCER: Karl Rove: The Architect. Watch FRONTLINE.
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