Source: Arab News
BY RAY HANANIA
Marzel emerged from hate activist Meir Kahane’s shadow to become a figurehead for Jewish radicalism in Hebron
Marzel takes part in aggressive activities against Palestinian residents and hosts Israeli troops for meals
Baruch Marzel, who lives in a Jewish outpost built in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron, has confronted many Palestinians who have tried to witness Israeli restrictions on non-Jews visiting the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The mosque is famous for being the burial ground of the Prophet Abraham, and for being the site of the massacre in February 1994 of 29 Muslim worshippers by Chicago-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein, who was a close colleague of Marzel.
In 1995, when I was president of the Palestinian American Congress, Marzel’s colleagues threatened to beat me with clubs as I walked up to the Ibrahimi Mosque to view a memorial set up for Goldstein’s victims.
It was only because I am Christian and was holding a US passport that Israeli soldiers stood between me and Marzel’s settler friends.
• Name: Baruch Marzel
• Nationality: Israeli-American
• Place of Residence: Hebron, West Bank
• Organization: (Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, Jewish National Front)
• Occupation: Former spokesman of Meir Kahane’s Kach party
• Medium: Through interviews, videos and articles
Marzel was one of the early leaders of hate activist Meir Kahane’s Jewish Defense League (JDL). After Kahane was killed in November 1990, Marzel played a larger role in the organization, which has changed names several times and was represented in Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) as the Kach political party.
Marzel has run for political office in the Knesset and is a member of the Otzma Yehudit political party, which was reorganized from the outlawed Kach.
He has openly advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. “There’s no way we’ll have quiet or peace inside Israel as long as we have here millions of supporters of terror, people that believe in their religion that all of the Land of Israel … is theirs, and that we’re occupiers, and the Jews have no right to a state or can even exist here,” he said. “The only way to have peace is to get them out of Israel.”
Born in Boston, Marzel’s family moved to Israel when he was an infant. He joined the JDL at the age of 13.
Marzel claims to have joined the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and to have shot dead several unarmed Syrian soldiers he had taken prisoner.
He said he did this as he was wounded by a captured Syrian commando who let off a concealed grenade and thought he might die, so he wished to exact revenge. Marzel took the same spirit of confrontation into his political activism.
“It’s a religious war. And they believe they have to destroy us … to kill us … And we believe that … they can’t stay here,” he said.