Arik Ascherman

Please Arrest and Try Me

Moshe from outpost adjacent to Mevo'ot Yericho with rock in his hand.
Blocking the settler Moshe with a rock to stop him from pursuing fleeing Palestinian flock and shepherdess. He hits me with it after I grab him to prevent him from throwing.


I admit that on Monday I grabbed and held the armed and violent settler Moshe to prevent him from chasing after a Palestinian flock and shepherdess.  This is Moshe who has terrorized the local shepherds since founding his illegal even according Israel outpost at the edge of the recently legalized Mevaot Yerikho settlement in the Jordan Valley. He was filmed a few months ago knocking down an elderly man, who required hospitilization.  His cronies were also filmed when they showed up after Moshe fled, and threatened the shepherd not to complain to the police. They didn’t need to worry. The police quickly closed the investigation. They reopened it after we appealed, but to this day haven’t spoken to key witnesses.

For many years Mevo’ot Yericho and Omer’s Farm have denied the shepherds of Nueima and Diuk access to a great deal of grazing land. However, I was told by the army that now that Moshe has a flock in the area, the settlers needed more of the land that doesn’t belong to them.  Moshe has established and enforces addtional “no-fly zones” from which he feels at liberty to expel Palestinian shepherds. He regularly drives his vehicles through Bedouin shepherd flocks that dare to trespass on “his lands.” We have plenty of photos of that as well.

Yes, I prevented him from throwing the big rock in his hand.

I admit that I blocked his vehicle attempting to run into a flock.

Blocking Moshe’s vehicle heading towards Palestinian flock. Credit Torat Tzedek

I admit that I blocked him when he got out of the vehicle and tried to shew away the flock.

I block Moshe after he gets out of his car, and tries to chase after the Palestinian flock. Credit: Torat Tzedek
I admit that I then grabbed him so that he couldn’t throw the rock.
I grab Moshe to prevent him from running after fleeing flock and shepherdess with a rock in his hand. Credit: Torat Tzedek

Clearly he had every right to injure me with the rock. I deserved it.

My hand after Moshe repeatedly banged it with the rock in his hand. Credit: Torat Tzedek

It seems the authorities think so. We have a recording of the army accidentally calling us when they thought they were calling Moshe to ask his help to find us. This is after we called the police to ask them to arrive.

Police, what are you waiting for? Forget about the countless times I have been attacked, and you closed the cases. You don’t need to rely on all the lies and lashon hara that I am a violent person. Here is the evidence and my confession. It is of little consequence that I wasn’t violent on Monday either, and that I can count on one hand the number of times in twenty-seven years I have grabbed somebody, even when I or others were being attacked. After all the times you have detained me and had to release me, or the court nullified your unjustified restraining orders. this is your big chance. Unlike those who cover their faces and try to avoid being caught and almost never are caught when being violent against Palestinians and human rights activists, I admit to my non-violent defense of fellow human beings. I want to be arrested and stand trial. I wish I had even more “incriminating” footage to make it easier for you, but I think what is here is sufficient. Seeing as we can’t get to court when we and/or Palestinians file complaints, it looks like I need to be a defendant in order to tell the court everything that judges never hear.

Yes I and my partners stood with the weak against the violent and powerful. Paraphrasing Pirkei Avot “When neither the security forces nor the state nor the indifferent public are doing their job and acting with basic human decency , we must”

And I am proud that the shepherdess continued to graze her flock.

About the Author
Rabbi Arik Ascherman is the founder and director of the Israeli human rights organization "Torat Tzedek-Torah of Justice." Previously, he led "Rabbis For Human Rights" for 21 years. Rabbi Ascherman is a sought after lecturer, has received numerous prizes for his human rights work and has been featured in several documentary films, including the 2010 "Israel vs Israel." He and "Torat Tzedek" received the Rabbi David J. Forman Memorial Fund's Human Rights Prize fore 5779. Rabbi Ascherman is recognized as a role model for faith based human rights activism.
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