The Wedding War Dance



Immediately following the claims that the Shabak (Internal Security Intelligence Forces) have used forms of torture on the Jewish suspects of the horrific Duma arson attack, a shocking video has now been released, showing a wedding dance with young men wielding knives, guns and even stabbing pictures of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh (who died shortly after the arson from his wounds).

I share the disgust which has been widely evoked by this video.

The music itself is a well known song "Zochreini Na", based on a verse in Judges 16:28, quoting Samson, blinded in Gaza, saying “let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes”

"זכרני נא וחזקני נא אך הפעם הזה האלוהים, ואינקמה נקם אחת משתי עיני מפלשתים"

The song was was written and popularised by Dov Shurin and it has since become a staple at many weddings. Here is Dov Shurin himself at the Chabad HQ 770:


On some occasions, the song is accompanied by "shtikim" (pranks) - with revelers waving either fictitious or actual knives (such as cutlery knives found on the tables at the wedding).
Here's Dov Shurin again, at a wedding. Note (approx 0:34-0:55) that some of the dancers wave one hand in the air.  At another point (1:41) someone is waving crutches.

Sometimes, real weapons, including firearms are brandished.
The first time I saw this dance with live weapons at a wedding, I guess five years ago, I was also horrified. It was at a wedding of a friend's son, who was a Hilltop Youth activist. 

I felt it had crossed a disturbing and potentially dangerous red line. While probably not criminal, it was certainly gross bad taste. 

Public knowledge of the existence of this 'war dance' is not particularly new - indeed Channel 2 News ran a report which featured clips of the 'Zochreini Na' dance, including real knives, at the wedding of Rabbi Bentzi Grupstein's daughter, back in 2013. 

See from 2:45 here:



You will also notice that not only was the press invited to that wedding, but also it is open knowledge there that the Shabbak were also in attendance (see 1:51). "I would be very surprised if the Shabbak wasn't here", the interviewee says.

The wedding dance which has been publicised this past week actually took place on the first night Chanuka, 6th December, some three weeks before it was broadcast. 

One of my kids was at this wedding. They told me that when the posters of Ali Dawabshe were distributed, it was obvious that they had been professionally prepared - with wooden supports and handles - not run off on someone's photocopier. At the time, it seemed clearly the work of Shabbak operatives.

According to YNet News:

The owner of the venue where the wedding was held told Ynet that police knew of the wedding and deployed undercover officers to the event.

"There are dozens of weddings like that every month," he said. "When the adults leave, the young guys always stay and start with these songs and dancing. These are teenagers. And police knew exactly what was going on here. To begin with, they flooded the venue with undercover cops and filmed and documented everything. In some of the cases, some of the teenagers were arrested outside the venue. My security guards asked the cops, who were in civilian clothes, who were they, and then they showed them their police ID."


So now we have the same disturbing war-dance, with knives, guns (both old news) and the photo of Ali Dawabshe. A new angle on an otherwise archived story.
The behaviour is indeed sickening. 

It is a wedding schtik which has got way out of order and the practice of singing "Zochreini Na" should be banned - if not by criminal law, then by simple decency and common sense.

For those who reel at the idea of such censorship, I would point out that, even those who hold the song is harmless and derived from the Holy Tanach, there is a precedence of Aleynu Leshabeach - the thrice-daily prayer, which was self-censored by Ashkenazi Jews, due to the heavy price we paid for the line "For they worship vanity and emptiness and pray to a god who cannot save" - which others (understandably) found offensive.

There is no doubt that today, the whole National Religious camp is licking its wounds from the "wedding of hate", as the press have labelled it.

And the shabbak have used the wedding clip to successfully turn the spotlight from the issue of allegations of torture of Jewish suspects, to the issue of  "violent extremist terrorist Jewish youth".

Comments

  1. The Shabbak have been able to successfully turn the spotlight because the National Religious are falling all over themselves apologizing for what they didn't do.

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  2. After 100 days of terror, Jews being stabbed, run-down and hacked to death with machetes, afraid to walk the streets... and this is the worst that our right-wing youths come up with? In any other country they would be marching through the streets chanting 'death to the arabs'. I'm not surprised at all that the frustrated teens are acting out, but keep it in perspective, it was some foolish shtick in a private venue. Sickening and offensive? Yes. National disaster? No, i don't think so.

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  3. You mean to tell me they do this song and dance at many weddings, but this particular one was organized by the Shabbak.
    Based on what many of these people say (Bentzi Gopstein par example), the video is entirely believable. The govt. publicized it after all the nasty claims against the Shabbak. No decent people would dance and do this even with an agent provocateur.

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