TEL AVIV (Apr. 25)
The Sicari’i Jewish terrorist underground has claimed credit for setting fire Monday night to the front door of the Tel Aviv home of Amos Schocken, publisher of the family-owned Ha’aretz and Hadashot daily newspapers and a string of local weeklies.
A man claiming to be from the Sicari’i phoned local newspapers, Israel Radio and Israel Television to say the fire had been set at Schocken’s home “because he has damaged Israeli morale.”
Both Ha’aretz and Hadashot are independent, privately owned papers that take a liberal approach to Israeli politics.
Schocken said he had been at home with his family shortly before 10 p.m. Monday night when he smelled smoke. He and his neighbors quickly put out the blaze, which damaged the door but caused no other harm.
The Sicari’i group, named after the Temple period band that killed Jews they regarded as traitors or infidels, has claimed responsibility for setting fire to the front doors of a number of Israeli personalities they regard as left-wing and anti-Israel.
Despite several Sicari’i attacks, police have so far been unable to find any trace of the organization and at first wondered whether there was, indeed, any single group carrying out the attacks.
Police sources said Tuesday they now think the modern Sicari’i group probably consists of no more than three active members. But other individuals appear to be “taking a lift” on the name to claim credit for their own real or imaginary actions, which are aimed at drawing attention to their fringe philosophies.
Several American Jewish organizations have deplored the activities for which the Sicari’i has claimed credit. Earlier this month, B’nai B’rith International released a statement by its president, Seymour Reich, saying the organization was “horrified that a Jewish terror ring may now be victimizing both innocent Arabs and fellow Jews who share different political views.”