I hope it isn’t true. But I suspect that it is. This is not the first time there has been settler violence against innocent Arabs in Israel. From the Jerusalem Post:
On Thursday at about 5:30 p.m., six members of the family were seriously wounded when their taxi, driven by a family member near the settlement of Bat Ayin south of Jerusalem, was hit by a Molotov cocktail in an attack that police suspect was perpetrated by Jewish extremists.
Jewish Extremists?! These are not extremists. These are terrorists. If it is shown that this horrendous acts was carried out by Jewish settlers in some sort of retaliation for Palestinian terrorism then they ought to have the book thrown at them. This is no less than attempted murder. It is depraved. It is cruel. There is no excuse for it.
These people are no better than the arsonists of who set fires during the ’68 riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King . Then Mayor Richrad J. Daley gave police the green light to police to shoot to kill anyone seen attempting arson.
People who throw firebombs into cars are murderers. There is no justification for targeting innocent people. These terrorists ought to be treated accordingly. That no one died yet from that act is a miracle.
What makes me so angry is that many of these settler types are from the extreme right wing of religious Zionism. They think their acts are somehow religiously justified.
Making matters worse is that there are many mainstream Orthodox Jews who sympathize with these people. While not condoning it – they will say they understand it. They will point to things like the Fogel massacre and ask, can you blame them for wanting revenge? Can you blame them when the government refuses to back them up in their settlement enterprises? Arab terrorism has caused so many Jewish deaths. Many of these people have lost loved ones or have loved ones that have been seriously and permanently injured because of Arab terrorism. So they are striking back at them in the same way they have been struck. Can you really blame them?
My answer is very simple: Yes! I do blame them. Revenge killings of innocent people is pure murder. Period.
And it does absolutely nothing to better their situation. If anything their situation will be worsened by it. As will the situation for the State of Israel. Even so called moderate Palestinians can now say, “Jews have their terrorists too!” And they will be right. How can we ever claim the moral high ground and justify our security fences if we do the same things they do? Those who have been using moral equivalency arguments that compare what we do to what they do will now be justified in that claim.
If it turns out as suspected, that the arsonists are settler extremists, then I would – as I said – throw the book at them. Maximum sentences for all of them.
I would further feel it my obligation to stop these people at the core. It would be priority number one to dismantle every single settlement that harbors this world view and lives in close proximity to Arab villages! I would subsequently monitor all their actions round the clock. And send them to jail for the slightest infraction of the law that allowed for a jail sentence. No mercy. Because if they aren’t stopped, they could very well end up bringing about the downfall of the Jewish State and bring about the biggest tragedy since the Holocaust.
About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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