The violent revenge attack staged by dozens of settlers from Yitzhar at the nearby Palestinian village Asira al-Kabaliya is the tip of the iceberg: The iceberg of Jewish terror whose edges are exposed to the Israeli public on occasion.
In the week before this attack, we saw two more cases attesting to this reality. Civilian Administration representatives who sought to confiscate construction equipment at the illegal outpost Yair were attacked because they arrived “on short notice” according to the settlers. Later that day, dozens of settlers attacked a nearby IDF base, clashed with the soldiers there to guard them, and set a dog on a company commander. The deputy regiment commander broke his finger in the attack.
Yet despite the incident in Asira al-Kabaliya, while the police and army shirk their responsibility for maintaining law and order, the prime minister and defense minister made statements such as “we won’t let pogroms take place in Israel.” The wild riot by settlers during Shabbat was condemned by many, including the Yesha Council. However, there are those who can make do with a condemnation and those whose job it is to do something. The defense minister and prime minister are responsible for enforcing the law in the West Bank. However, so far they have condemned, but did nothing.
The settlers of Yitzhar have been ignoring the army and police for a while now. Dozens of violent incidents and threats have become a regular occurrence for the residents of nearby Palestinian villages. These residents are well familiar with the violence perpetrated by the agents of Jewish terror, and terror is a means for undermining an elected government.
The descriptions of the Saturday riots revealed that the settlers came from Yitzhar towards the village following the Shabbat morning prayer, after they formulated a plan of action. It isn’t hard to assume that Yitzhar’s rabbi approved his students’ intention to avenge the stabbing of a boy that morning.
The separatist settler camp that is emerging in the West Bank constitutes a strategic threat to Israeli democracy. Violation of the law, the adoption of terror policies with the approval of religious authorities, and finally, rebellion against the government are all characteristics of well-known messianic movements in
Jewish history. Those who brought about the destruction of the Second Temple are now emerging in their current-day version.
Yet the leaders do nothing beyond media condemnations, the police and army are uninterested in countering the separatist camp, the Palestinians suffer, and the Israeli public expresses its disgust but will soon forget about the recent events. Ahead of talks regarding the evacuation of West Bank communities, and regardless of it, Israeli society must be aware of the danger of Jewish terror emerging in the West Bank.
Muki Dagan is a member Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights