No tenet of Judaism justifies ransacking Arab villages

Opinion: West Bank settler riots against Arab communities is deeply concerning; It is imperative to swiftly halt this wrongdoing, condemn it unequivocally, and consider providing compensation to the affected individuals, as such actions contradict God's will

Rabbi Yaakov Medan|
The tragic killing of four Jewish individuals in the West Bank settlement of Eli, along with a string of similar incidents across the West Bank and the nation, forcefully emphasizes the urgent call to combat terrorism uncompromisingly. Simultaneously, it underscores the imperative of mobilizing support for the affected families.
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Our primary focus should be to engage fully in the second mission, leaving no room for any inclination to engage in rioting or causing harm to Arab communities near the crime scenes. It is crucial to respect the presumption of innocence, refrain from damaging property and avoid any form of public humiliation or disrespect toward their religious beliefs, such as burning the Quran.
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הצתה של בתים ורכבים בכפר תורמוס עיא
הצתה של בתים ורכבים בכפר תורמוס עיא
A Palestinian home after set ablaze by settlers
We must take immediate and decisive action to put an end to this unacceptable situation, regardless of the cost. It is essential to condemn these acts unequivocally and consider providing compensation to the victims. While the righteous anger toward the terrorists and their enablers is understandable, it must never justify the aforementioned riots, as they harm innocent Arabs who should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
The damage caused by these riots is immeasurable and deeply troubling. Three significant aspects highlight the severity of this situation.
First, there is the profound desecration that occurs when individuals who claim to uphold religious commandments and possess a love for the Torah and the land engage in such actions. True love for God, the Torah and the country inherently involves a resolute and unwavering fight against terrorists and their supporters.
However, causing harm to those who may not be guilty solely because they are "under the spotlight" goes against the teachings of God. There is no Jewish law, commandment or custom to justify such behavior. In fact, these acts may be even more serious than other transgressions and violations.
The second consequence is the significant damage inflicted upon Jewish settlement in the West Bank. For decades, the residents have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly, investing tremendous effort to establish a thriving community that is deeply rooted within the State of Israel and its people. Over the years, their endeavors have yielded remarkable achievements, with thousands of visitors coming to experience the West Bank, supporting local businesses and tourist attractions.
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שריפות בלובאן א-שרקייה
שריפות בלובאן א-שרקייה
Settlers on a rampage in the West Bank
(Photo: Shaul Golan)
However, these destructive actions unravel all the progress that has been made. They not only undermine the bonds forged between Jews and Arabs in the region, which contribute significantly to our coexistence, but also jeopardize the ongoing efforts to advance and strengthen the settlement itself. The consequences of these actions have far-reaching implications for the entire community's future.
Another significant damage relates to the security system. Regardless of personal preferences, it is important to recognize that the power of our security forces, including the IDF, Border Police, Shin Bet, and others, is finite and has its limits. The challenges they face in recent times, from threats originating in Iran to the northern border, the western Negev, the Gaza Strip and, especially, the West Bank, are of an immense magnitude and importance that cannot be overstated. Our dedicated security personnel work tirelessly, around the clock, on every day of the week, to maintain our safety and combat terrorism.
Introducing a new front against the settlers could gravely undermine the ongoing battle against the malevolent forces of Arab terrorism. Even the mere diversion of resources or the establishment of a buffer zone between settlers and security forces can significantly hinder their ability to fulfill their critical tasks. It is imperative that we recognize the interconnectedness of our security efforts and avoid actions that could jeopardize the overall mission to safeguard our nation against these threats.
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תיעוד מעימותים בין מתנחלים לפלסטינים סמוך לכפר אום צפא
תיעוד מעימותים בין מתנחלים לפלסטינים סמוך לכפר אום צפא
Even medical vehicles are not immune from attacks in the West Bank
It is important to clarify that the comments regarding the actions of settlers in Arab villages and their property are not intended as criticism of the residents of the Ateret settlement. They recently participated in a demonstration at a traffic junction on Route 60. Their protest was in response to the repeated blockage of the only road connecting their settlement, which caused significant inconvenience and disruption. Stone-pelting incidents have occurred in the past, further exacerbating the situation.
If we consider the demonstration by the residents of Ateret illegitimate, then why should the roadblocks of those opposing judicial reform be seen as more legitimate? Can we recall a recent instance where a protester's appearance was violated during a demonstration for legal reform?
In conclusion, despite feeling a certain discomfort, I felt compelled to address this issue due to its urgency. I hope that in the future I can write with greater ease if IDF soldiers refrain from wild and brutal behavior toward settlers, even when a settler may have acted disrespectfully toward an officer. This incident stands out even more considering the leniency and compassion shown toward protesters of the reform on a daily basis.
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