Security experts and fans of restraint, which up until now strongly objected to the settlers’ proposals, shifted overnight to showing enthusiastic support for the elimination of terrorists with stones in their hands. The possibility that the IDF will direct live fire at certain Jews greatly appeals to these people.
Assuming that the High Court of Justice will not permit selective rules of engagement – that is, different rules for Jewish and for Arab rioters – we can expect that the Arabs of all people will be hurt by such change. While the impression created recently is that most stones being hurled in the territories come from the Jewish side, the statistical findings still tell the opposite story.
Only three months ago, a Jewish father and son were murdered by a Palestinian stone hurled at their vehicle. The media and political shock the following day was akin to a slight wave compared to the shock we saw this past week following the Jewish assault on the IDF’s Ephraim regional division.
Of course, a Hamas-style Jewish attack on IDF soldiers is a poignant incident, yet the over-reaction to the events of this past week came from a place of hostility rather than fraternity. The anti-settler hatred around here is as powerful as the hatred for soldiers which Major General Mizrhai spoke of, just more refined.
Have we gone mad?
The hooligans of the Right refer to an Israeli deputy division commander as a “Nazi,” while the leftists are resorting to pseudo-academic comparisons between the rightist legislation of 2011 and the 1933 Weimer Republic. In the bottom line, it’s the same thing. Hatred is hatred is hatred.
Under these circumstances, it’s very difficult for the silent Jewish majority in Judea and Samaria to curb the mad raids at army bases and mosques by violent youth gangs. This Jewish majority is stuck between the “Price Tag” rock and the hard place of the wild assault it faces from the outside.
Some 40% of the cadets at IDF officer courses are members of this camp, yet nonetheless it is constantly being described as an enemy of Israel. Its finest sons are lying in military cemeteries, yet it is still being portrayed as a parasitical element that uses the services of the IDF but sticks a knife in the army’s back at every opportunity.
This is ridiculous, and dangerous. Recommendations like the one made by Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who called for shooting settlers, will do nothing to quell the flames; such moves will merely add fuel to the fire. The effort to ban the non-parliamentary rightist camp is also akin to playing with fire. Those who preach for such move do not seek quiet, they want a war. A civil war. Have we gone mad?