The recent murder of Jewish settlers in the West Bank was an appalling act of terrorism. No ifs or buts.
But watch the debased response of the Zionist state to this outrage. Haaretz editorial:
The despicable murder of five members of the Fogel family on Saturday is a crime against every human being. But the atrocity in Itamar is not only a criminal act. It was committed in a diplomatic and security context, and we have to examine its background and consequences. Not, heaven forbid, to justify what cannot be justified or grant absolution. Instead, we have to study the complex situation that makes Israel responsible for preventing an escalation that could result in many new victims.
A diplomatic stagnation marks relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Both sides have contributed to this, as has the ineffectiveness of the U.S. administration under President Barack Obama. Two years after his administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government took over, there has been no progress on the formula that ostensibly everyone agrees on: the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The diplomatic vacuum is enabling extremist elements on both sides – terror organizations (and individuals acting alone ) on the one side and settlers ravenous for more territory and a price tag on the other – to take the initiative and dictate events instead of the leaders.
In recent weeks, under pressure from visitors from Washington, Berlin and other foreign capitals, Netanyahu seems to be signaling he intends to unveil a more moderate policy in about two months. Moreover, he and his partner, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, have explained that the moderation will not be a favor to the Palestinians, but rather what Israel needs. They have also promised to evacuate settlements built on privately owned land stolen from Palestinians. For a moment it appeared that the government, to develop a moderate image, was heading for a clash with the settlers.
Now, a single cell of murderers has come and changed the trend of Netanyahu and Barak’s actions to a toughening of positions and the decision to build 500 new housing units in the settlements. This is a terrible decision that will neither placate the settlers nor prevent a revenge attack by the lawless among them. In addition, it is making things difficult for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, angering Obama and feeding the unrest in the territories in advance of tomorrow, a day of planned demonstrations.
A responsible government would act now to calm and not to escalate, to pursue a diplomatic solution and not a belligerent confrontation. But in Jerusalem we don’t have a government like that.
Max Blumenthal continues this line of thought and further develops the gross hypocrisy of Zionists spewing hate towards the Palestinians (I’ve personally received emails and tweets demanding I condemn the killings; such selective Zionist anger was never apparent when Israel was murdering civilians in Gaza):
Everyone is rushing to condemn the gruesome murder of a family in the illegal Israeli settlement of Itamar. Even President Barack Obama felt compelled to offer his “unequivocal condemnation” of the murders. For what it’s worth (very little), I offer my own denunciation of the killings. Murdering kids can not be justified on any human level. However, even if the motives of the killer seem obvious to everyone, journalists covering the incident must be reminded there is no hard evidence that a Palestinian terrorist committed the crime. No viable armed faction has taken credit, and Israeli police are even treating Thai workers as suspects. Itamar is heavily guarded, surrounded by an electrified fence, and monitored 24/7 by a sophisticated system of video surveillance. Yet there is no video of the killer. Like it or not, until the identity of the killer is confirmed, the murder can only be described by journalists as an “alleged terror attack.” Legitimate outrage is no excuse to flout the basics of journalism 101.
Given the amount of violence visited upon local Palestinians by the residents of Itamar and nearby settlements, I will not be surprised if the killer turns out to be a rogue Palestinian bent on revenge. In one instance documented in 2007, settlers from Itamar stabbed a 52-year-old shepherd named Mohammad Hamdan Ibrahim Bani Jaber to death while he tended to his flock. Routine attacks from Itamar have prompted the near-total evacuation of the village Izbat Al Yanoon, while settlers from nearby Jewish colony of Yitzhar have staged homemade rocket attacks on local Palestinians and torched their mosques. As I have reported, Yitzhar is home to Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, author of the notorious “Torat Hamelech,” which uses rabbinical sources to justify the killing of non-Jewish civilians, including children, in combat situations.
A year ago in nearby Palestinian farming villages Awarta and Iraq Burin, Israeli soldiers were accused of executing local youths during riots against settlement expansion. As Jesse Rosenfeld reported, despite the clear evidence of execution style killings, none of the soldiers who held the Palestinians in custody at the time they were shot were convicted of any crimes. And to my knowledge, no official American response followed. Thus the besieged villages near Itamar have been left without any recourse or legal means to redress their harassment and murder.
Finally, here’s the kind of racism that is utterly normal in mainstream Israeli society (and which Western leaders never condemn). Gilad Sharon is the son of former PM Ariel Sharon and the piece was published in Israel’s most important tabloid, Yedioth Ahronoth after the settler murders. Worth noting; Gilad recently joined Kadima – an allegedly center-left party led by Tzipi Livni:
Let us not forget with whom we are dealing here. You can take the wild Palestinian beast and put a mask on it, in the form of some fluent English-speaking spokesman. You can also put on it a three-piece suit and a silk tie. But every once in a while – during a new moon, or when a crow’s droppings hit a howling jackal, or when pita with hyssop doesn’t come out just right – the wild beast senses that this is its night, and out of ancient instinct, it sets off to stalk its prey.
They’ll explain to us, and we’ll also explain to ourselves, how nice and beautiful peace is. We will argue excitedly and with deep inner conviction whether there should be an immediate peace agreement, or perhaps a series of interim agreements. We will discuss these and other such questions, all based on the assumption that on the other side they also think like us and also want quiet and tranquility.
But such an assumption is a rape of reality. A society that can thus sanctify death, and whose best of its youth are baby-stabbers, is simply not like ours. Even their leaders… condemn these acts only by claiming that they “harm the Palestinian cause.” There’s no moral issue here; it’s just a question of harm to the cause. Their three-piece suit is sullied with blood stains, and the mask falls off… and the image of the beast they tried to hide is once again revealed.
They look at us. We are everything they never were and never will be. We have a history and culture thousands of years old, we have a functioning, developing society – while they are just the offshoot of our Zionism. Their entire national story was born in the wake of Zionism. Even their self-definition as a people has no subsistence without us.
They look at themselves through our image. The more we succeed and progress, the more their hatred intensifies. We are the proof that it is possible to do it differently, that failures are not the result of destiny, but primarily of decisions and actions.
In any arrangement that might or might not come about, remember with whom we are dealing. Our security must always remain in our hands.