How much of an internal threat are Israel’s home-grown enemies?

The New York Times investigates the Jewish settler movement and argues that removing them from illegal colonies will be less of a problem than is generally assumed:

Of the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, those who live in unauthorized hilltop outposts like this one, a hardscrabble unpaved collection of 20 trailers, are considered the most dangerous.

They are fervent believers that there is a divine plan requiring them to hold this land. With many of them armed and all of them furious over the 2005 withdrawal of Jews from Gaza and four West Bank settlements, they live by the slogan: “Never forget! Never forgive!” The building of a Palestinian state would require them to move, and Israelis fear that any attempt to force them out could cause a bloody internal clash.

But scores of interviews over several months, including with settler firebrands, produced a different conclusion. Divided, leaderless and increasingly mystical, such settlers will certainly resist evacuation but are unlikely to engage in organized armed conflict with the Israeli military. Their belief that history can be best understood as a series of confrontations between the Jews and those who seek their destruction, and their faith in their ultimate triumph, make them hesitant to turn against their own, even in dire circumstances.

If this is so, then we’re simply seeing the generational failure of political wall to challenge Zionist fundamentalism.