This past Saturday, a group of about 200 settlers, rioted and attacked IDF soldiers with stones in Gi’vat Zeev near the Itamar settlement. To do that, obviously these are not religious folks.

But whatever and whoever else they might be, they are bad news.

It is one thing for the IDF to face the aggressive crowds at the Gaza border marshalled and incited by Hamas, or to deal with military challenges and terrorists, it is quite something else to deal with your own people; the settlers spoiled by government grants and incentives, to behave in this seditious way against the IDF that protects them and keeps law and order in their neck of the wood.

And this is not by any means the first time the settlers attacked the IDF nor, most likely, is it going to be the last time…not to mention the pay-back attacks on Palestinians in neighbouring areas

This is “payback time” to the government’s settlement policy.

Henceforth, it would be a good idea

First, to test  the mental health of future settlers and to determine whether they suffer from any ideological deformations to insure that they have the wherewithal  to handle the kinds of difficulties and stresses they are likely to face and with which they must cope without resorting to lawlessness, before letting them beyond the green line;

Second, to establish substantive financial penalties for unruly and unlawful behaviour against the IDF and the Arabs; and in default of payment, to prescribe to a prison sentence with hard labour, and

Third, last but not least, henceforth to make the prospective settlers sign a solemn undertaking and promise that the event   they engage in anti-social, aggressive or destructive behaviour against the IDF and/or the neighboring Palestinians, they shall

a)remove themselves from the West Bank within seven days from the commission of their offending behaviour,  and in default, be removed  forcibly and prohibited from returning  for all times or for a fixed period of time, the duration of which will be commensurate with the gravity  of  their mischief, and

  1. b) depending on the facts of each case, pay compensation and/or make full restitution  to the offended parties within a prescribed period of time and in default of which, they shall be barred from entering the West Bank.

Alas, with the kinds of coalition governments running the country, it is easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than to deal with this kind of serious and demoralising lawlessness.

In the meantime, there is only so much Israelis and the government can demand and expect from the IDF, before the mental and psychological stresses  to which they are  constantly subjected and must cope with begins to take  a worrisome toll.