Sometimes we see the worst, most base examples of what we can be in a mirror placed before us. And so it was when Jewish extremists were filmed glorifying the murder of the Dawabshe family at a wedding just a short time ago. The video shows young Jews, armed with knives, automatic weapons and molotov cocktails dancing up and down, some stabbing pictures of the Dawabshe family. The Times of Israel reported that:
The crowd in the video chants the lyrics of a song which include a verse from Judges 16:28, quoting Samson, blinded in Gaza, saying “let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes” — but changing the word Philistines to Palestine.
This is the sort of thing we have come to expect from Hamas gatherings. But they are not Muslims in Hamas. They are Jews. Watch them below:
We have some stark questions to answer. Like what do we do when it is our own who behave the same way as our enemy?
What do we do when the values of murder and death are enshrined and fused with the values of the Judaism so many of us hold so dear?
What does the state do with people who celebrate the murder of innocent Palestinians or indeed perpetrate such murders?
There is a natural reflex to simply shout “NO!”
NO these people aren’t of my faith!
NO they’re not a part of my people!
NO they’re not acting in my name!
But they are of our faith and they are acting in our name. That’s why they always go to court with the same stupid smiles on their faces. In their heads they are sure, in their minds they are thinking “sure you sentence me now, but I know you agree with me really and I know that you only punish me in public for form’s sake rather than your own beliefs.” Often their views are vindicated with early release or arrest without prosecution or without arrest at all for crimes they have committed.
But don’t cede responsibility by pretending that these people aren’t Jewish. Every breath they take is a Jewish breath, every action, every ritual of their lives is a Jewish one. Such denials within Islam ring hollow with regards to Islamic terror and they ring hollow in Judaism too. These terrorists are born Jews, products of our yeshivot and religious schools, they eat kosher food, they pray, study and live as religious Jews. They may be far removed from what you believe is Jewish and you have every right to believe whatever you want about Judaism, but they are the ones who consult their rabbi for advice, who listen to the words of their rabbis and try to live as good Jews in the way they are taught. They are the ones who use Hebrew scripture not to justify what they do but to tell them how to proceed in life, they are raised in Jewish, religious homes, they are the product of a community and there is no better demonstration of this than the fact that they are all dancing this way at a wedding. This is hardly a Jewish far right terror training camp.
These people are products of their environment and it is the environment that needs to be dealt with. This video is no surprise, in fact it’s almost identical to another broadcast in August. In the wake of that video politicians also jumped on the bandwagon and spoke about how it was not in their name etc. Then the public furor dies down and…nothing happens. But of course nothing happens because it’s very easy to denounce a bunch of people, to point to them and tell the world that they are the rotten apples, but to get right to the heart of the problem and deal with it effectively requires years of relentless hard work from government organisations who have neither the financial nor political backing to change the infrastructures, yeshivot, religious leaders, schools and settlement leadership that lead to such unabashed hatred.
Do you argue that the security services should crack down on these people. Why? What have they done that’s so illegal? They jumped up and down with knives and defaced a couple of pictures. Sure the possession of weapons charges might make for a couple of short custodial sentences for one or two of the people in the video but even that is unlikely. Furthermore it is not the remit of the security services to be responsible for the education Israeli youth receive or the way their parents choose to bring them up. There’s very little the security services can do about the process that brought them to this point. Only policy decisions with full, consistent implementation can do that and there is a distinct lack of political will for that kind of implementation going on on the ground.
Much easier to just find another Samir Kuntar to blow up.
Perhaps you say the security services should deal with them just like any other terror group. I hope not. Hezbollah and Hamas hold territory of their own now, ultimately though our actions killed off members of their leadership we could not prevent these groups from growing more and more powerful. Furthermore I would hate for us to be in the situation where our drones and Apache helicopters are firing hellfire missiles on Jewish settlements.
But bear in mind that this can be fought and beaten. We didn’t have much control over the way young Palestinians or Lebanese kids were educated, nor were their recruits our coreligionists or citizens. Here we do have the ability to effect social change. It is naive to imagine that people who grow up in areas where they are constantly under threat, constantly on the lookout for Arab terrorists and taught at the same time that this is their land and the people who live next door are the usurpers of what is true Jewish land, the real occupiers won’t then find such an extreme nationalistic reaction anything other than an inevitability.
So save the denials and the response of “not in my name” save the reactions of shock and horror for another time. The only way to make sure this kind of hatred ends is to cut off the funding to the schools and yeshivot that produce it, market it and indoctrinate in it. This hatred needs to be tackled on the ground, on a community level and on a religious level.
But there is no evidence of that happening here. All we will see are the usual statements from lawmakers who will quickly move on to the next order of business and Jewish terror that will flourish.