The religious extremist settlers are laying the groundwork for the next war, and the Israeli government is allowing them to do it.
Three weeks have passed since the horrible day, where murderous Islamist fanatics went crazy in a blood rage, causing the worst killing of Jews since World War II. This day, which left us all in shock, will haunt us for decades, if not more. There is no forgiving and no mercy should be shown to those behind the attack. Hamas needs to be dealt with, harshly.
But while that is the case for Hamas, we also need to remember that not all Palestinians support Hamas, and even among those who do, a lot can be ascribed to experiences from encounters with the Jewish state or individual Israelis. Whether we believe that is justified or not, we should not ignore it.
Therefore it’s crucial that we don’t help creating a base of recruitment for the next Jihadist organization, which will take over after Hamas is gone. This is not only a war against a genocidal enemy, but also a battle of the mind, heart, and soul. We win nothing, by embracing the hatred and rage, that groups like Hamas is feeding off, nor by strengthening that hatred and rage among those, who Hamas and similar groups are recruiting from.
But for some reason our brethren in the settlements seem to think that this is the way, with weekly, if not daily, incidents of violence or threats against Palestinians in the West Bank. There are reports of abuse and torture, of violence and harassment, and threats of a new Nakba. These are just a few examples of the violent encounters with extremist settlers that the Palestinians have experienced since the beginning of the war. Even if only some of the encounters are true we’re still dealing with a serious situation. There are videos of Palestinians being shot by settlers, which leave no doubt about the danger, and for some reason the army seem to be incapable of handling the situation. Maybe because they already have to deal with the very tense situation, which is bad enough as it is.
We need to condemn and react against cases like these. The settlers also have a responsibility, both as human beings respecting the value of all lives, but also to consider the situation as it is, and for the future. And for us all, if we allow this to continue, what does it say about us. As a state and as a people?
These actions, being not only morally wrong, will also threaten our security in the long run. Is this really what the people behind these attacks want?