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Monday, January 23, 2006

Who wants to kill the settlers?

This piece of commentary from YNet's site tries to put the Hebron rioting in perspective:

Who wants to kill the settlers?

The excited declarations in the media following last week's riots in Hebron prove that the main lesson our politicians learned from the Gaza disengagement was that it pays to verbally attack the settlers.

If in the past politicians jostled to prove who amongst them was the toughest in the face of Palestinian terrorism, today the most popular target is – the settlers.

Instead of dealing with the question of why Mahmoud Abbas refuses to fulfill his promises to dismantle terror organizations, we are busy instead dismantling settler organizations.

The analogy between the settlers and Israel's enemies did not start with Hebron. The recent events there only strengthened it. Both before and during disengagement, teenagers who lent moral support to Gush Katif residents were decried as "infiltrators" and "illegal entrants."

But after these epithets wore themselves out, they needed to find new ones to label the settlers as the "other," the enemy.

And here we have it – "masked ones," because some rioters hid their faces from security forces. Add on top the headline "Jewish Intifada," and the picture is complete.

Acting Prime Minister Olmert's claim that subjugating the settlers is "a war over the rule of law in Israel” – is absurd. First of all, because the biggest threat facing the rule of law in this country is government corruption, for which more than a few members of Olmert's Kadima Party are outstanding symbols.

Secondly, as we will surely see in the state comptroller's annual report, due out soon, the government's behavior during disengagement was not exactly a model of a law-abiding body.

Thirdly, because if there really is a threat to the rule of law from the settlers, it comes from a group of teenagers, who must be dealt with, just like we must deal with the teenage criminal who brings a knife to school instead of a sandwich for lunch and is no less of a threat to the rule of law.

Therefore, before we run to blacken the name of an entire community, we would do well to keep things in proportion. As a community, the settlers are not only no threat to the rule of law – as their behavior during disengagement showed – but their loyalty to the State of Israel is beyond question.

As a "Patriotism Survey" to be presented to the Herzliya Conference shows, the national-religious community is the most patriotic community in the country. And they are patriotic to the State of Israel, not the State of Judea.

Read it all.


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