4 responses

  1. Y. Ben-David
    March 19, 2008

    I think it is very important to keep a proper perspective on these matters. The fact is that I have not heard anything about Jews assaulting Arabs on the streets of Jerusalem or other cities in the wake of the terror attack on Mercaz HaRav.
    During the entire suicide bomber war starting in the year 2000 and lasting something like 3 years, over 1000 Israelis were killed and thousands wounded and yet there were not mob scenes like the one you describe nor were there assaults on individual Arab passers-by. Even this incident focused on a demand that the gov’t demolish the terrorists home. It was no doubt inflamed by the news reports of the family of the terrorist decorating their house with HIZBULLAH and HAMAS flags and the media reporting that the residents of Jebel Mukaber were “proud” of what a son of that neighborhood did.

    It is important to note also that the people of Sederot have made minimal protests about their suffering. Olmert and the gov’t have said very clearly there is nothing that can be done about it, yet we don’t see any anger bursting out. My daughter spent Shabbat there a few months ago and asked why they don’t make noisy demonstrations in Jerusalem and the like and the reply they heard was “it doesn’t do any good”.
    Thus, we see that the population of Israel is very docile and accepting of the government’s claims that the only solution is a “peace agreement” with the Arabs.

    As I commented in an earlier posting, the “Right” in Israel has been pretty much disenfranchised politically. Even if Netanyahu and the Likud win the next election (whenever that may be) it is clear to me that he will form a government with the Left (Kadima and Labor) and the “national religious pro-YESHA settlement” party (which is weak, divided and ineffectual) will be kept out. I pointed out that this created a lot of frustration in supporters of this camp and it is unclear how this play out, particularly if the security situation continues to deteriorate. One possible outcome is more incidents like this one. The leaders of the state have to keep this in mind. When Olmert states “we are tired of fighting” and “the state of Israel is doomed if we don’t set up a Palestinian state now” people hear this and feel that the leadership clique has given up on defending the country and that the lives of the citizens are expendable. This could lead to a very dangerous situation, although up until now they have gotten away with it. This question is whether the passivity of the population will continue or not.


  2. Chris Dornan
    March 20, 2008

    Y. Ben-David: to some people at least it is pretty obvious that Israel hasn’t been as passive as you are making out.

    Gershom is making the point that all violence springs from hate, and here the state is almost colluding in one-side’s attempts to stir up hatred and perpetrate violent acts. This is surely not good. It is doubly worrying when people can no longer see the ways that they might be contributing to the cycle of violence–just can’t see it any more.


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