The Enemy Within
Just occasionally, Juan Miguel Muñoz, El País's rabidly anti-Israel correspondent in Jerusalem, gets something right. Writing here he reports on the ongoing toleration of the outrageous behavior of religiofascist settlers on the West Bank.
On dozens of occasions in recent weeks, members of the Israeli government have warned that they won't tolerate vandalism carried out by Jewish settlers on the West Bank. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said so, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said so, deputies, military leaders, police chiefs...
In spite of all of this talk, there seems to be no sign of a tougher line from the state and the settlers earlier this week went on the rampage yet again in Hebron.
The security forces were attacked, a settler injured a soldier by throwing turpentine on him, the tires of police and army vehicles were slashed, Palestinians were stoned and headstones in a Muslim cemetery were profaned with slogans like "Mohammad pig" and "Death to Arabs."
What really beggars comprehension in these cases is the attitude of Ghandian self-restraint shown by the police and IDF when they themselves come under attack from the settlers. Will it take the death of a soldier or a police officer for the authorities in Israel to finally get it into their heads that crushing the religiofascist element of the settler movement is essential to preserving Israel as a democratic state? Not all of Israel's most dangerous enemies live in Gaza, south Beirut and Tehran.