A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
December 13, 2011- Radical Settler Attacks on Army Stun Some
The news in Israel today was domininated by the attack perpetrated by West Bank settlers on an Israeli army base, as well as by the stoning of a high ranking officer at the hands of other extreme settlers. This attack was considered by many as a red line crossed. The attack was widely condemned. Prime Minister Netanyahu even held a special meeting to discuss the situation and demand action against the perpetrators.
Of course no one should really be surprised. I guess the burning of mosques was not considered a red line. There is a sense that the army is making the requisite noise about what a terrible wrong this attack constitutes. However, if a Palestinian had done what the settlers did, they would be sent to jail for ten years. I would not hold my breath to see how many of the settlers are indicted, then tried and sentenced to any serious jail time. We have crossed many red lines in this area in the past. Yet, never in all of the course of the 40 year history of the settler movement has any settler paid a serious for violating Israeli law.
The remarks by Newt Gingrich, to the effect that the "Palestinians" are an invented people has gotten a great deal of play in Israel. There is a clear historic truth in his comment. However, that is quite irrelevant, to say the least. A great many of today's nation states were an invention of one kind or another. This makes these nations no less real today. People on both sides of the conflict spend much too much time arguing the issue of historic rights. Guess what..there is right on both sides... and even if there is a little more "right" on the Israeli side, its not really relevant. What we need is a pragmatic solution that both sides can live with, if not like.
There was a fascinating inverview today with Rabbi David Hartman on Ynet. Unfortunately, all one needs to do is look at the comments below the article to know how frighteningly accurate much of what Hartman said remains.