Thursday, July 28, 2005

There never was a Jewish terrorist of the calibre of Bin Laden. That does not mean that we do not have our own brand of despicable religious fanatics. That would not be so worrying if a person like Yigal Amir, whose murder of Yitzhak Rabin z"l we will remember again in a little more than three months' time, had not grown up in an environment that in fact encourages or at least condones auto-da-fe's such as his, if Israeli society took threats coming from that environment a little more seriously, and if Israel's judicial system had learnt a lesson or two from the mistakes made ten years ago. The latter is certainly not the case. Like then, people on the fringes of Israel's rightwing extremism are allowed to play their voodoo rituals in front of a camera ( it is said that they were even paid for having it filmed by a supposedly respected television show ), and I just saw an MK of the National Religious Party and some rightwing journalist of the Israeli 'newspaper' Ma'Ariv downplaying the significance of the ritual. So what if one of the rabbis involved participated in the same ritual before Yitzhak Rabin was murdered ( he justified his participation then and justifies it now ) and if another participant once was held in administrative detention because he planned to launch a missile in the direction of the Temple Mount? Why should we take these persons seriously? Yigal Amir did not take part in the ceremony, did he?
I don't think that Israel will be able to overcome the murder of another Prime Minister. If, heaven forbid, such a murder happens, in my eyes we will lose if not our right then at least our ability to exist as a state. It is up to the security services and the law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with all actual and verbal acts of violence. This includes possibly violence-encouraging interpretations of religious texts such as the one found in a highly popular local weekly newspaper.

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