Friday, August 19, 2005

Regarding "The 'orange' camp must not win" and "Even the rabbis are a target for the extremists", Ha'Aretz, August 16, 2005 ( published in today's Ha'Aretz ): Sometimes it can be very unpleasant to discover that one reaps as one has sown. This is true both for the state of Israel regarding the settlers, and for the settlers as far as the extremist youngsters among them are concerned. For decades the settlers were allowed to hold authority in contempt, and while their Arab neighbors have been subjected to their whims and to harsh military rule, they have been able to more or less do as they please. As far as the hilltop youth - and many other young men and women who were born and grew up in or with the settlements - know this is a natural situation: there are Palestinians, there is a Jewish state that is useful as long as it serves the interests of the settlers, and there are settlers who are the only true Zionists, with other Israelis being surrogate-Jews at best. Of course we all know that most settlers are loyal and law-abiding citizens, but if the settler movement - assuming that such a thing still exists - continues to ignore the fact that some rotten apples have grown in its midst, and to deny that that phenomenon has to be dealt with, these youngsters will continue to do their destructive work. These extremists are not the scum of the earth ( well, maybe a few of them are ), but they are neither the salt of the earth, and it is about time that we stop considering and treating them as such.

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