Sunday, June 25, 2023

Times of Israel reports:

Israel Defense Forces chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar, and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai in a joint statement on Saturday strongly condemned an ongoing series of settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, branding them as “nationalist terrorism in the full sense of the term.”

In the wake of a deadly terror attack carried out by Hamas-affiliated gunmen in the West Bank on Tuesday, in which four Israelis were killed, the past five days have seen hundreds of settlers rampage inside Palestinian towns and villages, setting fire to homes, cars, and even opening fire in some cases.

“In recent days, violent attacks by Israeli citizens against innocent Palestinians have been carried out in the Judea and Samaria area,” the security chiefs’ statement read, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. “These attacks are against every moral and Jewish value and are also nationalist terrorism in the full sense of the term, and we are obliged to fight them.”
It then later reported in a headline, "Far-right ministers reject criticism of settler attacks on Palestinians as ‘terror’" - but I couldn't find in the text of the article where they said that. They complained about placing an equivalence between the settler attacks and Palestinian attacks, which is not how I interpret the joint statement.

Whether they said it or not, it is important that the Israeli side not engage in what the Israel haters do all the time - redefine terms for political purposes. Israel-haters do it with "apartheid" and "ethnic cleansing" and many other accusations against Israel, ignoring the real meaning of the terms, and the Zionist side must not do the same.

While there is no single agreed upon definition of terrorism, here are some.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2005 said that "terrorism is any action intended to cause death or serious harm to civilians with the purpose of intimidation."

A 2018 UN report on terrorism included in its definition, “any action...that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.”

The US Department of Defense says it is "The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."

While one might argue whether the rioters intend to cause death to the members of the Arab villages they rioted in, there is no doubt they intend to use violence to intimidate them. The violence is targeting people who are not known to be involved in attacks.

Israel is subjected to double standards all the time. If we are against such double standards, we must enforce a single standard ourselves, no matter what. 

The riots are illegal, immoral, and collective punishment. They are indeed terror. Beyond that, they are counterproductive and hurt the State of Israel, especially among its newest peace partners in the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, not to mention its relations with Europe and the US.  The anger might be understandable but the actions are not justifiable. 

The IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police are correct in their statement, and the rioters are hurting the State of Israel they claim to support. Unlike what Smotrich said, clearly condemning the rioters' crimes in no way lessens the horror and depravity of Palestinian terrorism.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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