Twelve-year old girls throwing rocks, the desecration of a Palestinian cemetery, and the murder of a Palestinian man. The recent rise of hardline settler violence against Palestinians and Israeli security forces has at last prompted the Israeli government to immediately halt any kind of support for illegal outposts in the West Bank.
At the same time a special security force will be deployed to enable, by force if necessary, the delayed dismantlement of the outposts, and the criminal justice system will be adapted. These are long overdue steps which are certainly positive but need to be consolidated with the freeze on settlement activity agreed at Annapolis.
Maximalist settlers who would fight Palestinian sovereignty in the event of a two-state solution are indistinguishable from the regional Islamists like Hamas in their rejection of Israeli sovereignty in Israel – both attempt to wreck the peace process and both need to be resisted. I don’t have a problem with intensely religious people trying to get as close as possible to the holy sites which mean so much to them – but it’s got to be lawful and peaceful. The Jews who cluster round the Tombs of the Patriarchs at Hebron will sooner or later need to make their peace with the Palestinians under whose authority (I hope) they will live, and at the moment at least some of them are going in the exact opposite direction.
How has such a small proportion of Israelis made themselves so politically important in Israel? This is difficult to find out from news – you gotta read them heavy things. I also wish Israel would ditch this stupid PR system which requires politicians to spend so much time licking each others’ arses that they don’t have any spare spit left for their constituents’.