Sunday, 13 March 2011

Shimon Peres: “our hearts are …with the entire settlement in these terrible moments."

Several days ago a family of five was murdered in their home in Itamar, a Jewish Settlement in the Occupied Territories. The people who live in Itamar are orthodox Jews who believe that land that was promised to the Jews by God may not be given up.

Despite international condemnation and despite the fact that most other countries consider Jewish settlements in the territories occupied by Israel in the Six Day War to be illegal, these have mushroomed with the support of Israeli governments over the years and prosper under the protection of the Israeli army and security services. Ideology-driven Orthodox Jews are willing to risk not only their own lives but also the lives of their children. The Israeli government risks the lives of its soldiers to protect them.

Murder is despicable. Murder of innocent children even more so. But settlers’ activities in the Occupied Territories are often also detestable. They very rarely stoop as low as murder but with the backing of the Israeli government they get away with a lot.

In retaliation to the murder in Itamar, the Israeli government has announced that it will allow the building of a further 500 homes in the Occupied Territories.

Will this promote peace or is it a case of "extremists of the world unite"?


  1. טעות קטנה: 5000 יחידות דיור ולא 500.

  2. כל הכבוד על השנינות והכנות. אני מעריכה את אמץ ליבך לומר לקהל קוראיך את מה שבדרך כלל אנחנו לכל היותר מקטרים בסלון עם חברים.... ת

  3. I would be most reluctant to put settling - legal or otherwise - on the same plain as multiple murder. The two cannot be compared, let alone levelled off against one another.

  4. Hello David,

    With that said something is missing from your post. Although you are neither a journalist nor an official-Israeli spokesmen, I know you consider yourself a gentlemen. Therefore, to my opinion, it will be fair to provide some details for the sake of parts of your audience which are unfamiliar with the "incident". I will take the liberty to do so:

    Two adults and three children were murdered.

    They were all (probably) killed in their sleep.

    Ages of the children where 11 years 4 year and 3 month old.

    These are facts, about what happened.

    About what the government will or will not do, we could have another discussion. I think we might agree on that more than what you would expect. It will be interesting to hear (although I doubt I'll be surprised) your opinion about the celebrations in Gaza the day after the murder.

    Take care,


  5. Elad:

    I have no expectation of Hamas-led street gangs, whereas, I do expect high moral standards of my own society. In this we fail miserably.

    Accusing others, as Mr Netanyahu thrives in doing, is easy. Instead, he should be making moral demands of his own people.

  6. While I am very very very much against these people living there... I think that tying this fact to the slaughter of babies is a bit extreme and somewhat disturbing....
    They were not killed because they decided to put their kids life in danger... they were killed because some bad guys are the lowest forms of life on this earth... Coming from the only religion that has been able to produce such hatred for quite some time.... and yes, 99% of Palestinians are peaceful and just want to live like everyone else.... its an intresting question of how they manage to create the remaining 1%
    No worries though... fanatic Islam is in London already.... maybe in 20 years people will start realizing the mistake

  7. Thank you, Be'eri, for your comment.

    I am somewhat surprised by your suggestion that only Islam produces such hatred. Would you not agree that some extremist Jews are just as sick in their hatred? Indeed, how would you describe the language of Gil'ad Sharon in yesterday's Yediot?

    Irish fanatics have been to London before Muslims ever considered their international options...and in a world of easy and cheap travel and communication, fanatics, as you rightly say, travel.

    I do not think that pointing out how hateful the extremist Muslims are serves any purpose, nor does it defuse the bomb.

  8. Nope… Have to respectively disagree…
    Sure us Israeli’s have our share of fanatics… just as the Americans, English, Belgians, French do… and they all belong behind bars (probably some of them live in Itamar). However you can count on one hand the number of occasions this has gone to the level of murder and never has this resulted in slaughtering kids…
    Same goes for the Irish … yes they did have their part in killing civilians… but stabbing babies??? Unheard of…
    The bomb will be defused when both the Israeli government and Palestinian leadership stop playing games and start looking at their own peoples best interest… until that day comes we are stuck …
    But biased BBC coverage and comments which tie slaughtering babies to occupation will always shake even left wing Israeli’s. Wanting peace and willingness to go back to the 67 line does not in any way indicate self-hatred…

  9. I agree that both sides have to stop playing games. Talking about how hateful the other side is does not serve that purpose. It is our responsibility to educate our side to live up to the high standards that we we claim to have. This has nothing to do with self hatred which is but an easy slogan.

    PS: I have no idea what the BBC coverage of the Itamar killing has been.

  10. Be'eri:
    This reminds me the known fact that 99% of Lawyers give the other 1 Percent a bad reputation.

    It will be interesting to know on which facts you base this claim. Maybe it's Gaza street celebrations, which are all in the 1% of course. I think the claim of Riyad Al-Malki that one should investigate the motives of Israel so quickly accusing the Palestinians...

    I would guess that the joy, indifference and regret are at best evenly spread among the Palestinian...

    High moral standards are very important of course, but the bottom line is that Be'eri, 90% of the Israeli population and myself REALLY condemn the Settlers' violence which is very hard for me to believe to be true in the West Bank (I won't even mention Gaza).
    When talking about morality, I try to recall the biblical Noah which is said to be a “righteous man; he was blameless in his generation". One interpretation of the in "his generation" part is that in another generation he would not have been considered so righteous... Maybe in another time and place Israel could be consider to have many moral defects. In the current geography and point in time, Israel might not be righteous as the pope (this is a jock for you) but we behave much better than the environment.


  11. David,
    I fully agree with your last sentence. With this sort of retaliation this government is really asking for trouble and with the stable support of the old Egyptian Mubarak regime gone - and I donot see that at this moment Obama can keep the new regime under his thumb - I think this is creating a very risky situation for Israel and for keeping the peace.