Bring It On

“Israeli settlers in the West Bank vandalized an Israel Defense Forces base on Wednesday, carrying out a “price tag” operation against the army for the first time since adopting the policy in recent years.” The full story is here.


There is an old Jewish saying, based on a Talmudic story: צדיקים מלאכתם נעשית בידי אחרים. Roughly translated, it means that the work of the righteous is done by others. It is used to describe actions that take place and benefit someone who had nothing to do with taking those actions. A kind of blessing in disguise.

This saying came to mind when I read about the settlers’ despicable behaviour this morning. I actually welcome this behaviour. I think it reveals the true face of that group of ultra-nationalist “patriots” who “settle” the West Bank illegally, backed by drooling messianic rabbis that condone their actions. The more of this behaviour we see, the more people will come to realise what nutcases we are dealing with: modern-day Sicarii zealots who are so stupid and self-centered they do not realise how their actions undermine their own cause. This behaviour delegitimises the settlers, which can only be a good thing.

Bring it on, I say. The more the better.

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2 thoughts on “Bring It On

  1. Natalie:
    There are about 300,000 Jews living in the West Bank. The majority is in the big towns (Ariel, Ma’ale Edumim, the Gush Etzion area, etc.) and are in most part normative citizens that will stay in their homes under any conceivable arrangement. When you deduct this majority, you are left with the settlements that are dotted all across the West Bank, home to no more that a few tens of thousands. The small but obnoxiously loud minority of extremists is not an insignificant percentage of these and they’re setting the tone. The silent majority is guilty of being just that: silent.
    I have no hope from their rabbis, but other rabbis (also settlers) are denouncing them (see here, if you read Hebrew: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4119841,00.html).

  2. I had never heard of the Sicarii zealots. (although reading the wiki article reminded me of Life of Brian and the People’s Front of Judea, er.. the Judean People’s Front…)
    It’s a pretty apt comparison, pending the murders and assassinations.

    I have mixed feelings about the settlers. They really need to separate themselves from the caravan/hilltop youth, and make a point of denoucing the extremists. Their rabbis need to do the same. Saying nothing isn’t helping either.
    There’s what, 500,000 Israelis living outside the Green Line? They’re not all nutjobs. And they need to make it clear to the rest of the population that these people don’t represent them.

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