Between Netanya and Yitzhar / At Long Last, a Pogrom of Our Own

At long last, we are a normal people like all the other people. We have had Jewish prostitutes, and robbers, and murderers for a long time already; and now, thank goodness, we also have Jewish people wreaking pogroms; and that, to our joy, is also not completely new. No longer are we merely the all-time victims of cruel gentiles - Kishinev will not fall again, Asira al-Kabiliya will fall. And in order for a pogrom to be worthy of its name, the authorities must stand by idly, must insist on blood. That is exactly what they do in the territories - they stand by and watch.

Yesterday the government met to discuss the pogroms, and not all the ministers knew who is responsible for imposing the law in the West Bank - at least so the media reported. After 41 years of occupation, Israel's cabinet members still do not know. The soldiers, on the other hand, know all too well and they make no mistake. As such, it is permitted to shoot and kill a 16-year-old Palestinian youth for "disturbing public order" in a village near Tekoa, as actually happened two days ago.

The picture becomes blurred when the settlers set a dog on a company commander and it bites him, leaving him with deep wounds. Suddenly it is not clear what has to be done. Perhaps - and I am mentioning this merely as a possibility - they should have arrested the settler on the spot and handcuffed him. They should not shoot him while handcuffed - that is forbidden, and I don't agree with it. But soldiers and their commanders fall victim to a strange sort of paralysis at the sight of the settlers and their dogs.

After the company commander was bitten and taken to hospital, his deputy, a reserve soldier aged 41, was also attacked. His hand was broken and had to be put in plaster. "The settlers called us Nazis," he complained with a broken heart, and the insult hurt him more than his broken hand. There is no doubt about it, the IDF always was and remains the most moral, the most sensitive army on earth. And this case is not especially sensational - all that happened was that a dog bit a man, an IDF officer. It would have been much more sensational had the dog's owner himself put his teeth into the officer, or for that matter into the dog.

But nevertheless, perhaps someone will explain to us how it happens that an army imposes a curfew on a village, only to allow a pogrom there - Yitzhar's revenge for the stabbing of a little boy. That is the work of Satan. After all, no one is better than our defense minister at giving nice and instructive explanations; after listening to him, everything becomes much clearer. There is no one better than our chief of staff at explaining where the IDF's deterrent power has disappeared to, the very same deterrent he committed himself to bringing back on the day he was appointed.

And there is no one like the chief military judge advocate, who feels pity for the cruel ones but who has no pity for us or our image. It is not enough to point an accusatory finger at the police, whose entire hand has already been eaten away by all the accusatory fingers that have been pointed at it. In fact, both its hands have disappeared, it has become handicapped and helpless, and all it needs is the Yesha settlers for its total destruction.

There are two populations in this land that should best not be annoyed - organized crime, which is growing and multiplying, and the settler population, which is also organized. If they have the book thrown at them, they become violent and dangerous - and anyone who wants to save his soul should move away.

As a matter of fact, both the army and the police have moved away and many politicians are in no hurry to deal with them. Who knows, perhaps they have several thousand votes in the ballots for the primaries. Representatives of the underworld families are friendly with quite a few very important people, and the families of Yesha have certainly gained a foothold in more than one party.

So don't annoy them; let sleeping dogs, and those who turn them on people, lie; let them continue to stir up terror in this land and rule it, with God's help and with great fear.