Opinion |

Murderous Violence Against Palestinians Is in the Blood of Israeli Settlers

Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher
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Thousands of pro-settler demonstrators marched in Homesh, the West Bank, Thursday.
Thousands of pro-settler demonstrators marched in Homesh, the West Bank, Thursday.Credit: Amir Levy
Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher

The Palestinians, say the settlers, imbibe antisemitic hatred for Jews from their textbooks. The settler mainstream does not exactly condemn the violence from those in its ranks, nor does it reject them, but along with downplaying the phenomenon it does stress that this is not the official policy of the mainstream.

The march on Thursday to Homesh – where about 10,000 settlers demanded, in the name of Yehuda Dimentman, who was murdered by Palestinians, to rebuild the settlement that was evacuated during the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip, and to prevent the demolition of the yeshiva there – proves that murderous violence against Palestinians, and incitement to murderous violence against Palestinians, is in the blood of the settlement movement.

“Zochreini Na” (Remember Me) is a Hasidic-rock hit that was composed in 1996 by Dov Shurin to words from the Book of Judges. They tell how after the Philistines gouged out his eyes, Samson prayed to God to give him strength to take revenge against his enemies one last time, before he pulled the building down upon himself and his captors. It is a song of revenge about a mass murder perpetrated by Samson (it could be called a massacre), during which he killed himself too. Another destructive Masada myth. “Let me die with the Philistines.” A song that extols a murderous revenge, a mass slaughter, death, suicide.

In December 2015 Roi Sharon, a journalist at the time on Channel 10, aired a film clip from a wedding of members of the (“extremist”) right, who were seen dancing to the song. Some were carrying weapons. As part of the dance, one of the attendees stabbed a picture of the toddler Ali Dawabsheh, who was burned to death in the Jewish terror attack in Duma after an incendiary device was tossed on his house. In other words, part of the joy of the wedding included an impassioned dance to the strains of a song that celebrates a murderous revenge, and stabbing the picture of an Arab baby who was burned to death by Jews only because he was born an Arab.

Think about the cascades of empathy among the Israeli public for Itzik Saidian, who tried to immolate himself. Death by burning is a particularly cruel method of execution, which causes unimaginable suffering to the victim. The toddler Ali Dawabsheh was not only murdered, he was also cruelly tortured until he died. And this inhuman barbarism celebrated at a wedding, in dance and song.

This song was also sung by the settlers who marched to Homesh on Thursday. With loud roars. With impassioned dancing. With great joy. Embracing one another. Jumping up and down in ecstasy. “This time too, I will take vengeance for one of my two eyes.” (“Of my two eyes!” shouted some of the marchers in harmony; they harmonize, like the Beatles.) “Take vengeance on Palestine for one of my two eyes!” (“Let their names be erased!” responded the chorus of revelers.) “And I’ll take vengeance for one of my two eyes, revenge on Palestine for one of my two eyes!”

The entire Bibi-ist right united in its support for and pride in this march. Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, led it. That’s the settlement establishment. The march was not an event featuring a handful of “extremist” settlers. It’s the mainstream. And they incited there at the top of their lungs, in joy and song, to the murder of masses of innocent Palestinians, in the name of the Holy One, blessed by He. The jubilant settlers looked and sounded drunk. Drunk with racist, ultra-nationalist, barbaric violence.

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