Price-tag attack in Latrun 370.
(photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
This weekend, police arrested five Jewish teens on suspicion of attacking an Arab in downtown Jerusalem Thursday night and breaking his leg with a metal rod. Three weeks earlier, Jewish teens attacked another Arab in downtown Jerusalem, nearly killing their 17-year-old victim. These unprovoked assaults are just the worst of a recent spate of troubling incidents, such as last week’s vandalism of the Latrun monastery or July’s arson attack on an apartment housing migrant workers. Taken altogether, the conclusion is inescapable: A small but growing segment of Israel’s Jewish population considers any form of violence acceptable as long as the victim is non-Jewish. The classic name for this is racism.Racism is common on the fringes of all societies, but it doesn’t usually spread beyond the margins without encouragement from mainstream opinion leaders. Unfortunately, there has been no lack of such encouragement: Examples range from a municipal rabbi who publicly urged people not to rent apartments to Arabs, yet remains on the government payroll instead of being summarily fired, to an MK from the ruling Likud party who called migrants a “cancer.”