Preventing the blaze that could consume us all

The government must take aggressive steps and put in place all the operative and legal measures necessary to act as it would against any type of terrorism.‏

By
August 6, 2015 20:39
3 minute read.
Meir Ettinger

Police arrest Meir Ettinger. (photo credit: TAZPIT)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

All it takes is two people to set the whole Middle East ablaze, says former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon.

His comments came after last week’s firebomb attack that left a Palestinian baby dead and his parents and four-year-old brother severely injured.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


It was a tragedy that shocked the Israeli public and jolted the government and security forces into action.

The Shin Bet released manifestos written by Jewish extremists supporting violent overthrow of the secular system of government, seeking to replace it with a Jewish theocracy, but such manifestos are hardly new and neither for that matter are firebomb attacks on Palestinian homes – over a dozen such incidents have occurred over the past couple of years without anyone being brought to justice.

One of those manifestos was by Meir Ettinger, a grandson of the late Meir Kahane, who is now being held in administrative detention. “The ideological foundations of the Zionist state are built like that of any other nation and not for the Kingdom of Israel,” writes Ettinger who goes on to describe how to undermine the state and its ability to rule.

Part of Ettinger’s “plan” is to carry out violent acts against Palestinians and lead to chaos and anarchy that would topple the government. “It’s much easier to destroy the state and rebuild it than to renovate it,” he writes.

The hard core of militants and those who sympathize with them don’t have the power in any way to threaten the state, and the settlement movement couldn’t survive for a day without the economic support of the government or the protection of the IDF. The danger they present lies precisely in their ability to spark a fire that could spread out of control.

“Before threatening the stability of the regime they throw a few firebombs in a village and cause a violent reaction leading to a circle of intensifying violence and chaos,” says the Hebrew University’s Gideon Aran, an expert on Jewish extremism.

“They dream of chaos,” he says “and to create chaos all you need is a small cell. A couple of murders and you spark an intifada and that serves their purpose; they want an intifada.”


The problem though is not just with that hard core that uses violence. They express a wider sentiment, as telling a truth that no one dares to say, a truth that permeates as far as the political echelon where some feel that sentiment year round and when violence occurs rush to condemn it.

It is that pool of sympathizers that those using violence seek to galvanize by creating cataclysmic conflict that would force them to come down on one side, to take action.

Despite dozens of “price tag” attacks – that have seen arrests few and far between – casualties have been low, but as last week’s attack showed it is only mere chance that more have not been killed. Firebombs were also thrown into a neighboring building whose residents were not home. One can only imagine the consequences had there been several casualties. The ideology expressed by Ettinger and his like makes it clear they will eventually succeed in creating a cataclysm if left unchecked.

The government’s condemnation of last week’s attack as terrorism and its promise to hunt down the perpetrators are welcome.

But in the face of a twisted and depraved ideology it must take aggressive steps and put in place all the operative and legal measures necessary to act as it would against any type of terrorism.

Those measures should include steps against those that provide the ideological motivations for acts of terror. As Ayalon puts it, “Where there is no water, there are no weeds.”

The government must above all act consistently, unequivocally and without respite, not just when a horrendous act pushes the problem into the public spotlight.

In dealing with Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank, Israeli security sources like to use the term “mowing the grass” as a metaphor for eradicating terrorist networks before they have had time to take root. When it comes to Jewish terrorism, the grass has been left to grow out of control for too long.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him
December 9, 2018
Think About It: Senior citizens and digital banking

By SUSAN HATTIS ROLEF