It’s the culture, stupid

By Dennis Mitzner
The terrorist attack that took place in Itamar was yet another reminder of the nature of the conflict and the coverage that it receives in the world media. Once again we are reminded that the conflict is neither strictly political nor territorial. In the light of the reporting of the attack in the press, one is forced to truly have an open mind in order to arrive at a conclusion opposite to the one generally offered by the mainstream media.
Unpredictably, the Israeli daily Haaretz focused its analysis on the attacks’ possible impact on the peace process. Instead of contemplating a culture that produces such barbarism, Haaretz’s Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff want the reader to consider the possibility of a counter-attack by “Jewish extremists.”
By not focusing on the nefariousness of the attack, Harel and Isacharoff prefer to remind the reader of the “political context” of the murders.
According to such logic, the Palestinian terrorist who murdered five members of the same family by stabbing them in cold-blood is absolved of his sin, because the sin is placed in the specific context of the Palestinian predicament. When an act is political, the connotations are different. The word murder disappears and is replaced by an implication that the act cannot be purely evil and must have a political element to it.
We should not, however, accept the premise that it is rational to stab children to reach a political goal. Why the Jews of Itamar are automatically subjected to a political context to which the Jews of Europe are not?
A Jew murdered in Europe is a victim of anti-Semitism, but a Jew murdered in the West Bank is merely a victim of Israeli occupation? According to such logic, the West Bank is free of anti-Semitism.
The reporting surrounding the attack is predictable as is the speculation about the consequences that the attack will have on the peace process.
However, every civilized human being should be insulted by the notion that a conflict over a territory that remains disputed can make a person stab an infant in cold-blood. Palestinians and their supporters must admit that such evil can only be product of a rotten culture.