The Usual Suspects, from the Israeli ‘peace camp’ to anti-Israel academics like Stephen Walt, have responded to the shocking murders in Itamar in the following general way:
Yes, it was horrible, one really shouldn’t cut the throats of little babies. But fundamentally it is the fault of ‘settlers’ for living in illegal settlements built on Palestinian land.
Yes, it looks bad for the Palestinians, if of course it turns out that Palestinians did it, but settlers resort to violence as well and violence breeds violence.
Yes it’s unfortunate for the surviving members of the family. But the most important bad thing that has come out of it is that Israel is responding by permitting more construction in settlements, and that damages the ‘peace process’.
I’m not going to quote or link to the people who say these sort of things. Look anywhere and you’ll find it, and far worse.
Let’s pretend that many of the people who say things like this are not actually thinking “good, they had it coming, maybe now they’ll get out.” Let’s pretend that they do not hate ‘settlers’ like those of Itamar.
[An aside: the same people who would call the residents of Itamar ‘religious fanatics’ for wanting to live in the Land of Israel often call for legitimizing Hamas, which, for religious reasons, would like to kill them.]
Even if we give these people the benefit of the doubt, what they are saying is nonsense:
Repeating over and over that settlements are illegal does not make it true. Itamar, which is built on state land, not ‘Palestinian’ land, is as legal as Tel Aviv. Until the ‘secure and recognized borders’ of UNSC resolution 242 are established, Jews have a right to live anywhere in the area of the League of Nations Mandate.
The ‘peace process’ is a scam, which cannot possibly bring peace. Based wholly on wishful thinking by the Israeli ‘peace camp’ and the provably false assumption that the PLO would respond to a sufficient amount of land and other concessions by ending its project to destroy Israel, depending on willful blindness toward the security considerations of proposed withdrawals, and cynically used by the Arabs to weaken Israel, the process that began with the Oslo agreement is probably the worst mistake made by any Israeli government since 1948.
‘Settler violence’ is a joke. Most of it didn’t actually happen, some of it is really self-defense, and some is childish vandalism. It is strongly opposed — and perpetrators punished — by the Israeli government, unlike the way terrorism is encouraged by the PA. There is no comparison.
Construction within existing settlements would not prejudice peace (if of course there was peace to be had). No additional land is being taken, and a fortiori, no ‘Palestinian’ land is expropriated. In this case, not only is the proposed construction within existing settlements, but they are settlements in the blocs near the Green Line that are expected to remain part of Israel in any possible peace agreement.
The terrorism and the incitement send a strong, clear message: the leaders and rank and file of Palestinian Arabs want the Jews out of the Land of Israel, and are willing to do bloody murder for their cause. After about 100 years, one would think the message would have been received by now.
Those who would like to see Israel replaced by an Arab state will not be moved by my arguments. But I invite those who still insist that the ‘peace process’ is worth pursuing, that it will lead to to a peaceful two-state solution, to take this occasion to wake up and smell the unmistakable smell of coffee.