I have written about how the so-called ‘price tag’ actions have been a goldmine for anti-Israel propaganda. Although there seem to have been a few cases where vandals were actually caught, in others it seems as though the police have simply “rounded up the usual [right-wing activist] suspects.” After a burst of publicity about how they are doing their job, they are forced to release them for lack of actual evidence.
We know that the manufacturing of Israeli ‘crimes’ is a cottage industry for Palestinians. There was the notorious case of Mohammed Dura, the ‘Jenin massacre‘ in which nobody was massacred, the Gaza Beach incident (where navy ships allegedly fired on Palestinian picnickers), and countless incidents alleged to have occurred during Operation Cast Lead which found their way into the Goldstone Report. Hizballah also faked numerous ‘war crimes’, such as the rocketing of a Red Cross ambulance, etc.
So I think I can be excused for wondering how many of the ‘price tag’ actions were actually carried out by Jewish right-wing vandals and how many were ‘Paliwood’ productions. When a mosque was burned in the Arab village of Tuba Zangaria, I wrote this:
In addition to the fact that the act was morally wrong, it was unbelievably stupid. There is still a gag order on details of the case, but I’m sure that when we find them out, we will see that the perpetrator is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.
The “price tag” attacks are supposed to deter Arabs from vandalism, terrorism and even murder by making them pay a ‘price’. This can’t possibly work, since it simply motivates the Arabs to respond in kind, something they are overjoyed to have an excuse to do.
So the strategy is both wrong and ineffective.
But there’s more: it’s a huge gift to our enemies in the information war. It provides the grain of truth needed to validate the exaggerations and outright lies that will be told in order to establish that ‘both sides’ are at fault, even that ‘both sides engage in terrorism’.
Since then, several Jewish suspects were arrested and then released for lack of evidence.
Now an independent investigation has raised very serious doubts about the likelihood that ‘settlers’ were responsible for this attack.
It is interesting that in many of these incidents — al-Dura, Gaza Beach, and the mosque arson at Tuba Zangaria — the initial Israeli response was to apologize, before it was certain that Israeli Jews were in fact responsible (or, in the case of al-Dura, before it was known that the event in question had even occurred). What I said some years ago about the al-Dura affair is applicable here as well:
Many [Israelis] have internalized the propaganda of Israel’s enemies. They are prepared to believe that IDF soldiers would continue to fire on a target like al-Dura and his father, who are obviously not firing back and not even armed, for 40 minutes. This is not the same as saying that ‘accidents happen’, it is agreeing that the IDF is either criminally negligent or deliberately murderous, which is what the Arab and European press constantly say.
It seems to me that some Israelis and Jews have a moral inferiority complex. Even though they would not admit this, deep down they are not sure that Israel has a right to exist. Although they understand intellectually that Israel is in a life and death struggle with the Arab world and Iran, emotionally there is a feeling that they are in the wrong.
The ‘Price Tag’ actions do not benefit the ‘settlers’ in any way and they do not help the state. They are, in a sense, ‘too good to be true’ for Israel’s enemies. It is of utmost importance that the perpetrators be caught and exposed, and given the precedent for Arab manipulation of the media, the possibility that Arabs are responsible for many of them must be taken seriously by the police and Shabak.
Update [16 Mar 2012 0826 PDT]: Apparently, some Arab youth are not averse to including “death to Arabs” in Hebrew in their graffiti. Now why would they do that?