Does Israel's government tolerate settler violence?
Israeli settlers set fire to dozens of houses and cars in the Palestinian town of Huwara, leaving hundreds injured. The attack occurred after two Israelis were shot dead there by suspected Palestinian assailants. The far-right and Zionist Israel finance minister, Bezalul Smotrich, and other representatives of Israel's ruling coalition praised the settlers' reaction. Commentators are alarmed about this government.
A new low point
The escalation shows how dangerous the situation in Israel is right now, says The Guardian:
“Settler violence is not new. Nor is the army's failure to stem it. Increasingly, it appears not only widespread, but systemic. It was worsening even before this extremist government took power. But the scale and intensity of this attack - heavily telegraphed in advance - and the fact that coalition members egged it on, make it unprecedented. ... The US and others have seen poor return for the limited efforts they have invested. But Huwara is frightening proof, if any were needed, that this government cannot be left to wreak more damage.”
De Standaard fears further expansion of the settlements and more violence from the settlers:
“The Netanyahu government is doing everything it can to erode the countervailing power of the rule of law with new laws, so that there is nothing left to stop the coalition from building more than 10,000 new illegal settlements and violent settlers will not have to worry about punishment. If this plan succeeds, the world could be confronted with a dreadful Israel, as recently described by the well-known author Yuval Noah Harari: a state with enormous military and a nuclear apparatus in the hands of extremist hardliners which can oppress the Palestinian community with even less restraints and more brutality than before.”
Out with this disastrous coalition!
In an opinion piece in Público, Esther Mucznik, former vice-president of the Jewish Community in Lisbon, hopes that Jews from all over the world will protest against the current Israeli government:
“Many of them have family members there and are concerned about the country where the Jewish people were born and where they developed their spiritual, religious and national identity. ... This is a coalition that could destroy the cohesion of Israeli society and the foundations of its democratic identity. ... I believe that the Israeli people, with the support of Jewish and non-Jewish democrats around the world, will ultimately render Mr Netanyahu's disastrous coalition ineffective.”
Constructively support the opposition
The taz finds it hardly surprising that Israel's government is apparently making no attempt to de-escalate:
“Just like all other right-wing, radical governments, it needs conflicts and enemies abroad. Especially since Netanyahu, who is accused in three corruption cases, could escape a possible prison sentence thanks to the judicial reform. ... Europe and the US should enter into dialogue with the opposition and offer all possible support - beyond absurd boycott fantasies. Because a strong, democratic Israel in an otherwise unstable region can only be in their interest.”