Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak calls for crackdown on 'Jewish terror'
Mr. Barak addressed an uptick in Jewish vigilantism. Today, Jewish extremists attacked a Jerusalem mosque, albeit one no longer used for prayers.
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Kadima leader Tzipi Livni raised similar concerns about violence by Jewish extremists, whom she called “a growing group of extremist Israelis that is trying to turn Israel into a lawless, nationalistic violent environment with twisted Judaism," reports Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news outlet affiliated with religious Zionism. "The government must arrest the vandals and punish them, and stop the silent consent, the extremist laws, and the rabbinical rhetoric,” she said.Skip to next paragraph
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The Jerusalem Post reports that former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of the Labor party called for the IDF to respond to attacks with deadly force, regardless of whether the attackers are Jews or Arabs. "Whoever comes to kill you – kill him first. This is terror," he said. "I was witness to such terror in 1995, which ended in a prime minister being killed," he added, referring to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist.
In a commentary for Haaretz, Aeyal Gross, a law professor at Tel Aviv University, expands on the apparent double standard used by the IDF and the Israeli government in response to Jewish extremist and Palestinian protests.
"It is easy to imagine what would have happened had Palestinians invaded an Israeli military base and vandalized vehicles, burned tires, thrown rocks at the brigade commander and injured his deputy. It would have ended in death, injury, or arrest for many of them. But the perpetrators of this week's incident were Jews, not Palestinians," he writes in Haaretz, a liberal Israeli newspaper.
The proximity of the two incidents invites comparison, but the disparity in the response has long been evident. Demonstrating Palestinians are met with force - sometimes deadly - and arrests. Jews in the territories, even when they riot and use violence against Palestinians or the army, are usually accorded what amounts to immunity by both the military and the judicial establishments.
The disparity of response is the symptom of the broader problem, that of the fact of two populations living in the same territory, where each one is under a different legal system and is treated differently by the military. Israel is selective in its imposition of its law on the settlements and the settlers, creating a regime that discriminates on the basis of national identity. ...
Under the current circumstances, when one population and its army are allowed to rule over and use violence against another population, it should not come as a surprise that sometimes violence is also directed at the IDF.