Jewish terrorism, 2011.

"Price Tag"

My friend good friend Ori Nir, spokesman at Americans for Peace Now, has written a positively must-read analysis of the “Price Tag” tactic used by Israeli settlers in an effort to make thwarting their will and working toward peace too untenable, too painful to be contemplated. As he points out, they began by venting their anger on Israeli authorities, but that resulted in real backlash — so now they mostly take it out on Palestinians in the territories. So no one much cares.

As Ori puts it: “Price Tag has so far been a success story.”

On Monday, though, Price Tag crossed the border into northern Israel, where a Bedouin mosque was set alight. One wonders if and how that development will change the authorities’ response to the violence.

Following is an excerpt of Ori’s piece — I highly recommend that you click here to read the rest. For me, the most painful irony is that the State of Israel already revolves around the settlements and the occupation. But apparently, that’s still not enough.

“Price Tag” Terrorism Crosses the Green Line

The extremist settlers call it “Price Tag.” We have always called it by its proper name: Terrorism.

Now, Israel’s Shin Bet, the IDF’s top brass and Israeli Cabinet members agree with us. On Monday, shortly after a mosque was torched in an Israeli-Arab village in the Galilee and “Price Tag” graffiti was found nearby, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, a member of the extreme right wing Yisrael Beitenu Party, told an Israel Radio reporter that he prefers not to use the perpetrators self-serving jargon. “This is an act of terrorism,” he said.

The problem is that largely because of law enforcement negligence, a terror campaign that has been raging in the West Bank for at least three years, has now mushroomed into a widespread phenomenon – both in the West Bank and in Israel proper – that targets not only West Bank Palestinians but also Israeli Arab citizens, Israeli peace activists and Israeli law enforcement officers.

“Price Tag,” also known among its perpetrators as “Arvut Hadadit” (Mutual Responsibility), started out as a violent tactic employed by young militant Israeli settlers in the West Bank to deter Israeli law enforcement authorities from removing illegally-built structures from West Bank settlements and illegal outposts. The tactic includes attacks on Palestinians and their property, as well as attacks on Israeli military and police officers to obstruct and deter law enforcement inside settlements.

This tactic was born out of a sense of frustration among some settlers following their leadership’s inability to stop the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005. It gradually became a popular – and very effective – low-intensity anti-Palestinian terrorism campaign. It has recently been creeping into Israel, and is therefore increasingly viewed as a real danger by the security authorities. Israeli law enforcement authorities tend to be more tolerant of anti-Palestinian violence in the West Bank than they are of violence inside Israel. As often happens, what was tolerated in the West Bank has crossed the Green Line, and is now plaguing Israelis inside Israel.

UPDATE: If you’re really interested, you go farther down the very dispiriting “Jewish terrorists” rabbit hole with the book Jewish Terrorism in Israelclick here for my review.

6 Comments

  1. I had to look up what “Price Tag” meant here:
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/10/price-tag-menace-vigilante-israeli-settler-attacks-spread/43226/

    But I suspected as much that it meant “there’s a price to be paid for these actions.” I thought it was first just a way of saying “here’s what it will cost you in the aggregate if you remove the settlements.” The Atlantic Wire makes it more clear that it is a (I hesitate to use a trivial word) tit-for-tat reaction.

    The purpose of the action is what I don’t understand. I would think that the settlers want to be left alone to do what they want (leaving aside the argument that what they want is impossible given the nature of their objectives and the location of their settlements); fomenting more violence doesn’t seem to be the way to achieve less violence, and I can’t think of an instance in history where escalation has resulted in the desired objectives. Usually what happens is that the escalation continues until there are smoking ruins on both sides.

    Well, I’m no expert in this.

    • For someone who’s no expert, you seem to have arrived at the heart of the matter.

      Thank you for that link. I’m going to put it in the main post — I sometimes forget that my wee little audience is very, very diverse, and even though Ori’s full post tells the whole story, most people like a little more information going in.

      I’m also going to add a link to a book about Jewish terrorism. Good times!

    • rantosaurus2

       /  October 5, 2011

      Good point. I believe, in addition to that there may be a ‘deal’ between the now extreme right govt of Israel and the settlers to make life impossible for Palestinians to encourage them to move, out. But where? Palestinian land is now less than 11% of what it was.
      It reminds me the of the early Spanish settlers in America and the Europeans in Northern America, the superior beings with god given rights and the heathens.
      You may want to check my blog
      http://rantosaurus2.wordpress.com/

  2. Greta Dorfman

     /  October 15, 2011

    Hi Emily –
    I found this by a Google search for a certain “new party” that someone recently posted about in a user group I belong to, which consists of former and present members of North American Hashomer Hatzair (living in Israel and elsewhere). The “new party” that this posting person wrote about is called “He’arvut,” and from her description, it sounded as though it encompassed some of our (Shmutznikim) ideology. However, my search brought me to the article by your friend, Ori Nir, which I have now shared on my Facebook wall. It is impossible that, even in Israel with many parties with confusing names and changing affiliations, any party worth supporting would use the same name as this group of Settler Terrorists.

    Anyway, I am glad I found you, and I would like to subscribe.

  1. Ex-Israeli officials: ‘Price tag’ attacks could start intifada. The attacks are from the unlawful and immoral settlements and the settlers | ikners.com