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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yonathan Reports

Our friend Professor Shapir, back in his native Israel, asks whether the tectonic plates beneath the West Bank are starting to move and sends this report from Kibbutz Nahshonim:
As all of you know it is never boring in Israel. Yet some days are more crucial than others. The time before the last time I was here the Turkish flotilla debacle happened. This time the vicious attacks of extreme-right religious fanatics are making the headlines. 
The Likudniks and the settlement establishment supporters are "shocked" from what has happened here in the last couple of days. The most extreme have started to attack not only Palestinians, but Zahal (Israeli Defense Forces) officers and bases as well. To the center and moderate-right leaning people this is a very hard awakening. Suddenly, they realize what rotten elements grew up in the lawlessness of the West Bank they themselves helped to create. The story line of Gershom Gorenberg (he will have a piece on these events in the American Prospect today or tomorrow)  is exposed in a sudden bang to all those who tried to pretend that skirting the rule of  the law is a small price to pay in the pursuit of Greater Israel. For the first time the settlement project is undermined by its rogue elements more than it is by its oponents. Politically the effects will take time to materialize, but future historians may well mark the last two days as the beginning of the decline in the support for the settlments within Israeli public opinion.
For more on the extremist element in Israel read Amos Harel here in Haaretz.

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