By Saleh Al-Naami*
The Shin Bet has recently given the impression that a large rebel movement is on the verge of a revolt against the governing system in Tel Aviv. All that’s left is for these “rebels” to release their first statement on one of the television stations that they control. Israeli and many foreign media outlets have taken the internal security agency’s warnings very seriously. It believes that the cell which set fire to the Dawabsheh family home in the Palestinian village of Duma is only part of a big “salvific” movement that aims to establish the “State of Judea” on the ruins of the “State of Israel”, after first managing to undermine its “democratic government” and launching a governance system based only on the Torah and rabbinical tradition.
In order to downplay the horror and ugliness of the terrorism this movement committed against the Dawabshehs, the agency believes that it is committing terrorist acts against the Palestinians on a large scale as part of the strategy adopted to achieve its goals. It is clear that the Shin Bet’s miserable approach aims mainly to whitewash the state’s larger-scale terrorism by drawing a dramatic picture of the Jewish terrorist groups, which wouldn’t have seen the light of day without the support of the Israeli government and its security, economic and judicial institutions. It is clear that the exaggeration of the danger posed by these groups to the government aims to dwarf the terrorism against the Palestinians, and to use them in the context of the imaginary “coup” scenario in order to make them more bearable to live with.
All of the individuals that the Shin Bet suspects are “leaders” and members of the Jewish terrorist movement that attacked the Dawabsheh family are younger than 24. They also all live in settlements that are under the protection of the army, and most of them are from the ultra-orthodox Haredi movement whose children do not serve in the army. So is the state that boasts of possessing one of the strongest intelligence services in the world unable to confront groups led by young amateurs? Or are Israel’s institutions conspiring with these groups and providing them with an environment conducive to their growth?
There is no way that anyone could question the “credibility” of Yuval Diskin, a former head of the Shin Bet who is seen by Israelis as a “national hero” due to his role in ending the Aqsa Intifada by assassinating Palestinian resistance leaders and activists, when he testifies to the environment that nurtures terrorist organisations. Diskin confirms that successive Israeli governments in Tel Aviv did not want to deal with the Jewish terrorist formations. (Yedioth Ahronoth, 7 August 2015) He went on to list the direct and indirect support these Jewish terrorist organisations receive from the state and its various institutions.
The complicity of Israel’s institutions with regards to Jewish terrorism has reached unimaginable levels. In what political entity are leaders of terrorist cells arrested, after evidence linking them to serious crimes is provided, then released due to judicial technicalities, which are purely administrative? The Israeli security services found comprehensive and detailed plans to burn mosques and churches in the West Bank and inside the Green Line in the home of 24 year old Moshe Auerbach, who the Shin Bet believes is the leader of a terrorist group working against Palestinians. However, he was released because the court that issued his arrest warrant was not authorised to do so. (Haaretz, 30 July 2015) We can only imagine what the response would be from Israeli and Jewish organisations — and even Western governments —if one of the extreme right-wing leaders in Europe called for the burning of synagogues. However, Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein, the leader of the radical Lehava group, which is publically listed, explained in a conference covered by the media the “religious” rationale that requires Jews to burn churches, describing Christianity as a form of “idolatry”. (Jerusalem Post, 5 August 2015)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he was affected by the burning to death of baby Ali Dawabsheh and his father Saad, yet his government continues to pay hundreds of thousands of shekels to the school run by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, author of the book The King’s Torah, considered to be the most dangerous “religious book” justifying terrorist acts against Palestinians. In his book, which was published in 2009, Shapira goes out of his way to come up with “evidence” that permits the killing of non-Jewish babies in the event that Jewish interests require it. All of the rabbis involved in issuing religious declarations encouraging murder are state employees receiving generous salaries from the government, or they manage religious and educational institutions which receive government funding, not to mention the donations they get from abroad.
There is no doubt that the most dangerous sources of support received by these terrorist organisations is received from the governing political elites. The Likudian Ministers Ze’ev Elkin, Yariv Levin and Miri Regev all occupy themselves with attacking those who have criticised the extreme right-wing after the arson attack against the Dawabsheh family. This has even reached the extent of Likud MK Miki Zohar claiming that those committing the crime against the family did not intend to murder anyone. (Walla, 4 August 2015)
It is clear that the political, social, and religious environment in Israel nurtures terrorist organisations. That’s why, for example, it is not considered reprehensible in Israeli society for many Jewish youth to add “death to Arabs” to their usernames on social networking sites or for this slogan to turn into the top chant used at football stadiums around the country.
In conclusion, there is no danger to the stability of the government in Tel Aviv. The trends in Israeli society and voting patterns cater for checks and balances in the government, and allow for the absorption of more extreme approaches and parties.
(Translated by Middle East Monitor from Al-Araby Al-Jadid, August 12, 2015)