|Rabbi Meir Kahane's grandson, Meir Ettinger in a previous arrest (Jewish Press)|
I am still reeling from last week’s horrific arson attack that ended up killing a Palestinian baby- burning him alive and severely burning his brothers and parents. The authorities suspect that this was the work of extremist right wing settlers who have begun to terrorize Palestinians on the West Bank with what they call ‘Price Tag’ raids.
There are, however, many Jews that sympathize with the goals of these people even though they do not approve of their methods. Some in that category have actually come up with an alternative theory of who was responsible. They are saying that Arabs did it and purposely left clues making it look like it was a Price Tag raid!
What bothers me about those who make this claim is their inability to see people they sympathize with as guilty of a crime they would not themselves commit. Unfortunately there are Jews that believe that murder is justified in the cause of serving God.
There are others who might not be offering these unlikely alternative theories and agree that the attack was done by right wing extremists. They will instead try to divert attention from these extremists by saying that we are spending too much time looking at the rare Jewish exception and we should instead be looking at the far more common Arab terrorism against us.
I disagree. . Of course we the government needs to be vigilant and do whatever it can to protect us. But the greater concern ought to be our own morality. That others are evil – or even more evil than us - does not excuse us when we are evil.
These extremists are not serving their Godly mandate as the Am HaNivchar – the chosen people - to be a light unto the nations. They are instead making a Chilul HaShem. So, yes, for me it is far more important to report about our own evil than theirs. We need to know what is going on in our circles and remove the evil from our midst – as the Torah commands us to do.
These extremists believe they are making a Kiddush HaShem – sanctifying God’s name with their terror. They believe in the justice of their cause. Which is settling all of the land of Israel. It is true that the Torah tells us that God gave us that land. It is not true that we are entitled to terrorize innocent people to gain it back. And yet that is the claim they are making.
So serious are they that there is now a movement to overthrow the Israeli government. Ironically that is exactly what the Palestinians want – albeit with opposite ends in mind.
Yesterday, Rabbi Meir Kahane’s 24 year old grandson, Meir Ettinger was arrested. From a Jewish Press article:
Ettinger has been described as “the unofficial leader of the hilltop youth and has been barred from Judea and Samaria since January. Police arrested him in Safed (Tzfat). (He) allegedly was the mastermind who organized the arson of a church on the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) in June and for which the Shin Bet has arrested five suspects. It can easily be speculated that interrogations of the suspects exposed enough evidence for the Shin Bet to arrest Ettinger.
Ettinger denies there is a terrorist group. But what he did admit to is equally frightening:
There is no terrorist organization, but there are lots and lots of Jews, much more than what they think, whose ladder of values is completely different from that of the High Court of Justice or the Shin Bet.
In an Arutz Sheva (quoted in the Jewish Press) article he said the following:
The Nationalist Crimes Unit [of the Shin Bet] was created three years ago by Tzipi…to eradicate nationalist crimes, i.e. actions of what are known as Jewish ‘rebels’ who, for their part, feel that they are acting to prevent the further deterioration of the state of Israel…
The fact is that the security services have been acting for a long time now as if the main enemy of the State of Israel is Jewish children who move to the hills of Judea and Samaria (‘Hilltop Youth’) and that helping these youngsters is akin to treason…
As well they should. These youth could not care less about how their actions affect the rest of their countrymen. They are out to get the land back at any cost. Monday’s firebombing of a car, severely burning one passenger - may have been in reprisal for that murderous price tag arson. But these Jewish extremists don’t seem to care about the possible consequences of their actions. The cuase that supersedes all. People may die as a result? Well, I guess they must see them as casualties of war. All justifdied for the cause. When accused of endangering their countrymen by their acts they might respond by saying that the Arabs are going to attack us whether they do this or not.
They might also say that they are just responding to a prior terror attack against us. That is in fact what happened when an innocent Palestinian boy was kidnapped and burned alive shortly after those 3 Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Arabs.
Only now the overthrow of the government seems to be their new agenda. From VIN:
HAARETZ.com reports that, according to investigators from Shin Bet and Israel Police, extreme rightist ideology has shifted during the past year and is now operating under an “anarchist, anti-Zionist” pretense aimed at “destabilizing the state and undermining Israel’s social institutions and democratic government” while installing a new Israeli “kingdom” based in Jewish law.
We now have a Jewish version of ISIS.
I can hear the critics saying, ‘How dare you compare Jewish youth working to establish a kingdom based on Halacha to ISIS? That’s because they are the same. It is only a difference of degree. Once a Jew claiming the mantle of Halacha starts burning innocent people alive - how different is he from a religious Muslim that beheads someone they consider an infidel? ISIS does it a lot more, you say? Once you are sadistic murderer, increased numbers don’t change your status as one.
I don’t know if Ettinger is behind that arson… or that he even advocates violence at that level. But once you start saying that you no longer need to obey the law… and instead are obeying a ‘higher law’, then what is to stop you from doing whatever it takes to achieve those goals?
If I were the Israeli government, I would make it my highest priority to destroy these people. They may be a bigger menace to our spiritual existence than Iran or ISIS is to our physical existence. Next time anyone wants to in any way excuse or diminish the crimes these people are doing, they ought to think about this.