What Does It Take To Prosecute a Settler?
Ha’aretz reports that prosecutors have dropped an indictment of a Hebron settler who went to the house of local Palestinians, drew his gun, initiated an argument, and then assaulted and shot two at close range. And was caught on film doing it.
This is not isolated. The settlers have recently embarked on a campaign of intimidation and violence: torching Palestinian fields, throwing rocks at Palestinian cars, and attacking Israeli police. This is a threat to the very core of Israel’s status as a democratic society, but it will never be contained if they continue to be able to engage in terrorist acts and violent assaults without fear of legal sanction. The settlers are not a law unto themselves. It is heartening that the increasingly violent turn the settlers have taken in recent times has resulted in a dramatic drop in Israeli public support for them (something I first observed back in December). Clearly, the Israeli public is sick of supporting these thugs. But that commitment has to be backed up with the force of the law. If a Palestinian came up to a settler’s house and shot two residents, we’d know what to call this. Terrorism is terrorism regardless of who the perpetrator is.