This is a Jewish Act, We Do Such Things (The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsheh)


About the terrorist attack, the murder 18-month old Ali Saad Dawabsheh, from the NYT, which you can read here, a quote from Yinon Magal, a member of the Israeli Parliament from the pro-settler Bayit Ha’Yehudi: “This is not a Jewish act,” Mr. Magal said. “This is not a moral act. This is a terrible act. We do not do such things. This is not our way.” Better to be honest and admit. This is a Jewish act. We do such things. This is our way.

Ahmad, the older boy, was precocious and prone to tantrums if anyone played with his toys, the uncle said; baby Ali, in contrast, was quiet and sweet.

About previous attempt to incinerate Palestinian homes while their occupants were sleeping, there’s this  piece in Haaretz, which you can read here (in Hebrew). The attempts go back two years ago and are identified in the article as an outgrowth from the arson attacks on mosques by Jewish settlers. The point here is that there’s more than ample precedent

It’s too easy to blame this form of Jewish terrorism on just a bunch of extremists or fundamentalists. This is “Jewish” and this is “Judaism,” or at least a form of it, and there’s no way around it. Yes, I happen to think these acts are “perverse,” but my own sense is that there’s no “core” to either of these things, that there is no core to pervert. What we have are different variables always in motion. Some of them are noxious.

And also, it’s not just a handful of fanatics. There are too many mainstream groupings, particularly on the right, which are complicit in creating the institutional and political and social and cultural conditions where all of this is made possible, starting with the occupation and the refusal or inability to stem the tides of incitement and hatred.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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