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Blog: Israeli retribution attempts to conceal resistance against settler-colonialism

Israel has a penchant for speaking about retribution as an isolated and necessary response – an extension of the ultimate, imaginary patriot who lacks land and invents ownership. Speaking about the three missing Israeli settlers, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon indicated the possibility of targeted assassinations against Hamas leaders.

"We will know how to exact a very heavy price from the leaders of Hamas wherever and whenever we find it appropriate and from whomever ponders the notion of harming the citizens of Israel and disrupting their lives," Ya'alon said.

The Times of Israel quoted him saying the missing settlers are perceived as "additional testimony to the cruelty and seething hatred that guides the terror groups in our region."

Echoing Ya'alon and indeed other Israeli officials in expressing their wrath, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel was dealing with one of the most "lethal, barbaric organisations in the world. We're turning the membership card for Hamas into a ticket to hell."

In other news, a Facebook page, which has garnered over 18,000 supporters, is urging Israelis to murder Palestinians every hour until the settlers are returned. The Twitter campaign, #BringBackOurBoys has stirred self-righteous fervour, turning three missing settlers into a global phenomenon, while daily atrocities inflicted upon Palestinians by the settler-colonial state remain largely unchallenged and normalised into an expected and glorified routine.

Justifying the hatred emanating from Israeli society, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said: "We don't need to be fearful in our country. A person should not fear to go anywhere in this country, whether it is under our control, or those areas that we have returned to in order to redeem them."

The statements constantly impart a misplaced sense of ownership, in which even the imagined country and its settler population takes precedence over the missing teenagers. Besides manipulating the events to declare a renewed war on Hamas, as Netanyahu declared from the IDF's Headquarters, the projection of violence onto Palestinians once again serves to catapult Israel's fabricated image to international attention.

The persisting alienation with regard to Israel's state-sanctioned terror against Palestinians will prevent the emergence of a clearer sequence that takes into consideration the nature of Israel as an inherently violent state. Targeted assassinations upon Hamas leaders will be condoned by Israeli and international media in order to deflect attention away from resistance against settler-colonialism. Murder committed by Israel is distorted into a human rights mission as a pre-emptive measure against any possible fracture that exposes the state of Israel as a myth. Hence the incessant reports regurgitating the same information and instigating further violence against Palestinians. The issue at stake is not the missing teenagers; rather the fact that Israeli leaders deem Palestinian resistance a threat to settler-colonialism.

Despite the propaganda depicting the missing settler teenagers as the immediate concern, official discourse indicates a more serious issue. The threat to Israel's imagined status has been exposed with incessant references regarding "our country" and "our people" in the wake of a challenge that has managed to plunge the foundations of the Zionist project into turmoil.


The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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