Israel's enemies

October 11, 2011

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the settlements, it is wrong to portray those who live in them in a political monochrome. Some settler collectives are at the forefront of reconciliation efforts. But some outpost groups do indeed pose a mortal danger – to Israel itself.

That, certainly, is the view of Benjamin Netanyahu, as it is of Shimon Peres – and of the 40 British rabbis who have jointly condemned last week's settler assault on a mosque in the Galilee town of Tuba-Zangariya. Both the Israeli PM and President spoke out last week against the attack. This week, as Palestinians begin their annual olive harvest, news of another skirmish involving settlers emerged. The Shin Bet has been warning for several months that extremist settler groups currently pose more of a terror threat than the Palestinians. The intelligence services believe that these settlers are actively seeking to provoke a new intifada in order to destroy any possible peace process and thus the possibility of being evicted. Mr Netanyahu spoke well. Now he must act on his words and confront Israel's home-grown enemies.

    Last updated: 10:51am, October 11 2011