Jewish extremists are a ‘ticking bomb’ for Israel
An Israeli TV channel broadcast a wedding video in which Jewish Radicals were dancing with guns and stabbing the photo of a baby who was burnt to death this summer. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the celebration saying these people pose a danger to society and the country's security.
RT: Do you think there are a lot of right-wing extremists in Israel?
Yehiel Grenimann: There is a core group of a few hundred people who are very extreme. There are thousands of people who support their approach. It is a significant population, it is not insignificant.
RT: What makes youth radicalized to the extent they are ready to kill whole Palestinian families?
YG: There’s a process. First of all, there’s a background of the trauma of World War II passed on through families and amplified by rabbis, educators using that background. Then, there is the experience of generations already of terrorism. And on the top of that, there was the trauma of the withdrawal from Gaza by the Sharon government of settlers and the shock that they did not have popular support...
RT: But that does not justify the extremism and violence that they use on other people does it?
YG: There is no justification. You asked me to try to explain why this developed. It is clearly forbidden by Jewish law. It is shocking; I am a child of Holocaust survivors, to see this kind of hatred at the wedding as positively shocking. Torah preaches and teaches love and peace. I don’t justify that behavior in any way or form. Our group has been campaigning against such hate crimes. We are members of a coalition called Tag Meir of 51 Israeli religious and educational organizations who’ve been pushing and lobbing for stronger acts by the government, warning that this kind of thing might happen before it did happen. Finally, there is now some move on the part of the government to do something about it…
RT: On the one hand, we see Benjamin Netanyahu condemning violence, condemning those attacks and on the other the crackdown on Palestinians still goes on. What is it? Is it just pure rhetoric or is it double-standards, what is it?
YG: I think it is an element of double-standards. I think the right-wing government is now concerned. They’ve put more money and forces into dealing with these Jewish extremists. These extremists have political protectors in the system who are pushing Netanyahu to go soft. I think now the right-wing government is worried and now they are being accused of using torture against these extremists.
We as a Human rights group are opposed to use of torture. The claim is [that] when there is a ticking bomb - it’s justified. Some of these people clearly are a ticking bomb and they’ve already caused the death of innocents. It is very difficult to deal with right-wing Jewish extremism when Jews and Israel feel attacked. But that is what has to be done if we want the country to be a viable healthy democracy.
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