A most moral violence

Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade at an IDF swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, December 24, 2015. (credit: Israel Defense Forces / CC BY-NC 2.0)
A new collection of essays explores how the Israeli army justifies its violence against Palestinians — and why Israeli society so readily accepts its abuses.

By Noam Sheizaf | +972 Magazine | Dec 29, 2021

Technically, Israel views the West Bank as “disputed” rather than occupied, and, since the 2005 disengagement, Israelis no longer believe Gaza to be under Israeli occupation. Yet in practice, the Israeli military controls both.

In late August, on the eve of Naftali Bennett’s White House meeting with President Biden, the Israeli prime minister gave an interview to the New York Times in which he outlined his government’s agenda. “This government will neither annex nor form a Palestinian state, everyone gets that,” Bennett said. “I’m prime minister of all Israelis, and what I’m doing now is finding the middle ground — how we can focus on what we agree upon.”

After years of lip service by Israeli leaders to the two-state solution or to the annexation of “the historic homeland” of Judea and Samaria (the biblical names for the occupied West Bank), Bennett finally articulated the undeniable reality in Israel-Palestine: as far as Israelis are concerned, the status quo is the solution. The status quo is also the common denominator upon which his government is built — the glue holding together a coalition that includes the Palestinian Ra’am party, the liberal Meretz, and the national-religious, pro-settlement Yamina.

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