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Issues of the Day The “Price Tag” Campaign of Extremist Violence is on the March

Over the last forty-eight hours, fearful that the demolition of an illegal settlement was about to take place,  a mob of  right-wing hooligans invaded an Israel Defense Forces base and commandeered a military vehicle carrying high-ranking officers, injuring one of them. Comrades of the marauders stoned Palestinian vehicles on the roadways and inflicted damage on Palestinian property in villages, while others vandalized a mosque in central Jerusalem. The “price tag” campaign, as the vigilantism has become known, is on the march.

These acts of vengeance are not the work of a few “wild weeds” as some supporters of the West Bank settlement project refer to them. They are the direct effect of an overall program of radicalism that is inflaming the country.

Notwithstanding condemnations by the prime minister and other senior officials, the ultimate locus of the violence derives from  the words, acts and inaction of those in the seats of power. The government’s tolerance if not encouragement of legislatives initiatives aimed at curtailing democratic rule in Israel, attacks against the judiciary by cabinet and Knesset members, parliamentary efforts to muzzle human rights groups, the virtual death blow given to the independent-minded Channel 10 television station, the continuing postponement of discussions concerning, not to speak of implementation, of the Trajtenberg Commissions socioeconomic reforms, all of this blows the evil, extremist winds ever higher.  

Of course, the government’s embrace of a no-peace strategy allowing the conflict with the Palestinians to fester, adds kindling to a status quo that is explosive on all sides.


As the extremists and their supporters, both active and tacit, continue to ascend, the people of Israel must resist every move and proceed decisively to paving the way for an Israel that is open, tolerant, pluralistic and just. As is being said by many here, including figures of the moderate right, all red lines have now been crossed.

© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved