Juan Cole reaction. A he notes, to contectualize is not to excuse.
"The kidnapping and killing of three Israeli squatter youth
whose parents usurped Palestinian land has produced a paroxysm of
hatred and calls for reprisals in Israel. Whoever is responsible for
it, the killing of the youth was a horrid and inexcusable crime, and the
heart of any parent goes out to the bereaved families. It should be noted that during the Israeli dragnet in the West Bank,
some 9 Palestinians, some youth or children, have also been killed, and
hundreds arbitrarily arrested. The heart of any parent also goes out to
those bereaved families....
"It should be fairly obvious that if you take adolescents into the
middle of the Palestinian West Bank and steal Palestinian land and build
houses on it and shoot at Palestinians trying to harvest their crops
nearby and bulldoze down their homes or dig tube wells so deep as to
cause the Palestinian wells to run dry– if you engage in this
settler-colonial enterprise, then you are exposing those adolescents you
drag with you into it to danger.
"It is still wrong. Violence in anything other than direct
self-defense is always wrong, and innocent non-combatant life must never
be taken. A resistance movement is legitimate, but its quarrel must be
"In the way of politics, the killing will be used by the Israeli Right
wing to demonize all Palestinians and to justify collective punishment
of innocents among them, and as a pretext to take further property and
rights away from them."
UPDATE NYT reports that the 3 Israelies found dead, shot, buried in field. Haaretz blog. Now hell will truly be paid, even more than before.
Earlier. This time involving missing children--on one side, gone, maybe kidnapped; on the other gone, certainly dead, killed by soldiers. "More than two weeks after the abduction of Naftali and two other Israeli
teenagers, Israel’s security crackdown has raised questions about the
asymmetry of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the value of lives on
both sides." Still, as usual with a Jodi Rudoren story in NYT. she may mean well but check out the subtle pro-Israel bias. E.g. "She stressed that Nof Ayalon, which spills slightly over the 1949
armistice line dividing Israel from the West Bank, is not a settlement."