About those 'Price Tag' attacks

Friday, July 05, 2013 |  Ryan Jones  

A handful of what are presumably nationalist Jewish youth continue to commit acts of vandalism against Arab targets, both Muslim and Christian. And a world eager to point out just how deprived are the Jews of Israel continues to jump on those incidents as though they were earth-shattering news.

These "price tag" attacks - so named because the perpetrators say they are the price Israel must pay for surrendering to Arab demands - have been a god-send for those of Israel's antagonists who try to justify Arab terrorism by claiming the Jewish state behaves no better than its foes. But it is a worthwhile exercise to make a logical comparison between price tag vandalism and, say, the regular stoning of Jewish motorists (we don't even need to touch on the much more severe phenomenons of suicide bombings and rocket attacks).

In the case of price tag vandalism, small groups of extremist Jews acting alone seek to antagonize and intimidate. To date, these "attacks" have resulted in exactly zero deaths, and an equal number of injuries. In every instance, the vandalism has been universally condemned by the rest of Israel, and on many occasions Israelis have turned out to publicly stand in solidarity with the victims. The Israel Police continue to hunt the vandals and recently made several arrests.

In the case of stone-throwing, small groups of violent Palestinian Arabs acting alone seek to cause bodily harm to Jewish motorists. To date, a number of people have been killed in these attacks, and a much larger number have been wounded. Palestinian public opinion polls consistently show that the vast majority of Palestinians have no problem with such violence, and in fact see it as an integral part of their "struggle" for statehood. The Palestinian Authority does not arrest or otherwise punish the perpetrators, and no Palestinians show up at the funerals or hospital beds of the victims.

Beyond the actual vandalism and stone-throwing, the manner in which the respective societies respond to these crimes is very telling, both of the societies themselves and of the level of hypocrisy in the way the media and pro-Palestinian activists portray the situation. Even ignoring the fact that price tag incidents are so very few in number compared to stone-throwing attacks against Jewish motorists, attempting to draw moral equivalence between the two actions exceeds the limits of reason.

Israel is not perfect. Take it from someone who has lived here for half his life, this nation has flaws aplenty. And no one is more critical of those flaws than Israelis themselves. In fact, Israelis are self-critical to a fault, often adopting the unsubstantiated and false accusations of their antagonists just to make sure they have covered all the bases. It's never wrong for us to want to be better than we are. But for the rest of the world to hold Israel to some mythical standard of ethics that no other nation has managed to attain is wrong. And to exaggerate those flaws Israel does possess by equating them to murder and attempted murder is nothing short of antisemitism akin to the historic anti-Jewish blood libels that haunted this people for centuries in exile.

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