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Why are Israelis turning a blind eye to settler violence?

The murders of a Palestinian toddler and a teenage girl have shaken Israelis from a willful blindness toward an already deteriorating situation that must be addressed to prevent a slide toward even more violence.
Left-wing protesters write slogans on signs before a protest condemning Friday's arson attack in the West Bank, at Rabin square in Tel Aviv August 1, 2015. Some 3,000 demonstrators gathered for the rally organised by the Israeli anti-settler group Peace Now against the attack by suspected Jewish assailants who torched a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank on Friday, killing an 18-month-old toddler and seriously injuring three other family members, an act that Israel's prime minister described as terr

An entire country, or at least most of it, shuddered this week in the face of Jewish terrorism and the knowledge that there are people among us capable of burning a family alive in its home. “We’re not like that,” we tend to think. We claim the moral high ground, which is in contrast to the other side, whose incitement encourages the murder of civilians and the use of suicide bombers.

For years, however, we’ve been turning a blind eye to the uprooting of Palestinian olive trees and the perpetrators of the violent and vandalistic “price tag” attacks. We tell ourselves that these incidents are nothing more than graffiti sprayed on the walls of a house in an Arab village and that its perpetrators are just a bunch of bad apples, a small group of radical settlers gone wild who do as they please, representing no one but themselves. Thus, we refused to see that these bad apples have multiplied rampantly and that there is no one stopping their growth.

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