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Why Israelis and Palestinians demonize each other

Israeli senior politicians and officials are demonizing the enemy by accusing Palestinian society of sanctifying death instead of cherishing life.
Women mourn during the funeral of Palestinian Ahmed Zakarna in the West Bank town of Qabatya, near Jenin February 5, 2016. Zakarna and two other Palestinians armed with guns, knives and explosives killed an Israeli border policewoman and seriously wounded another before being shot dead by nearby officers at an entrance to Jerusalem's walled Old City on Wednesday, Israeli police said. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman - RTX25N6L
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Against the backdrop of the “Individuals' Intifada,” an emotionally charged discourse has been taking place in Israel in recent weeks on the sanctity of life in the eyes of Israelis versus the sanctity and glorification of death among the Palestinians. Had the debate been confined to the social networks, with all sorts of ideological, religious or psychological “explanations” proposed to the conflict, it is doubtful whether this discourse would have been taken seriously. However, the debate emerges from top decision-makers within the Israeli political and security establishments.

The argument often raised is that the Palestinians are readily sending their children to their death and that human life is regarded cheaply in their eyes, while the Israelis bitterly mourn every victim of a terrorist attack and every fallen soldier on the battlefield, seen by Judaism as constituting “an entire world” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a).

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