Palestinian toddler dies in “price tag” fire set by Jewish extremists

Four Jewish settlers set fire to two Palestinian homes last night, killing an 18 month old child and injuring four others, The Washington Post reports:

The arson assault was quickly labeled a “price tag attack” in the Israeli media — a phrase used to describe violence and vandalism carried out by settlers and their supporters to extract “a price” for any actions against them, either by the Israeli government or Palestinians…

…Palestinian authorities said the attackers came to the village of Duma, a 20-minute drive northeast of Ramallah, smashed windows and tossed firebombs inside the Palestinian homes as the residents slept.

The actions that led to the “price” to be exacted in this case appear to be the Israeli government’s attempt to demolish the Beit El community, an illegal settlement being built on private Palestinian land. Settlers didn’t have permits to build on the land because, again, it isn’t theirs.

While the Israeli government condemned the arson as an act of terrorism, Palestinians cited statements and actions from the government earlier in the week as incitement that helped spur the incident. Members of the right-wing governing majority had demanded that construction of Beit El continue unimpeded, with Education Minister Naftali Bennet visiting the site and saying that “The answer to Palestinian terror is settlement, not cowardice.”

It appeared as though, at the end of the day, the government agreed with him. Again from the Post:

The two half-completed apartment houses were bulldozed on Wednesday. Immediately after, Netanyahu announced that the state would green light the construction of an additional 300 housing units at the site, mollifying critics.

Given settlers’ subsequent actions, that would seem to be a pretty generous use of the word “mollifying.”

Jewish settlers teaching their kids how to use high-powered weapons, via Bird Eye / Flickr

Jewish settlers teaching their kids how to use high-powered weapons, via Bird Eye / Flickr

One would think that when the government’s response to its bulldozing of a housing complex is to authorize the building of a bigger housing complex, that would suppress any impulse on the part of the settlers to exact a “price” against the Palestinians for what they feel are the transgressions of their government. After all, they’re getting what they want, and then some, in spite of the law and their government and the international community and basic human decency. But that’s not the case. Apparently, in the minds of the settlers, every time the Israeli government does anything that remotely resembles recognizing Palestinian property rights a few Palestinians deserve to die.

And while the Israeli government makes a point to make all of the necessary condemnations following attacks like these, Palestinian leaders pointed out following yesterday’s arson attacks that they almost never follow through to secure justice for their victims. What’s more, the Israeli military has already killed 17 Palestinians in the West Bank so far this year.

This is what happens when religion is strong.

When Islamic extremists do awful things in the name of Islam, there’s an impulse within the American left to contextualize their violence. It isn’t about a particular interpretation of Islam; it’s about Western hegemony and historical power structures that make violence in the name of Islam an identity-based reaction, not a religiously-based offense. But attacks from Jewish extremists in Israel — be they yesterday’s arson in the West Bank or yesterday’s stabbings at Jerusalem pride — show that when it comes to religious violence, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Jewish extremists’ actions this week provide a stark reminder for what happens when literal, outdated interpretations of religious texts are placed at the top of the cultural hierarchy, privileged by the government and tacitly endorsed by secular democracies around the world. If anyone can find a better way to explain these attacks other than people taking the purported word of God at face value, I’m all ears.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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42 Responses to “Palestinian toddler dies in “price tag” fire set by Jewish extremists”

  1. Bill_Perdue says:

    After the massacre in Gaza last year defenders of zionist apartheid, land grabs and mass murder are on the defensive but all their squirming can’t erase facts of the increasingly rabid racism, homophobia and misogyny that will tear apart and doom the zionist colony.

  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    He’s lying, as usual. The culture of rape facts were related to the video. These lies are an accurate measure of the effectiveness of the left in drawing people away from Democrat and Republican politics.

  3. IsaacLHawk says:

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  4. GarySFBCN says:

    Let’s dissect Bills offending statement, “The zionist state has a widespread culture of rape and it seems as if most of the leaders of the zionist colony are involved.” . . . by changing the region and the crime for the purpose of discussion: “The US has a widespread culture of racism and it seems as if most leaders in the US are involved.”

    While it may be correct, an exaggeration or incorrect, it is hardly ‘hate speech’ as it doesn’t implicate anyone except ‘most leaders.’ It doesn’t demonize the entire population.

    Your issues with how Bill formats is comments are your own. Most of us are clear about the attribution of what he writes, regardless if we agree or not.

  5. FLL says:

    Then put quotes around it instead of putting the sentence directly below “New Probe Exposes Horrific Child Abuse by Israeli Forces.”

  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    When decent people decry zionist mass murder they’re attacked as anti-semites by the right and by those who approve of US support for zionist apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

    My own inclination is to stay and fight the rightwing here in the epicenter of the worst empire builders since Hitler or the English aristocracy.

    Things are looking up for the left as the cost of empire gets higher and higher, wages get lower and lower and all the reforms of the last century – Social Security, bankster deregulation, medicare – are going under heavier bipartisan attack.

  7. HeartlandLiberal says:

    Precisely the historical allusion I was referring to.

    Glad I am not the only one who has read and understands actual history. I begin to despair and the willingness of our species to collectively shove their heads in the sand, while sticking fingers in ears and chanting la la la la I can’t hear you.

    I think one of the great ironies of the last 70 years is that my father’s and uncles fought in Europe and the Pacific in WWII to defend our liberties, and I keep researching if I have enough money now I am retired to just sell off everything here and move to German for the rest of my life. I lived there in the seventies. We revisited northern Europe and Northern German this Spring, having lived in Southern Germany and never made it to the north, except for Berlin, in the seventies. I actually was researching a small home in a retirement village in a field near a village overlooking the Mosel river at one point.

    I could very, very easily be at home in current Germany, which is a lot more Democratic and sane than the United States. By a very long shot.

  8. heimaey says:

    Make them serve in the army now.

  9. GarySFBCN says:

    Maybe you are having a browser problem. I clicked on your link to Bill’s alleged transgression and here is where ‘rape’ appears in his post:

    “The zionist state has a widespread culture of rape and it seems as if most of the leaders of the zionist colony are involved. Who’s Responsible For Rape In Israel? —”

    It is clear to me that the reference to rape is clearly attributed to the video and not to the Common Dreams post.

  10. Bcre8ve says:

    The League of Women Voters? The Girl Scouts? The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals? Killers? Oh my!

  11. Bcre8ve says:

    “Arabs and Jews have managed to live together for 5,000 years, long before until the State of Israel and the Six Day War”

    Fixed it.

    “Arabs and Jews have managed to live together for 5,000 years…….so there must be ways to accomplish it.”

    For Israel to stop stealing Palestinian land and building housing for anti-Palestinians on it would be a good start.

  12. Bcre8ve says:

    You’re right. They haven’t been found to be doing this. But…..much like the scandal with the selling of Palestinian organs, I’ll never say never when it comes to man’s inhumanity towards man.

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    zionists learned all the wrong lessons from the nazis

    Lidice and Sabra-Shatila. “In June 1942, Lidice, a village in Czechoslovakia, ceased to exist. Lidice had been implicated in the assassination of Heydrich, the Nazi controller of Bohemia and Moravia, and Hitlers’s order was given to “teach the Czechs a final lesson of subservience and humility”


    Oradour-sur-Glane and Deir Yassin. “This atrocity was carried out on Saturday 10th June 1944 by soldiers of the Der Führer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division Das Reich. On that day, without giving any explanation, they killed a total of 642 men, women and children, leaving only a few survivors.’


    The Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. It was established in the Polish capital between October and November 16, 1940, in the territory of the General Government of German-occupied Poland. … The death toll mong the Jewish inhabitants of the Ghetto, between deportations to extermination camps, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the subsequent razing of the ghetto, is estimated to be at least 300,000.” Wiki


    Gaza is the largest and worst concentration camp in the world.

  14. HeartlandLiberal says:

    Israel commits the same soft of atrocities Germany did in WWII against entire peoples and villages. And we just look the other way and pretend they are not terrorists, extremists, and murderers. We forgive them, because, after all, they have to deal with the sub-human Palestinians. I think there is a little tragic historic irony here somewhere, if I looked hard enough, maybe I could find it.

  15. Bill_Perdue says:

    Did you actually read that thread and comments and did you note who said what?

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  17. zerosumgame0005 says:

    you obviously don’t know what a “Semite” is

  18. TheAngryFag says:

    Replace “Extremists” with “Terrorists” and you’ll have a correct headline.

  19. Doug105 says:


  20. FLL says:

    OK, I can see that joemygod doesn’t have moderators, so people can get sucked into back-and-forth exchanges that go on and on. Obviously, Bill and I don’t reply to each other, but even beyond that, I prefer to limit negative exchanges to a total of 2 replies on each side. If the other commenter tries to milk it beyond that, I’ll ignore it. If no light has been shed after a 4-part string of comment-reply-comment-reply, it has probably become a waste of time. That’s just my own guideline.

  21. Moderator3 says:

    Yes, he is. He’s succeeding beautifully. Why are you letting him get your goat?

  22. Doug105 says:

    The hypocrite is even now baiting me on another site away from the mods here,

  23. Doug105 says:
    Islam and Racebaiting
    That Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher and Sam Harris are vilified by theists is nothing new. All three are Atheist activists bent on spreading critical thinking and unmasking God. When they ply their views to Christianity, they get death threats from the pulpit. When they ply their views to Islam, they get not only death threats, but even their liberal minded supporters turn against them. Why? In a word: Islamophobia.

    The latest publication to decry the New Atheist movement is the Middle East Eye. In CJ Werleman’s article “Is New Atheism an anti-Muslim, white supremacy movement?” the tag line of the article is a perfect summary of Werleman’s thesis:

    “The New Atheist movement has become a pro-white supremacy movement that is anti-Muslim, anti-Arab bigotry dressed up with a thin veneer of fancy sounding words.”
    The article begins with Werleman’s admiration (I’m a fan too!) for Cynk Ugyaran an Atheist from the Young Turks, who claims to defend “Muslim-Americans” from the likes of Maher, Harris and other New Atheists. Then the article goes into left field trying to link Islamophobia with McCarthyism. If you remember history class, McCarthyism was a witch hunt for communist in the US during the 1950s and 60s headed by Senator Joseph McCarthy. The article then degenerates into claiming that when New Atheists describe the attrocities of Islamic terrorists (note: that is Islamic terrorists, not all Muslims) they are using the same language as the KKK. Then Werleman gets surreal when he asserts that criticisms of Islam is the West trying to dictate the culture of the Middle East and thus is white supremacy. At last, Werleman finishes his brain draining rant by calling Ayaan Hirsi Ali a shill for the “empire” of the west, due to her outspokenness against Islamic extremism.

    There are numerous problems with Islamophobia as a concept. Islamophobia is a marriage of race with an idea. This is a form of race-baiting. the race involved are the Arabs, which is funny because most Muslims are not Arabic! According to the Pew Research Center, 62% of Muslims in the world are Asian-Pacific, and less that 20% are Arabic. The ones who say those who question Islam as a “religion of peace” are racist are committing a grievous error. But the problem is not a few Muslims trying to race-bait, the trouble is that the media, and the political left is falling for it!

    Racism is a problem in the US, and Muslims are cashing in on it. This is not just in the US, either. In Europe, attacks like the one on Theo van Gogh, and Charlie Hebdo are becoming more frequent as the population of Muslims rise. However, these attacks had nothing to do with Race, but ideology. Islam forbids images of Mohammed and extremists are willing to kill over that little bylaw. This is incompatible with a free society where freedom of speech is more sacred than an individual’s supernatural notions. Werleman’ accusation of New Atheists speaking out against such acts of Islamic terrorism as ethnocentric (his “empire” rant) disregard the desires of Arabs in the Middle East who are not Muslim or Muslim in name only. What about the women who want to attend University and become doctors? What about Atheist Arabs who do not want to be beaten if not beheaded? To claim that criticizing such things is ethnocentric is morally dubious at best, and criminal at worst.

    Logically, Islamophobia doesn’t work. To claim that speaking out against Islam is racist, but not speaking out against Christianity, Buddhism, or Sikhism, is a case of special pleading. Special pleading is when one tries to claim that a certain thing does not have to adhere to criteria that other, similar things have to. For instance it is special pleading when a Christian says that a piece of burnt toast that looks like Elvis is a neat coincidence, but another piece of burnt toast that looks like Jesus is a miracle. Islam as a credo must be held to the same scrutiny as Christianity, Humanism, Buddhism and any other -ism one can concoct. To not scrutinize Islam is a crime against future generations because to not do so leaves the problem of extremism to future generations; it is a moral passing of the buck.

    Shouting “racism” every time someone criticizes Islam shuts down any conversations about Islam. That is exactly what they want. In debate once someone claims the other side is being racist, that shuts down the conversation. After that point, anything the opposition says is just bigot apologetics. Then the accuser “wins”.

    Putting criticism of Islam in a racist light is in itself racist. Remember that only 20% of Muslims are Arabic? Yet, calling someone an Islamophobe is always in the context of “Arab”, never “Indonesian”. This is what the Islamic apologeticists want: to stop anyone from criticizing Islam in any meaningful way. Do not fall into that trap. If someone brings up the specter of Islamophobia, call them on it. You are criticizing an idea, the fact that they call it racist means that they are the ones trying to infuse extreme religiosity with ethnicity; they are the racist.

    Shutting down the conversation on Islam is detrimental to not only infidels, but to Muslims as well. We can look to history and find a prime example with how criticism of Christianity was forbidden during the 1,000 years of the dark ages.

  24. FLL says:

    The topic you raise is important, and it will be a topic for future threads. Evangelical Christians regularly claim that if you criticize the homophobic parts of the Bible, you are a Christobphobe and you’re being Christophobic. The anti-gay hate mongers use these terms all the time. You’re correct to say that criticizing or disapproving of a religion is not racist. In the case of Islam, it’s not even logical because there are plenty of white Muslim populations in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe.

    If you really are talking about racism, you will base your argument (and the terms you use) on ethnic or racial identity: anti-Arab, anti-Asian, etc. Then people will understand that the animosity comes from Western white people disliking Arabs and South Asians because they are not white (or not as white as Western white people). So what is the reason for using the misleading term Islamophobia? The same as the reason for using the misleading term Christophobia. And that reason—which is only too painfully obvious nowadays—is this: to make homophobia more socially acceptable. (As if everybody hadn’t caught on to that a long time ago.)

  25. Tony Moore says:

    Is there something in the water over there? Shia, Sunni, Hebrew, et al – all certifiably insane – the cynic in me says they’re all just using religion to justify their grabs for power and money, but either way …

  26. JaneE says:

    It is all about power and the ability to control or force others to behave (whatever the behavior is). For a believer, even a nominal believer, God is the ultimate authority, so God is the club they use to beat others into submission. The “messiness” of secular democracy, and the rights of others to dis-believe (any of their ideas) is driving them crazy, with more and more “acting out” just like children. In some countries, Israel and the US come to mind, the government is largely run by the same people they need to be restraining, with predictably unfortunate results.

  27. Doug105 says:

    If it was about muslims and make no mistake about it with groups like Boko Haram raiding schools for young girls, child brides over a lot of the middle east as well as legal slavery the caase wouldn’t be hard to make, but you would be called a racist in no time flat.

  28. Indigo says:

    You can say that about most any organization and virtually every nation, regardless of its government system.

  29. FLL says:

    Jon, you need to come to some kind of consensus regarding hate speech. On an earlier thread (link here), Bill linked readers to an article from CommonDreams (link here) which criticized Israeli security forces for choking and/or beating Palestinians between the ages of 11 and 15 who were accused of throwing rocks. And this is the boldface text that the readers (most of whom may not click the link) saw in Bill’s comment:

    The zionist state has a widespread culture of rape and it seems as if most of the leaders of the zionist colony are involved.

    Rape wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the CommonDreams article or the source article from Human Rights Watch. I’m sure you and I both understand what rape is. Bill is demonizing an entire country and its population (at least the Jewish part) by suggesting that there is widespread incidence of Israelis raping Palestinian children (a false claim). That is hate speech. I understand that hate speech is legal in the U.S. because we have very robust freedom of speech. However, in any number of civilized countries (Canada, Germany, France and Britain, among many others), The text quoted above would be considered hate speech, and if it were published in a book (or perhaps posted by a blog owner), the authorities would most likely prosecute. Take a moment for reflection, Jon. Is that the look you’re going for on this blog?

  30. NatetheGrate says:

    Jon, you’re all ears? OK, listen to this: This is an extreme situation and extreme things are certain to happen. But what happened in Duma was political, not religious, even though everything that happens in the Mideast has religious overtones. The death of the child obviously was not intended, although the setting fire to homes probably was. Arabs and Jews have managed to live together for 5,000 years, long before the State of Israel and the Six Day War and the PLO, Hezbollah and Hamas, so there must be ways to accomplish it. To me, it’s a choice between the politics of hate and the politics of, well, politics — it’s long past time to forget all the grievances and concentrate on getting along.

  31. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s actually anti-Semitic. If you say that zionists are crazy you might get some traction. Most people believe that zionists who burn boys alive (1) like they did last summer or set houses occupied by children ablaze or deliberately target children as IMF thugs did last year when they were practicing ethnic cleansing in Gaza (2) are insane.

    (1) “Tel Aviv – An autopsy of a Palestinian teenager murdered this week in an apparent revenge attack suggests that he was burned alive, according to Palestinian officials.

    The preliminary results showed that 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdair, who was buried by more than a thousand mourners on Friday, had a head wound and burns across 90 percent of his body, the officials said on Saturday.

    (2) Israeli strike on Gaza school kills 15 and leaves 200 wounded – UN condemns shelling of UNRWA school, saying it asked IDF for time to evacuate civilians, which was not given

  32. progressivescold says:

    Freakin Jews are crazy.

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  34. Doug105 says:


  35. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re partly wrong about this, Jon.

    This is not a question of the iniquity of cultists. It’s also not a question of a division along religious lines any more than the fighting in English occupied NE Ireland is a fight between prot and catholic cultists.

    This is a question of the iniquity of a colonial invasion by zionists supported and sponsored by colonial powers like the English, the US and France. The state they created and supported is a colonial interloper steeped in racism against Palestinians Arabs, muslims and Africans. It’s a state with a rape culture and one that emphasizes the murder of children, as we saw last year when these same thugs burned a boy alive and when IDF thugs targeted schools and children playing on the beach for mass murder.

    The violence will not end until the zionist colonial state is dissolved and the system of apartheid ended with due compensation for the slave labor practices of the zionists. It won’t end until the millions of Palestinians who have been forced off their land can return and reclaim their lands and business.

  36. Baal says:

    I am unaware of any religion that has not been used as a reason to kill.

  37. Baal says:

    YHWH was always blood thirsty. Not surprising his fanatical followers killed a child.

  38. nicho says:

    Looks like they learned well from the Nazis. This is an old Nazi tactic.

  39. BeccaM says:

    To be a little more precise, this is what happens when people are allowed to assert they know what the angry Sky Tyrant has commanded, demanded, and/or wants — and it just so happens these edicts (which are asserted without any proof, ever) are (1) exactly what the Sky Tyrant’s followers want, (2) the Sky Tyrant always ‘coincidentally’ hates exactly the same people as his followers, and (3) the unethical, immoral, uncharitable, and/or illegal actions commanded invariably infringe in the rights of others to be left alone.

  40. Riccardo Cabeza says:

    the Zionist have a money themed terrorist attack named after them.

  41. Indigo says:

    This is not what happens when “religion is strong.” This is what happens when religion is misused. It’s not different from the abuse of Islam by the ISIL people or the insanity of Confederate Crackers.

  42. 2karmanot says:

    …Something eerily deja vu about this. mmmm could it be ‘Bagel Nacht’?

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