Olmert Warns of Jewish Extremists

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has criticized a recent surge in violence committed by extremist Jewish settlers:

An “evil wind of extremism” is threatening Israel’s democracy, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Sunday, after a pipe bomb attack wounded a professor critical of Israel’s settler movement.

Olmert’s forceful comments came amid growing concerns in Israel about violence by hard-line radicals, including extremist West Bank settlers.

Israeli defense officials and human rights groups have noted a rise in settler violence against Palestinian soldiers and Israeli soldiers in recent months.

Now, perhaps, is also not the time to delve into the injustices of Israeli rule in the Palestinian territories (for instance, how Palestinians who live in the territories are governed by the laws of military occupation, but how Jewish settlers who live in those same territories are governed by civilian Israeli law).  I view this story as a further example of how most acts of extremist violence (however unforgivable they may be) arise out of issues more concrete than simple ideological hatred.  Palestinian violence is motivated more by instances like these than by radical Muslim ideology.  I am not justifying any act of violence, but I do believe that understanding the true causes of conflict can help in its resolution.

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