Biting the hand that feeds them – West Bank settlers charged with ‘price tagging’ IDF base


“Israeli settlers in the West Bank vandalized an Israel Defense Forces base on Wednesday, carrying out a “price tag” operation against the army for the first time since adopting the policy in recent years”

“Unknown perpetrators infiltrated a base in the Binyamin region and snuck their way to a mechanics workshop on site, where they slashed the tires and cut the cables of 12 army vehicles.”

“The vandals sprayed the word “price tag” on the walls, as well as other graffiti referring to the three illegal homes demolished by the IDF in the outpost of Migron on Monday.”

This is the second price tag incident this week in the Occupied Territories, following an act of arson against a mosque near Nablus earlier in the week. Ostensibly, the tactic is a form of retaliation against percieved Palestinian threats to the settlers, but, for the most part, the acts of vandalism, arson and assault that constitute “price tagging” follow unpopular Israeli government actions in the West Bank, such as the demolition of settler homes built without proper permits and construction halts (which are sometimes the result of legal challenges brough forward by human rights groups).

This first-of-its-kind “price tagging” comes at an time when the IDF is arming and training settlers in the Occupied Territories to prepare for possible Palestinian demonstrations in response to the Palestinian Authority’s UN recognition bid. The IDF fully expects the demonstrations to turn into “mass disorder,” while Palestinian leaders assert that they are nonviolent protest marches.

About Paul Mutter

Paul Mutter is a contributor to Mondoweiss, Foreign Policy in Focus and the Arabist.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Settlers/Colonists, US Politics

{ 16 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    The settlers have infiltrated the IDF to the point where it is powerless to act against them.

    link to

    “Yossi Klein Halevi, a journalist and a fellow at Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute, says support for Jewish settlers in the West Bank has gone mainstream in a way that support for settlements in Gaza never did. “Two generations have grown up in Israel who see the settlements not only as part of Israel but as the heart of Israel,” Halevi told JTA. “Any withdrawal from the West Bank would involve mass refusal of soldiers to follow orders, and I am deeply worried about the ability of the army to continue to be an effective fighting force.”
    Halevi estimates that Jewish settlers and their supporters make up 40 percent of some combat units ; an Israeli army spokesman said the IDF does not release figures “on such a sensitive subject.”

    The settlers are the political equivalent of the cordyceps fungus

    link to
    “The question now is, what are the triggers that push a parasite not just to kill its host, but to take control of its brain and then kill it”.

  2. annie says:

    from joseph dana’s report on this settler attack on the idf base:

    The recent series of attacks demonstrates once again that Jewish settlers in the West Bank are one of the most dangerous and volatile elements on the ground. Of all people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, settlers is the non-military group most likely to be armed. Many do not know understand that it is extremely difficult for a regular Israelis to obtain firearms. One has to demonstrate a need for the weapon and there is no second amendment, like in the United States, which protects the citizen’s right to bear arms. Other than security guards, the only people in Israeli society that are consistently able to prove a need to bear arms are settlers.

    If Israel is going to be taken seriously by the international community as having the political capital to change facts on the ground in the West Bank, it must reign in its rogue settlers. In the absence of severe punishment for those responsible for the attacks on the mosque and the army base, Israel’s ability to control its own population should be seriously questioned. With the UN vote on Palestinian statehood looming large, Israel needs to take an assertive stand against settlers and demonstrate the control necessary to be considered a legitimate partner for peace.

    thanks for covering this paul, i really appreciate your many excellent articles for the site.

    • DBG says:

      All the different elements within Gaza are armed to the teeth.

      Are settlers firing rockets daily into the WB? As usual Dana is delusional.

      • Haytham says:

        DBG said: “Arabs are inherently violent. Especially Palestinians, who carry weapons at all times, even in their mouths, between their teeth. This is why we kill Palestinian children. Once Palestinians are old enough to have teeth, they are legitimate targets.”

        • James North says:

          Haytham: I just have one suggestion, something valuable I learned from Richard Witty. If you use double quotation marks, that means you are quoting the person directly, word for word. But if you use single quote marks, then you are providing a service by conveying the GIST of what they really mean. You will notice that I try scrupulously to use single quotes when I am rendering Richard’s GIST.”

        • Haytham says:


          Here’s the thing: The way I see it, everything I say is true. Any quotes that are obviously outrageous are just that, and by definition cannot be libelous.

          Haytham: I just have one suggestion, something valuable I learned from Richard Witty.

          Learned from…what? Oh. Never mind.

          Single quotes you say? Interesting.

          Haytham said ‘F&ck you Witty for saying you are more human than I am.’

          Also, Witty said ‘I assumed Haytham can’t be Israeli because the name Haytham sure doesn’t sound Israeli but also he referred to himself as an Arab and we all know there are no (d&r^y) Arabs in Israel.’

          James North said ‘Haytham, stop, you’re giving me and my method a bad name…’

      • annie says:

        All the different elements ? yeah right. whatever. i’ve been there, have you?

  3. pabelmont says:

    The Israeli civil war is started. I declare it. And it is WITHIN the army! What if part of the army of Egypt had fired on the people and part had not? But, here, the people who need firing upon are “price tag” settler pogromist anti-government terrorists.


    • MLE says:

      well it depends on who breaks rank and who doesn’t. Technically a superior officer can shoot and kill a subordinate who does not obey a direct order.

      If the Egyptian commanders had stayed completely loyal to Mubarak and ordered the lower ranking soldiers to shoot on the protestors, if they had disobeyed- they could have been shot. In Syria and Libya, there was evidence of soldiers being killed for refusing orders. In the Egyptian revolution, shooting conscripts for refusing to fire would have been a huge problem. Keep in mind- the protests only really centered in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, and Mansoura. Upper Egypt was quiet. There was no way the army could have dealt with Upper Egyptians rising up because they were angry about relatives in their families being killed.

    • Paul Mutter says:

      You know there’s a book by Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks, about a fictional zombie apocalypse where just this happens – “World War Z.” The Israeli government is the only world government to take the zombie sightings seriously at first and does the following things:

      1. Withdraws to the 1967 borders because they are deemed too much effort to defend against an undead “swarm.”
      2. Announces that the right of return will be extended to all Palestinians who can demonstrate refugee (or descent from refugee) status (this is actually honored – the fictional narrator for Israel in the book is the son of a refugee).
      3. Builds a wall around Israel to keep the zombies out (which means giving up East Jerusalem, but allowing its residents to enter Israel if they so choose).

      Israel is not overrun by zombies like every other country in the world, but is almost destroyed anyway by a civil war between orthodox Jews and loyal IDF forces (basically, the orthodox were willing to risk zombies overrunning Israel to get back East Jerusalem). The orthodox rebels are defeated, though, and Israel is implied to have becomes a binational state by the war’s end.

      Hamas tries to take advantage of the situation, but it is implied that Hamas’ leadership spent so much effort trying this that were unable to properly defend themselves from the zombies.

      • Bumblebye says:

        It’s being made into a film in Glasgow of all places!
        link to
        Second item, posted Aug 26 this year, on his visit.

      • annie says:

        how strange paul. wiki has a page on the book . A film based upon the book is in production, and is set for a December 2012 release..

        In 2007, the movie rights for World War Z were secured by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment.[28] The screenplay was written by J. Michael Straczynski, with Marc Forster directing, and Pitt starring as the main character, United Nations employee Gerry Lane.[29][30] Production was to begin at the start of 2009, but by mid-year, the script was still under development and being re-written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, and filming did not commence until mid-2011.[29][31] Initial filming ocurred in Malta before moving on to Glasgow, (which was used to represent Philadelphia as uncertainty over tax credits for filmmakers caused the production team to avoid the American city).[32][33][34] World War Z is to be released by Paramount Pictures on December 21, 2012.[35]

  4. RE: “This first-of-its-kind ‘price tagging’ comes at an time when the IDF is arming and training settlers in the Occupied Territories’.

    MY COMMENT: In other words, the IDF is arming and training zealots and vigilantes. I wonder if Israel is familiar with the concept of ‘blowback’?

  5. ToivoS says:

    Well since no one else wants to say it, isn’t this a “more power to you, Settlers” moment and keep up the good fight? What a more deserving target than an IDF base.

  6. Real Jew says:

    As I mentioned in a previous post, when the idf does something to piss off the settlers, the most extreme and dangerous section of Israeli society, all those tear gas canisters and stun gernades the idf provided will surely be hurled at the IDF in response.

    More importantly, supporting the settlers in this fashion will only serve to legitimize their cruel behavior against Palestinians and encourage more price tags. Essentially giving state approval for settlers’ violent attacks against another population while providing them the means to carry them out. Utterly reprehensible!

  7. RoHa says:

    Sounds like standard Israeli behaviour to me.

    Show no gratitude to your protectors and benefactors.
    Attack and vilify them.
    Demand that they do more for you.
    Repeat ad nauseum.