Former IDF general Uri Saguy. (Photo: Niv Calderon/Ynetnews)
Responding to the recent settler attack on army base, a former IDF general has said the government should provoke an attack from settlers and then shoot the "Jewish terrorist." Retired general Uri Saguy wrote an op-ed in Ynetnews last week, slamming the IDF and Netanyahu for not taking harsher action.
Prompted by Netanyahu's refusal to term the violent settlers responsible for the recent attack of a mosque and IDF base, and IDF commander, as "terrorist," Saguy denounced Netanyahu for his lack of "leadership," and suggested provoking a "confrontation" and then shooting the settlers.
In the absence of leadership, we may have to facilitate a confrontation and win it. As the people who ruin us hail from our midst, we must take action. I fear these domestic threats more than I fear the Iranian threat. At this time, we are in the midst of a messianic, delusional process that is violent, belligerent, intolerant, and also un-Jewish. [emphasis added]
Saguy writes, "the rioters who attacked IDF soldiers resorted to terror, and terror should be addressed firmly." Saguy insinuates fears that secular Israelis will become "a persecuted minority in a sea of haredim, fanatics, Arabs and parasites." In order to avoid being taken over by these parasidic settlers and Palestinians, the general calls for "real force," stating "I would have shot them. Terrorists should be shot."
Israeli philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz. (Photo: Gabi Menashe/Ynet)
The general sees this rise in Jewish extremism as part of what Israeli anti-occupation and Orthodox Jewish intellectual Yeshayahu Leibowitz forshadowed, following the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories. Leibowitz, a staunch supporter of a secular state, and a staunch supporter of the literal, unquestioning practice of Jewish law, halacha, predicted that the continued occupation of Palestinian lands would lead to the downfall of Israel. Saguy writes:
While I still served in the IDF, I invited Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz to address my soldiers in the wake of the Six-Day War. He sounded like a prophet of apocalypse, yet to my regret I can today fully endorse his prophecy, which spoke of three phases to follow that war.
In the first stage, he said, we shall see euphoria, upon our return to our ancient sites. Next, we shall see the emergence of messianic, radical and dangerous nationalism. In the third stage, we shall see Israeli society becoming more brutal and the emergence of a police state.
Leibowitz imagined a corruption of halacha, brutality against Palestinians, and a rise in the Israeli right-wing. However, the IDF general misses Leibowitz's famous and controversial "prophetic" characterization of the IDF as "Judeo-Nazi," when he suggests provoking a "confrontation" with the settlers, in which the army will "shoot the terrorist."