Having lived in several Arab Gulf countries and having been exposed to the Sunni-Shia animosities and economic competition in these countries between different ethnic groups, I do not find the insensitivity to the suffering of the “other” and even genocidal tendencies in Israeli society to be shocking. It is not just driven by a morbid fear of the “other”, but more importantly by hubris and a sense of invulnerability. For example, while 90% of Saudis who are Sunni do not today call for the ethnic cleansing or genocide of the Saudi Shia, their attitude would change overnight if the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where the Shia Saudis form around 30% to 40% of the population, was to become an independent country and the Shia their began demanding equal treatment in government jobs and other economic opportunities. My guess is that after a period of ethno-religious propagandizing by right-wingers on each side, a civil war would breakout, in which the Sunnis of the Eastern Province would behave very much like the Bosnian Serbs in 1992, when they attempted to expel or kill the Bosnian Muslims and Croats in the newly independent Bosnian state.
Therefore, instead of condemning the Israelis, the Hutus, the Serbs and so many other ethnic groups as inhuman, we should recognize that they are we, and that 99% of humans who feel invulnerable will self-justify whatever crimes against humanity they or their ethnic kin may commit. I would guess that only 1% or less of humans in any society are able to see through the blinders of their ethno-religious upbringing and see the “other” as themselves.
The way to deal with the Israelis is not to label them as irredeemable monsters, but to bring the international legal and political hammer on them and make it absolutely clear that their senior decision makers (political and military) will be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and brought to justice, just as the German, Japanese and Serb racial supremacists were brought to justice. The threat of unequivocal international condemnation, including from the United States, will work wonders with ordinary Israelis’ attitudes toward Palestinians, and will have them speaking a very different language of peace making and conciliation in very little time.