In recent days, there has been an alarming escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine, adding victims to what had been a deadly year in 2022. Last Thursday, the Israel Defense Force launched a raid against militants in the Jenin refugee camp, killing nine Palestinians. The next day, a 21-year old Palestinian from East Jerusalem fired on Israeli Jews near a synagogue, murdering seven of them.
Barely a month into 2023, these two episodes mark — and have contributed to — a new cycle of violence. They also add to a deepening political crisis in Israel.
Every Saturday night, tens of thousands of Israelis of diverse political perspectives have been gathering in Tel Aviv and other cities to protest the new far-right Netanyahu government, including the proposal to make the judiciary entirely subservient to the ruling political class.
Even more ominous is the threat that key members of the Netanyahu government are seeking a larger opportunity: to create a state where Palestinians, who make up about 20% of the population of Israel, would no longer be welcome as its citizens. Sadly, the terror attack at the synagogue on Friday could further the resolve of those in positions of power today…