As long as the Occupation continues, the attacks will continue

“Nothing will deter desperate people who have nothing to lose” ■ Coverage of the attack in the Ariel settlement in the occupied West Bank

The Palestine Project
3 min readNov 17, 2022


By Rogel Alpher (Translated by Sol Salbe)

Even more than a day after the attack in Ariel, Jewish society in Israel continues to demonstrate the same television obsession with reconstructing the event second by second, examining it from every possible angle, dissecting all its details, collecting innumerable testimonies that repeat themselves, probing the bloody corpses, conducting interviews with the relatives of those murdered, and drawing lessons. It is a TV ritual that serves the following purposes:

1. Shock: An attack at some point in the territory controlled by Israel between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan is the most expected event imaginable. As long as the Occupation continues, the attacks will continue. Nothing will deter desperate people who have nothing to lose and who assume in advance that they will be killed during the attack. Still, Jews in Israel have a compulsive and existential need to express shock at every attack. Every terrorist attack is a shocking surprise. The shock reaffirms the basic victim-like position: why do they want to murder us? Only because we are Jews. No other explanation can be found. There is no other explanation. There is no other context. Always the same righteous shock. Footage of a terrorist attacking Jewish civilians is like heroin for the news broadcasts. It’s being injected directly into the eye. They reinforce the Holocaust-induced feeling that nothing more is involved than the murderous hatred of Jews. This is the Jewish destiny.

2. Jewish supremacy: very quickly the shock unfolds and turns into a position of Jewish supremacy. How could the terrorist have succeeded in carrying out his plot? The subtext is: after all, they are an Arab, and we are Jews, and therefore we should be able to prevent this in advance. And if not prevent in advance, then thwart it as soon as it starts. And if not to thwart as soon as it starts, then deter the notion so that they don’t even think about it. The problem is always presented as purely technical, operative. Not enough information. The security guard failed. The rules of engagement are too strict. The Jewish people are too merciful. Subtext: Elor Azaria was right, Kahane was right. An illusion of control is maintained here. If on the next the security guard stands there and not here and shoots like that — this complex construction is supposed to hold our weight. The problem is never political. There is no problem with the concept, only in execution. There is no problem in the basic assumption. This is forever a pinpoint failure and nothing more than that, there is no problem with the continued Israeli presence in the West Bank.

And always the conclusion is that we should be able to exterminate all this terrorism and that one day we will succeed. It’s analysed like a football game: the problem is that the defender didn’t cover the corner, that’s how you can’t win. We need to pick out and remove the traitors: someone chickened out here cursed and did not strive for physical contact. Someone here didn’t shoot a bullet in the head when they should have. Investigate, denounce, shame, humiliate. The people want revenge, a purification ceremony. Hence the hope that Ben Gvir brings. The message is that we need to set order here.