The recent murder of four Jewish worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue has drawn intense media coverage, with the situation being described as “tense” and the country as “shaken.” U.S. officials decry the violence and call for both sides to “seek a path forwards toward peace.”
Yet the Israeli government’s reaction and history demonstrate that Israel is not concerned with creating peace, but rather maintaining the status quo. If the government cared about stopping violence and protecting its population, it would immediately end the occupation and accept a political settlement that guarantees everyone in Greater Israel their right to self-determination. Instead they are exploiting the violence to tighten their control of the West Bank and Gaza and crush Palestinian aspirations for an end to the 66-year dispossession and conquest.
The grisly murder of four worshipers at a Jerusalem synagogue was carried out last month by two Palestinian cousins, who did not belong to any political or resistance factions. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to cast blame on all Palestinian political parties who would be a partner in a peaceful settlement to the conflict.