The common denominator of all the prime minister’s frightening messages is that what the Jews do isn’t important; what’s important is that the goyim hate us. Even if we give the Arabs the Tel Aviv coast, they won’t rest until they throw us into the sea.In 1996 the fear campaign against Palestinian terrorism and the danger that Shimon Peres would divide Jerusalem brought Netanyahu to power. In the absence of suicide bombers, and while Peres is dozing in the President’s Residence, Netanyahu is finding, and inventing, new fears.Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook wrote more than a century ago that exaggerated fear is the source of all weakness – physical, ethical and intellectual. Kook wrote that such fear will be so threatening that those subjected to it wouldn’t even lift a finger to save themselves. A new book called “Barriers to Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” published by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, provides a well-researched stamp of approval for this analysis of the spiritual shepherd of religious Zionism. In the book, Nimrod Rosler of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Swiss Center for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution writes that fear has become a force that maintains and intensifies conflict, and prevents conflict from being resolved, because it leads to perceptual bias toward the conflict and toward the other side, creates a cognitive freeze and a tendency to avoid risk, and leads to justification of existing policy.
the stronger the Israeli perception that the Arabs are posing a threat, the lower the Israeli willingness to negotiate with them or give up territory.
But instead of warning of the dangers inherent in the continuation of the conflict, Netanyahu has chosen to exploit the primitive fear of the other. Instead of warning of Israel’s increasing isolation, he is increasing the public’s fear of the unknown. Those who are feared are hated and those who are hated are killed, Nelson Mandela has said.
Netanyahu is sowing fear, we are harvesting hatred, and our children are killing and being killed.