Gideon Levy
Haaretz (Opinion)
November 2, 2009 - 1:00am

The parade of the self-righteous got underway Sunday night: Yaakov Teitel was described as a "foreign element," "wild thorn" and "rotten apple." Even if he acted alone, spoke and hallucinated in English, even if he was mentally disturbed, as his attorney claimed, it does not change the fact that Jack the Ripper from the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel - contrary to his predecessor in London - acted on ground that was fertile like no other.

Yes, the settlements and especially the illegal outposts where Teitel lived and hid his weapons, along with the Kahanist settlement of Kfar Tapuah where he got his start - these are the places for such dangerous nuts. This is their refuge, where they can hide arms without being bothered and go on hate-filled killing sprees without being seen.

It is no coincidence that a terrorist or killer has never risen from within Peace Now, Gush Shalom or Yesh Gvul. However, with God's help, we have already seen two murderous terrorists from Shvut Rachel. Never has a leftist called for the death of someone who disagrees with him - and we must always remember this when we speak of left and right.

Yes, we must recoil from the entire group of settlers that again and again sprouts these cancerous growths. When a settlement is born out of sin, the sin of stolen land, the gun rests during the first act, the act of illegally confiscating the land. But you can count on there always being someone to pull the trigger in the final act.

Not everyone is a Teitel, and it's clear that not every settler is a killer. But no special investigative team was assembled when a different killing spree got underway several weeks ago, which left an olive grove razed. Teitel's fatal error was turning on other Jews. Had he been satisfied with acts of murder against the Palestinian population, he would never have been caught.

Teitel had an organized, all-embracing worldview: Death to Arabs, homosexuals, Christians, leftists, and Messianic Jews. They are all "Sodomites" who cannot be cleansed. Teitel set a price tag for everyone, just like others of his settler friends have also done. The difference is that the others only set price tags for Palestinians, so no one bothers to apprehend them. Teitel was "unbalanced" in exactly the same way as his companions. Speaking of which, has a Palestinian terrorist ever been declared "unbalanced"? Has the Shin Bet ever used the term "acted alone" to justify an uninterrupted, unsolved decade-long killing spree perpetrated by a lone Palestinian?

Now everyone will tsk-tsk. The settlers will claim "we had nothing to do with this," will roll their eyes skyward and be quick to voice harsh, and hollow, denunciations. The Shin Bet and police will wave a victory flag to show they don't bargain with settlers and the sleeping beauty of the left will continue to cloak herself in complacency. But there are more Teitels wandering around the land of occupation and negligence, and as long as they don't lay their hands on other Jews, no one will hold them accountable - and even that may change.


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