It is hard to know which is more outrageous – the crimes settlers commit against humanity (yes, the Palestinians are human), or the crimes some of their supporters commit against intelligence.
The Israeli rightwing blogosphere is crowing because, according to a report on the settlers' media outlet, Arutz Sheva, which has not been authenticated elsewhere, to my knowledge, a West Bank Arab admitted to police that he fabricated a story about settlers burning sheep.
Now let's assume, for argument's sake, that the report on Arutz Sheva is correct. What does that say about the general credibility of reports of settler violence?
At the very least, it says nothing; but more likely, it provides stronger support for their veracity.
How so? Well, in this case, the story was odd from the get-go. As already pointed out in Haaretz, police suspected the shepherd's story – not because settlers don't go on rampage against Arabs, not because they don't conduct pogroms, not because they don't uproot olive trees, not because they don't shoot at Arab children, not because they don't steal land, and not because they don't close up wells….
But because they don't do these things on Shabbat, and the accusation was made that the fire was set on Shabbat.
As Haaretz reported,
Police in the area said they had received a complaint and opened an investigation. They said some of the details were questionable, like the settlers' entering a car on the Sabbath, when most Orthodox Jews do not drive.
Most violent incidents perpetrated by settlers against Palestinians take place on weekdays, police sources said.
Funny that the Arutz Sheva report didn't mention Haaretz's piece on police skepticism. I guess it doesn't consider Haaretz leftist. It's also nice to know that the pogromists rest on Shabbat, although it seems to me that since Yishuv Eretz Yisrael/Settling the Land of Israel is the most important mitzvah for them (keneged kulam/keneged kulam), surely their rabbis could find a heter for settler violence on Shabbat…but I won't go down that road here. Rather, I can hear them complaining about those leftwing "police sources" on the West Bank! What's a poor settler to do when the police has been infiltrated by such "Arab-lovers"!
Again, assuming that the story was fabricated, its fabrication was easily determined, and the fellow who made the complaint admitted the fabrication. If this is such a common occurrence, then why can these settlers only point to one case?
Still, the fact that these settlers either lie or are in denial about settler violence shows that they have not completely lost their tzelem enosh/human image.
Kahane, by contrast, would have bragged about it.
H/t to Martin for calling this to my attention