December 18, 2006

Shin Bête Noire

Driving home this evening I happened to tune in to BBC Radio 4 which was airing a 1-hour feature on the Shin Bet’s collaborators in the Palestinian territories. It was a fascinating insight into a system of rewards which have foiled so many suicide attacks on our people. I listened to a settler in Shomron who said he had known ‘thousands’ of collaborators. I was amazed at the low cost of inducements: just a few hundred shekels to tip-off a roadside bomb. I also heard collaborators complain, in disguised voices, how the Shin Bet reneged on their promises and abandoned them to their grisly fate in mob hands. I learned that one collaborator is executed in the PA territories every single day.

If there are indeed many thousands of collaborators, able to save Jewish lives for the price of a wide-screen TV or a taxi license, why on earth is our government not taking the very best care of them? Is this not the best means of protecting our people at the same time as encouraging others in ever wider networks of sympathisers? Is not the engendering of trust and honour in this process the best means of encouraging moderates to rise against the extremists?

Does this government get anything right?

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