Friday’s horrific arson attack on a Palestinian home by suspected Israeli extremists, in which an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler was burned to death, was, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “a terrorist crime.” What he did not say was that the attack on the Dawabshe family home, in the West Bank village of Duma, fits into a larger pattern of settler violence and domination over Palestinian civilians that undermines any chance for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The body of an 18-month-old baby is carried during a funeral march on July 31 in the Palestinian village of Duma, in the West Bank. A house fire in the village, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists, killed the child. (Oren Ziv / Getty Images)
Sandy Tolan reports and comments frequently about Palestine and Israel. He is the author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (2006, Bloomsbury), which has earned numerous honors and has been published in five languages. He writes frequently for Salon, the Christian Science Monitor and Al-Jazeera English. Sandy and colleagues are currently at work on a 12-part series on global food security and hunger for the U.S. public radio program, Marketplace. Sandy is associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC in Los Angeles.