“We have been lax in tackling Jewish terrorism,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin this week in response to the attacks at the gay pride parade and then the firebombing of a home in the West Bank, resulting in the burning to death of an 18-month-old child. These are not isolated incidents, however, and pose a threat to the Israeli government’s authority, Israeli democracy, and add yet another impediment to peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. We have asked Barak Mendelsohn to explore the rise of Jewish extremism in Israel, the dilemmas it poses for Israel, and what might be done to alleviate it.
Barak Mendelsohn is a senior fellow at FPRI and associate professor of political science at Haverford College. This past academic year, he served as a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has already written extensively on the Messianic movement inside Israel, in addition to his work on radical Islam and jihadism. He served in the IDF for 5 years and received his Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. His books include Combating Jihadism (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and The Al Qaeda Franchise (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015).