Many of Israel’s left wing moved right finding a more secure footing and sense of purpose in settler Zionism. But Israelis who have not given up on two states think incremental steps can be taken – knowing Palestinians cannot become compatible Zionists.
Amona does not merit the amount of space given to it by Israeli and Palestinian press. The eviction of settlers from this small outpost is a charade. They will move on to more Palestinian land. The Amona eviction allows the PM to pose as upholder of the law and the even-handed allocator of land to Palestinians and Jewish Israelis. Also info about parliamentary settlements debate, February 9th.
All the forces of law and order – gov’t, police, army – accepted the Supreme Court decision that the Amona outpost must go . All the sound and fury that created may have distracted attention from Bibi’s promise to keep on building.
Three settler leaders were invited to one of Pres. Trump’s 3 inauguration balls. If this inaugurates his Israel policy we can expect that money and encouragement will flow the settlers’ way and the reverse for Israel’s critics.
‘The Amona settlers have won the fight over Israel’s character and future. They will call the shots. They will lead, and the government of Israel and its leader will say Amen.’ Shlomi Eldar on a shameful appeasement of hilltop youth.
There are illegal settlements planned by the Israeli state and there are outposts set up by aggressive settlers which have been vulnerable to state demolition. A new bill going through the Knesset will overrule the Supreme Court and ‘legalise’ these outposts.
Oren Yiftachel writes that the means used to control Palestinians is no longer occupation but apartheid. This is an arguable point given the role the military plays in policing the West Bank, checkpoints, home demolitions and running courts to prosecute and sentence any form of Palestinian resistance. But with the oPt divided into cantons, separated by settlements and their roads, maybe ‘apartheid’ does better describe that means of control.
No-one doubts the anger causing young Palestinians to lash out; most doubt that they are organised or have clear goals or any strategy. And, unlike the past says Jonathan Cook, they have a quite new opposition to face – a highly aggressive, armed right wing and settler movement who accept no rules and, like the checkpoints, serve to separate Palestinians into isolated groups.
This is a response to Michael Walzer’s essay in Dissent by the Lebanese-American scholar As’ad AbuKhalil. In all the contributions to this debate there seems more heat than light, more fear and anger than curiosity about the other. But if they encourage thought about the replacement of secular politics by religion or by how religion or religious conflicts have shaped our civilisations, all to the good.
If any proof were needed that Netanyahu has retreated to his bunker then look at his appointment of Danny Danon as UN ambassador. The PM would rather have have Danon in New York expressing his repellent views than challenging him at home.
Masked ‘price-tag’ thugs set fire to two Palestinian homes, one empty. In the other a baby was burned alive. The rest of his family suffered serious burns. Pres. Rivlin hopes this will shock Israelis into recognising the danger of right-wing extremism in their midst.
The plans announced by PM Netanyahu (see post below this one) included more units at the Deinoff buildings. The following day defence minister Ya’alon ordered their evacuation and demolition – to the fury of justice minister Shaked. The coalition cannot withstand two irreconcilable forces.
… who are Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and another law for the landless workers, who are Palestinian. An analytic report from ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in Israel) examines one of the most disturbing characteristics of the Israeli military rule in the West Bank – the creation and development of a regime of two separate legal systems, on an ethnic-national basis.
The fight by the residents of the Palestinian village of Susya against the new Jewish settlement of Susiya, its aggressive legal arm Regavim and the Israeli Civil Administration has been sustained for years. Support for the Palestinians has come from, amongst others, the International Solidarity Movement and Rabbis for Human Rights – whose support for the Palestinian villagers is published by the Jewish Chronicle.
The settlers of Yitzhar in the Nablus district of the West Bank are a stereotype of the worst sort; violent, racist, convinced they are kings of the mountain where the writ of the police does not run. On April 8th, Israeli police set out to assert their authority by demolishing some of their illegal structures. Obviously, the settlers – who believe they are directed by God from their ‘sacred’ yeshiva – fought back and demolished an IDF outpost. The reaction in Israel ranges from shock through outrage to hysteria.
In the latest of David Shulman’s illuminating reports, Ta’ayush volunteers try to engage in discussion the settlers and soldiers who are driving the Palestinian herders away. These men know nothing of international – or national – law; they live by the word of God (their unique interpretation) and of their commanding officer. In their ignorance of law, the soldiers terrify the shepherds by threatening to shoot them if they don’t go.
The Palestinians protest. The officer from the Civil Administration lays down the law. I can’t contain their grief and bewilderment—it is, after all, their land—and I can’t bear seeing them humiliated like this, ordered here or there or anywhere that is not the fields they have worked for centuries.At the summit we see the notorious settler-widow. She’s an orthodox Jewish woman, but she’s violating the Shabbat today, since the greatest of all God’s commandments is, it seems: “Humiliate as many Palestinians as you can”. David Shulman reports.
Israeli control over the Jordan valley has long been an Israeli sticking point in any talks about talks. Why? Netanyahu says ‘security’ but he would wouldn’t he. The small number of settlers like the cheap agricultural land and labour, but they wouldn’t die for it. Its population is largely Palestinian though the IDF – there for practice and as as a policing agent rather than defence force – keep them under constant check and harassment. Yariv Oppenheimer says the aim is to keep the area safe for settlers but it might as well be to ensure Palestinians get no benefit from it.
Kristallnacht was the largest state-organised pogrom of Jews, their businesses and synagogues to have taken place in Germany/Austria. Over 90 Jews were killed, 30,000 arrested and put in concentration camps. For the first time, the western world was horrified. Every olive harvest season settlers wreck Palestinian groves, sometimes helped by the IDF, destroying their means of living. Unlike Kristallnacht, few pay attention to this annual rampage.
We often post distressing news of settlers uprooting, burning or wrecking the olive trees of Palestinians. There is such a report from Sarta, in the north-west West Bank in this post. But first we post some lovely photos from Palinfo.com of Palestinians – men and women, young and old -picking and sorting their olives in settler-free Gaza.