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Thu Nov 1, 2012, 06:17 AM

 

Think you know who the settlers are? Think again

Excerpt:

Sure, you can find hilltop settlements full of the most reactionary Jews in Israel. But they’re not just a minority of Israelis. They’re even a minority of the settlers! As a settler, or at least as a person living beyond the Green Line, I condemn them and condemn the government’s tacit support for their existence. How can it be that these illegal outposts – illegal even under Israeli law – get the full complement of Israeli utilities and army security? But, as I say, those people are the minority.

I live in an area south of Jerusalem called Gush Etzion. I live there because it is the heartland of the sort of Orthodox Judaism I want to grow in; totally open to the non-Jewish and non-religious world, to non-Jewish wisdom, and to social justice: liberal-minded towards the role of women in Judaism and compassionate, non-judgemental and understanding, rather than bigoted in its treatment of homosexuals. Gush Etzion hosts a yeshiva, Yeshivat Hamivtar, in the town of Efrat that allowed me to study in just that sort of open Orthodox environment. And now I’m lucky enough to be learning at Yeshivat HarEtzion in Alon Shvut, one of the premier centres of Torah scholarship in the world.

Yes, my left-leaning political views place me in a minority here. But my wife and I are not politically isolated. Liberal-minded Modern-Orthodoxy is more likely to be open to liberal-minded politics than the crude fringes of the National Religious camp, or the introverted xenophobia of many ultra-Orthodox Jews. Most of my neighbours are to my political right, but my views are respected here. Indeed, the late Rav Amital, who founded my Yeshiva, was also the founder of Meimad – the only religious political party on the left-wing of Israeli politics. Where I live, he is universally revered.

‘But still,’ my detractors might argue, ‘however wonderful the community you’re living with may be, you’re living on stolen land. You’re settlement is an obstacle to peace. How can you justify that?’



http://www.fathomjournal.org/dispatch/letter-from-gush-etzion/

33 replies, 1962 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Think you know who the settlers are? Think again (Original post)
shira Nov 2012 OP
oberliner Nov 2012 #1
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #2
oberliner Nov 2012 #3
King_David Nov 2012 #4
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #5
King_David Nov 2012 #6
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #9
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #17
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #23
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #25
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #29
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #30
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #31
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #32
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #33
Shaktimaan Nov 2012 #7
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #8
King_David Nov 2012 #10
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #11
azurnoir Nov 2012 #12
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #15
King_David Nov 2012 #14
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #16
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #18
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #22
holdencaufield Nov 2012 #26
King_David Nov 2012 #19
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #21
King_David Nov 2012 #24
azurnoir Nov 2012 #27
azurnoir Nov 2012 #13
King_David Nov 2012 #20
azurnoir Nov 2012 #28

Response to shira (Original post)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 10:17 AM

1. "Palestinian national consciousness has a claim to the entire land of Mandate Palestine"

He brings up an interesting, if comfortable, point.

This is why the I/P conflict will be sadly eternal for some, regardless of if and when any solution is agreed upon.

This is especially important with respect to Jerusalem.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 09:06 PM

2. Zionist consciousness makes the SAME claim

This is why a Belgian-style federation(which would have to be with the Palestinians, since a confederation with Jordan would have no credibiity at all)might be an alternative. It would preserve the national character of each nationality, while recognizing that the overlap in national claims and infrastructure might make a strict division into two distinct states somewhat problematic(a federation would not be the same as a single-state solution).

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 09:21 PM

3. That is essentially the author's entire point

The Green Line is meaningless in both consciousnesses.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 09:52 PM

4. Thats ridiculous

Does not work in Belgium but it will work in a region where the 2 sides hate each other and the 1 side still dreams of driving the other side into the sea?

I can safely say that idea is stillborn.




Separatists surge in Belgium vote


Associated Press
October 15, 2012



http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2012/10/14/early-belgian-vote-results-show-separatist-gains/L7E7d1F6KcNbkPb1OQ1QMO/story.html

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Response to King_David (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 10:28 PM

5. Most Flemish voters rejected this party

(btw, this was in municipal elections, not parliamentary elections, so the vote for that party may just have been a way to cast a protest ballot-this party tried for a year to form a government and NONE of the other parties would work with it). Most of the Walloons, for their part, don't actually hate the Flemish.

A lot of Israelis have been talking about the federation option. Since Bibi is making the two-state solution impossible by his insane policy of expanding the settlements he already knows are illegal, something more creative may be needed.

The status quo(Israelis having a state, Palestinians being forced to choose between statelessness and exile)isn't sustainable...and there's nothing about the settlements that can possibly make expanding them MORE important than peace...even you would have to agree on that, I think.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 12:49 AM

6. It aint an option. nt

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Response to King_David (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 01:44 AM

9. Preserving the status quo(Israel WITHOUT a Palestinian state for the indefinite future)

is what really isn't an option. If it's to be two states, it needs to be two states NOW...and with neither state living at the mercy of the other. That's the only way a two-state solution can work.
It can't work with the Netanyahu insistence on acting as if Israel can be trusted but no Palestinian state can be.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 02:55 AM

17. "it needs to be two states NOW"

 

Why?

Not to be flippant ... but why does it have to be now and not 50 years from now, 100 years from now? If the leaders of today can't strike a workable bargain, then maybe the leaders of tomorrow will be more conciliatory. One can hope.

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 11:22 AM

23. The status quo can't ever lead to conciliation in the future. All the status quo does

is to make things worse. And continued settlement building makes things worse(I assume you'd agree with at least the second assertion).

You can't crush a people into peace...especially in a situation where military victory in the old sense isn't possible.

Don't listen to Bibi and Barak...they're just bitter old men who care more about "winning" than peace. None of the hawks actually give a damn about the people of Israel...they just want to claim "victory"...even though "victory" is now nothing but a reactionary and hateful concept.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 03:54 PM

25. Sounds like a very good reason...

 

... for Fatah to start bargaining in good faith.

You claim one side are "bitter old men" who about nothing but winning -- what do you say about Fatah and Hamas, still cling to the dream of destroying Israel?

As much as it pains you -- nothing will happen until BOTH sides are willing to strike a bargain and that's not going to happen anytime soon, is it?



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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 10:48 PM

29. You keep acting as if it's ALL the Palestinians' fault

Until you admit(at least to yourself)that there's equality of blame here and that both sides have legitimate claims, legitimate grievances, and parity of suffering, you will not be part of the solution.

Israeli leaders are just as much to blame for the situation as the Palestinian leadership. And you know it. You just have to acknowledge that, and the failed leaders you defend have to as well.

You can't expect Fatah to change BEFORE the settlement expansion stops. Once each settlement is there, it's pretty much there for eternity. Israel loses nothing at all by doing a permanent moratorium on settlement expansion, since that expansion is both illegitimate morally AND useless as a bargaining tactic.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 10:56 PM

30. Au contraire ...

 

... but until the Palestinians come to the table with a compromise -- no RofR, no Jerusalem. There is zero incentive for Israel to have another Gaza on it's Eastern Border.

Israel has nothing to lose by holding out -- the Palestinians have everything to lose. You don't have to be a genius to see who needs to make the first move.

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 11:11 PM

31. Actually, Israel has a lot to lose, if its leaders actually WANT peace.

Obviously, the Likud-Beitenyu mutant party doesn't want peace and has to be voted out of office for peace to have a chance.

Holding out can only lead to a more extreme Palestinian leadership...it cannot produce moderation on the Palestinian side, nor conciliation. The more the Israeli side insists on throwing its weight around, on making any peace deal look as if its something Israel FORCED a Palestinian leadership to accept, in other words, the more Israel's leaders(against, I'm convinced, the true wishes of the Israeli people, who like rank-and-file people everywhere else are always less interested in war for war's sake than the leaders are)insist on being able to make a peace settlement into the impossible and arrogant goal of peace-through-victory, the more difficult it will be to get ANY Palestinian leadership to agree to peace.

Peace requires the israelis to treat the Palestinian side, in a partnership for peace, as EQUAL partners. Holding out can't possibly achieve that.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 11:16 PM

32. "...it cannot produce moderation on the Palestinian side.."

 

We'll just have to see, won't we?

You submit that Israeli leaders have a lot to lose if they actually want peace. I would submit the Palestinian leaders have much more to lose. The world learned there is a VERY high price to pay for "peace at any price", Mr Chamberlain

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 11:53 PM

33. Completely inappropriate analogy

1)I'm not Neville Chamberlain in any sense;

2)The Palestinians have nothing in common with the Third Reich.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 01:12 AM

7. not a chance.

why would israel do such a thing? what would it gain from it?

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Response to Shaktimaan (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 01:41 AM

8. The preservation of the Jewish homeland, and peace and security for Israeli citizens

If you don't like the federation option(and a growing number of Israelis actually find it an interesting possibility, actually)then you need to be pushing Bibi and Co. to, at a bare minimum, impose a permanent moratorium on settlement expansion and as much lessening as possible of the repression imposed on Palestinians by the Occupation.

The two-state option can't survive if Israel keeps trying to make a Palestinian state as small and helpless as possible, and if Israel's leaders insist that a two-state solution be predicated on the insulting and humiliating notion that Israel can be trusted but that no Palestinian state can ever be. Palestinians have just as much reason to distrust Israeli intentions as Israelis have to distrust Palestinian intentions. Peace can't be built on one side insisting on having total power over the other side.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 2, 2012, 08:24 AM

10. More chance of working between

Palestine and Jordan than between Israel and any other of the non democratic entities in the region.

Why would Jordan or Israel want it ?

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Response to King_David (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 10:29 PM

11. NO Palestinians want to be Jordanian. None ever will be.

If they wanted that, they'd have all moved across the Jordan and been done with it.

A peace deal MUST include Palestinian representation FOR Palestinians...they will never accept Jordan presuming to speak in their name. Therefore, anything involving Israel and Jordan but NOT Palestine is automatically doomed. Not ever worth trying.

It's about like expecting The Irish to let the Ulster Unionists negotiate on their behalf or act as their leaders.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 10:36 PM

12. quite a few Palestinians are Jordanian or at least have Jordanian citizenship

well over a million Palestinians in fact, that said it does not make Jordan Palestine and while there are superfluous claims being made about Israel and nonDemocratic entities it should be recognized that Israel and Jordan signed a treaty back in the 1990's

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 12:37 AM

15. I meant West Bank Palestinians.

And those Palestinians who have Jordanian citizenship are not happy about the fact that they are subjugated by the Hashemite minority(a subjugation that, thanks to massive American arms sales to Jordan, is almost certain never to change).

It will always be unworkable to expect Palestinians to see Jordan as THEIR country, and it is a standing insult to Palestinians for anyone to argue that Jordan can represent their interests, but they themselves can't be allowed to.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 10:54 PM

14. So a Belgian Type federation is more likely to work between Israel (Majority Jews) than

between Palestinians in Palestine (Majority Palestinians) and Jordanians (of which majority of citizens are Palestinian)


Oki Doki .

Good Plan you have.

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Response to King_David (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 12:40 AM

16. Palestinians don't WANT to be part of Jordan.

You can't seriously suggest that Palestinians should have to settle for being ruled eternally by a Hashemite monarchy that will never, ever be overthrown.

The issue is making peace between Palestinians and Israels. This hinges on those two polities...Palestinians and Israelis...dealing WITH EACH OTHER, in a partnership of equals(and without anything in the partnership that implies that one of those polities can be trusted but the other can't). None of that is rocket science...and it can't ever be legitimate to say "just be Jordanian" to Palestinians instead, since Jordan will always be a country in which Palestinians will be powerless.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 02:59 AM

18. "Palestinians don't WANT to be part of Jordan."

 

No, they want to live in a Jew-free Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. They want that because their leaders -- and their friends in the West -- have told them it's possible.

There will be no peace until someone tells them the truth -- "the Jews aren't walking away and leaving the key under the mat for you". When they finally come to that realisation, they will start working on building their own state and stop dreaming about taking the state of someone else.

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 11:19 AM

22. that's not true.

And even if you were correct, we both know that preserving the Occupation and building more settlements couldn't ever make Palestinians make the choices you say they refuse to make.

BTW, Palestinian rejectionism of Israel ended with Oslo, where they recognized Israel. Stop acting like that didn't happen and that were still back in 1948 or something.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 04:01 PM

26. "Occupation and ... settlements couldn't ever make Palestinians make the choices"

 

That sucks for them ... I guess they don't get no state.

Until Fatah comes to the table with a REALISTIC offer, conflict will continue. Why would Israel (or any country) concede to unreasonable demands from an intractable enemy if they have nothing to gain?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 07:47 AM

19. And so ?

Because "Jordan will always be a country in which Palestinians will be powerless"

They will have lots of power within The Jewish State?

OK I have had enough of discussing this fantasyland nonsense .. Enjoy !

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Response to King_David (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 11:17 AM

21. You aren't actually discussing...you're just being silly.

Your posts show you aren't interested in peace, you just want your "side" to win...even though you know that winning, in the old World War II sense, is impossible in today's wars.

The idea of a federation is that you'd recognize the national character of each polity...preserve those characters...but recognize the ways that infrastructure overlaps. One part of such a deal might be, perhaps, that some of the settlements could be preserved, in exchange for Israel agreeing to stop destroying those Bedouin villages.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 11:36 AM

24. Again your talking "for" another poster ...

It's always best to speak for yourself and let other people speak for themselves .

That's good advice .

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Response to King_David (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 04:22 PM

27. well if the Jordanian government was ruling the West Bank things might be different

however that is not the case

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Response to King_David (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 10:38 PM

13. "between Israel and any other of the non democratic entities in the region."

you mean like Jordan, which is a Monarchy? Seems I remember something about a peace treaty between Israel and signed almost 2 decades ago

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 07:51 AM

20. Is that a Belgian type federation now ?

Oki Doki

The Taj Mahal is in India and Mt Kilimanjaro is in Africa .

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Response to King_David (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 04:23 PM

28. nope but you're free to claim whatever you wish

me I'm waiting for UNGA's vote

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