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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:00 PM
Original message
The settlers are not the golem
By Meron Benvenisti



Reactions to Ariel Sharon's downfall in the disengagement referendum point up an interesting phenomenon: The shock over the results is more profound among those who do not belong to the Likud than among its members. And this reaction pertains not only to the object of the referendum and the failure of the disengagement plan, but mainly to the causes of the failure: the power of a few thousand settlers to force their will on millions of people - Israelis and Palestinians.




Indeed, there was no shortage of proof of the political might of the settler leaders and their manipulation skills. After all, they exerted decisive influence on political struggles related to the occupied territories throughout the `90s. Many people were astounded, nevertheless, at the magnitude of the power amassed by the hard core of activists with a messianic-clerical-rightist worldview; and particularly the colossal self-confidence they have acquired, which took them from organizing themselves in marginal right-wing groups to the domination of a mainstream political party that leads the government.

The incredulity was the result of denial and repression; after all, the settlers did not conceal their aims, or mask their strength. The attention of their political opponents was fixed on statistics about points on the map - "settlements," "outposts" and the number of inhabitants therein - and their effect on the "diplomatic process" ("an obstacle to peace"). But the strategic goals of the settlers - domination of the decision-making process vis-a-vis the future of the territories - was given little attention, and their pronouncements about "settling in people's hearts" were belittled. A full array of "dialogues," "common Zionist denominator" and campaigns to promote tolerance among diverse groups in Israeli society) helped to repress the threat, until the disengagement plan forced the settlers to reveal their strength, this time openly and purposefully. The repression and denial have been going on for decades.

Anyone who so desired could have taken seriously the warning voiced in 1983: "The Likud correctly assessed that the future of the territories would be decided in the domestic political establishment of Israel. It is therefore building a political lobby that includes residents of the suburbs (in the territories) ... One hundred thousand voters, sending four or five members of Knesset, could be an effective obstacle to any political program based on territorial compromise." But this warning, which was rebuffed with the disparaging contention that the situation was "irreversible," was rejected by those who chose to internalize only those processes that suited their wishes.


<snip>

More

A thoughtful article by a leading advocate of peace.
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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. I actually agree with this view more than Avery's view that they
Edited on Thu May-06-04 02:35 PM by Classical_Liberal
are. The idea that Sharon is the settlers golem actually makes just as much sense.
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. So do you agree
with murdering the settlers? Every man, woman and child who was symbolically murdered in the attack on Sunday? Are they the criminals you claim they are who deserve the death penalty?
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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. no
Edited on Thu May-06-04 02:34 PM by Classical_Liberal
but it is predictable, since there is no law enforcement and the settlers do the same. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-...
Anyway this is a differnt thread.
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. No comparison
Innocent families, people who do not present a threat, are not routinely shot at by settlers. Even if warning shots are fired, no settlers have committed such an act.

If it is predictable, that is due to repeated incidents of this sort. That does not make the murderers right.


Note: I've moved my previous question to the thread on the murders.
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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:48 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. See my answer in other thread
Edited on Fri May-07-04 03:48 AM by Classical_Liberal
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

There are none that are so blind as those who will not see.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Settlers have shot at innocent families...
Innocent families, people who do not present a threat, are not routinely shot at by settlers. Even if warning shots are fired, no settlers have committed such an act.

Care to explain how a four month old baby and a 14 year old were presenting a threat to settlers? This AI report has been posted here before, so I'll assume you never bothered reading it. And on top of that, Palestinians harvesting their olives have been shot at by settlers, and that's also been discussed here before. Why are you denying that innocent Palestinians are shot at by Israeli settlers when the facts say otherwise?

Killing the future:Children in the line of fire



Attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have continued during the intifada. In most cases the IDF does not intervene sufficiently promptly or vigorously - if at all - to protect Palestinians from settler violence.

On 19 July 2001, Diya Marwan Tmeizi, a baby of almost four months from the village of Idna (near Hebron), was killed when the car he was travelling in with his family on their way home from the wedding of relatives, was shot at by Israeli settlers. Two other family members were also killed in the attack, and five were wounded, including two-year-old Amira. The attack happened not far from the Tarqumiya roadblock, but the soldiers manning the roadblock did not stop the killers' car when it fled. The attack was claimed by a group which called itself the Committee for Road Safety which is reportedly linked to the outlawed Jewish right-wing group Kach.

Fourteen-year-old Nivin Jamjoum was killed on 28 July 2002 by Israeli settlers who attacked some Palestinian homes in Hebron. She was shot in the head with an M16 rifle by Israeli settlers while standing on the balcony of her home in the al-Shaludi quarter, in the old city of Hebron. Nivin's brother, 20-year-old Marwan, was wounded in the right leg. In total, 11 Palestinians were injured. None of those responsible are known to have been brought to justice.


Violet...


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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. So how can you say that the "settlers don't make policy"
and agree with this article?
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Gimel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I posted the article
Edited on Fri May-07-04 12:44 AM by Gimel
I did not say I agree with everything stated in the article, I noted that it was well written and thoughtful.

The settlers don't make the policy, although it may seem so at the moment. They are only one influence. Perhaps you didn't get to the final paragraph of the article:

"The victory of the settlers is maddening and discouraging, but one can take comfort in the fact that it is too big; their attempt to take over the Likud and humiliate its leaders will not go unanswered. And mainly, it is simply not possible to hold onto Gush Katif for long; even the might of the settlers will not suffice. Their triumph will yet turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory, and as great as their victory is, so too will be the magnitude of their defeat, as the refusal mounts to bring soldiers as sacrifices to the Moloch of Netazrim's defense. And maybe, the whole referendum and the very act of "disengagement" were a passing episode - because the processes of conflict and conciliation between Israel and the Palestinians cannot be one-sided."


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