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(Settlers) Undeserving of compassion - Haaretz

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Wonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-04 11:15 PM
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(Settlers) Undeserving of compassion - Haaretz
By Gideon Levy

Whenever talk of evacuating settlements starts, it's immediately accompanied by the phrase "the painful price." Evacuation of settlements, we have been habituated to believe, is synonymous with "national pain" and "trauma." Yet why should this be so? It's understandable, of course, that people who are uprooted from their place of residence and who loved their home, will not leave joyfully. It's never pleasant to move from a beloved place to which we have grown accustomed to a new place. Not pleasant, but not so terrible, either, especially when it's possible to return to the place you came from not so long ago. True, it's possible to believe that some of the settlers will experience true grief, just as others will breathe a huge sigh of relief - but it's a long way from here to turning the evacuation into an object of national mourning.

In the meantime, not so much as a potted plant has been evacuated, but we are already reading heartrending articles about the settlers of Yamit - the victims back then, in 1982 - and about the coming victims, the settlers in the Gaza Strip. Here are their children and their fields, the synagogues and the baby strollers, all of them portrayed as lambs to the sacrifice.

This emotional manipulation by the settlers and their supporters must not be allowed to dominate the public discourse, and we must not let their pain, whether real or false, become part of the public domain. Nor is this the time to conduct a dialogue with them, as some self-righteous left-wingers will soon undoubtedly suggest. The fact is that the settlers, who never showed consideration for the feelings of the other public, which bitterly opposed their enterprise, cannot now expect solidarity with their pain. There are Israelis who for years watched hopelessly the injustices they wrought. The settlers showed no consideration for their pain. They, who displayed no compassion for the feelings of their opponents, and certainly not for the feelings of their victims, the Palestinians, on whose land they settled and whose lives they embittered, do not now deserve compassion or commiseration. They deserve, at most, compensation.


All the settlers are tainted. If the Israeli society's sense of justice were more developed, the settlers would have long since been condemned and ostracized. A healthy society must disgorge its immoral elements. Now that at long last there is a budding prospect, however faint, that some of them will be evacuated and part of the injustice they caused will come to an end, there is no place for any manifestations of sympathy for them, not even in their hardest hours, whether real or false.

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usrbs Donating Member (583 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-04 11:22 PM
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1. I've always liked Gideon Levy. He's 100% right. n/t
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tinnypriv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-04 11:59 PM
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2. I suspect
Mr Levy and myself would agree on aims, but I disagree on tactics. I think getting the settlers out will require praising them to some extent.

It's a question often discussed in Israel incidentially, by those concerning about the future of Israel (though the motivations for the concern differ).
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