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© تموز (يوليو) 2022

Israel has made settlers of all its citizens


Saturday 24 ذو الحجة 1430, by Amira Haas

All the versions of this article:

  • English

Would any of the settlers who opposed the Civil Administration inspectors this week be living in the territories had the governments of Israel not established and encouraged them? Would the Gush Katif evacuees have moved to mobile homes in Ariel in the expectation of spacious permanent housing had the government clearly declared that this was forbidden - because the settlements will be evacuated in the near future for a peace agreement - and that evacuation-compensation money would not be paid to anyone who moves to the West Bank?

Do the settlers clashing with the forces of law and order not know that those who have committed crimes - from racist threats and blocking roads, to wholesale cutting down of trees, arson and beating and murdering Palestinians - have not been investigated or have been forgiven and forgotten with a wink?

The settlers’ feeling of betrayal is natural. Haven’t the state and its institutions taught us that the settler is superior to everyone else?

Yes. The settler, in fact, is us.

The freeze orders will not change what exists now: an elite state for Jews and a sub-space for Palestinians - truncated, cut up, asphyxiated.

The distinction in the mind nowadays between the state of Israel and the settlers is artificial.

So is the distinction between the bad and the good, the violent and the law-abiding, the residents of the Migron outpost and the residents of Etzion Bloc settlements and the territories that have been annexed to Jerusalem, or those who live to the West of the separation fence.

Those who laud the freeze orders are thinking about relations with the United States.

The subordinated and occupied do not factor into their calculations. And indeed the land that was stolen from them in Beit Jala (for the benefit of Gilo) is like the land of Qalqilyah that Alfei Menashe coveted and is coveting.

The legitimacy of the settlement blocs exists only in the Israeli consensus. In reality, it is these blocs and Ma’aleh Adumim that are destroying the chance of a fair peace, because they and their separated roads are laying the groundwork for a crippled Palestinian political entity.

There is a lot of ingratitude in the media assault on the settlers, who have been manning barricades for the sake of a reality from which many Israelis are benefiting and accept as natural.

Had the governments of Israel been interested in containing the Golem they had created on time, they would not have cynically exploited the Oslo agreement to accelerate building and lure more and more Israelis with settlers’ benefits.

Former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin would have evacuated the Hebron and Kiryat Arba settlers after the massacre Baruch Goldstein committed in the Tomb of the Patriarchs / Ibrahimi Mosque.

His government and subsequent governments would not have strangled Bethlehem with the Tunnels Road and with the "moderate" settlement of Efrat that snakes and twists along the hills.

They would have prepared the public for a just scenario by which to bring all the settlers back home and would have apologized for having lured them to transgression.

However, in 1993 we missed a one-time opportunity to develop as an entity, the aim of which is not territorial expansion at the expense of another people - who were prepared for very painful concessions for the sake of its independence and for the sake of peace.

We missed an opportunity to expel the deed of disposession from our state’s institutional and mental chromosomes.

It is no wonder the setters are saying there is no difference between Kibbutz Baram and Psagot, between Givat Shaul and Alon Moreh.

Precisely in the shadow of diplomatic negotiations, Israel chose a policy of accelerated settlement in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

It is expelling Palestinian inhabitants from their homes there by various methods.

In this way, Israel is drawing a straight line between Kiryat Shmona and Beit El, between Tel Aviv and Givat Ze’ev. It has made settlers of us all.

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