Wednesday, September 22, 2010

  • Wednesday, September 22, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Karl Vick, who wrote the infamous Time cover story "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace", spent some time actually visiting the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and speaking to the locals. His resulting story is not nearly as slanted as these sorts of stories usually are.

The term settlements does not do justice to what Israeli Jews have built on the hilltops of the West Bank. Subdivisions comes closer in those whose winding lanes, red-tiled roofs, bougainvillea and tricycles create a suburban splendor of sorts. In other spots, industrial park would be more accurate, with Israelis having notched scores of factories — making bagels, aluminum, chicken nuggets — into stony slopes where for centuries commerce had consisted of shepherd boys and their flocks.

...Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he'll walk away from the [negotiating] table if Israel resumes building on the West Bank, whose territory would form the rump of any Palestinian state. Israel argues that the moratorium demonstrated its good faith and now it's Abbas' turn.

"I do hope the Palestinian side understand this is the test case for the idea of compromise," says Dan Meridor, a moderate in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Meridor, the Minister of Intelligence, has suggested a specific compromise: to resume construction next week, but only in settlements that both parties, in previous talks, have agreed would remain on the Israeli side of a border with a future Palestinian state. The densely populated West Bank settlement blocs on the Israeli side of the separation barrier are home to 200,000 of the approximately 270,000 settlers. The Israelis argue that making those settlements denser would do no new harm to Palestinian aspirations.

In Meridor's proposal, the freeze on construction would continue in places like Eli, a town of 3,000 way out in the middle of the West Bank. A largish blob on maps, in reality much of Eli stands vacant, settlers having put up houses on the edge like pioneers circling wagons.
"We built at the perimeter with a plan to fill in," says Tamar Asraf, whose home overlooks the ruins of ancient Shiloh, where Jewish tribes are said to have worshipped for more than 300 years after arriving from Egypt. Asraf describes the thrill of finding pottery from their feasts on the hillside below her back door.

"We feel like we've returned home," she says. "There was a gap of 2,000 years."
I never visited Eli, but from the satellite image you can see the vacant part between a row of houses on the west and the main part of town:

Even if the residents of Eli built up that entire area, it would not take a square centimeter of additional land. (h/t aparatchik)
...[S]ettlers lately are playing the security card, arguing that their presence on the hilltops of the West Bank helps ensure the safety of the coastal plain below. It matters now more than ever who holds the high ground, goes the argument, since missiles rained down from other areas from which Israel withdrew — Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

But the sense of purpose that so impressed Nissim has deep roots in faith. What the world calls the West Bank is known to religious nationalist Jews as Judea and Samaria, land they say was promised them in the Scriptures that double as history here. In settling here, some believe themselves to be fulfilling a condition for the emergence of the Messiah Jews still await. But in the coffee shop at Shiloh — plans for a more elaborate visitor's center being on hold by the freeze — the elected head of the settlers argues only realpolitik.

"How'd we get here in the first place?" says Daniel Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, which formed in the 1970s as Gush Emunim (Block of the Faithful). "We got here because of an Arab war they fought winner-take-all."

...[T]he point that settler advocates are making now is that removing settlements would also mean evacuating most if not all of the 10,000 Israeli troops now stationed there to guard them. And in recent years, wherever Israel has pulled back its forces, the empty space has soon been filled by extremists — Hizballah in southern Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza — and their missiles.

"There are people who say we're messianic and all this, but we are the people with our feet most on the ground," says Dayan. "The ones who say a Palestinian state will solve everything, they are messianic. They are the ones detached from reality."

It is not only recently that residents of Yesha have been talking about the security implications of any withdrawal; it has been a key talking point for years. But since reporters love the "messianic" angle that message has been lost in the glare of stories about how fanatic and religious and violent these residents supposedly are. Even this article only hints at the many secular Israelis who live on the other side of the Green Line (you know, the "internationally recognized border" that was never internationally recognized as a border before 1967.)

EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty Amnesty 2022 analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence CAIR Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day CEDAW Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision CJ Werleman Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features Fervent Embrace fisking flood libel flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nasser al-Lahham Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months


A new, better definition of antisemitism

Blog Archive