Israeli settlement at Ariel

One of the more incendiary, obscene things to issue forth from Newt Gingrich this past week was his allegation that the Palestinians – all of them – are terrorists who teach terrorism in their schools. He might want to take a meeting on that with a member of the Netanyahu government.

On Tuesday, dozens of fundatmentalist, Revisionist Zionist settlers from the West Bank attacked an army base near Nablus, throwing rocks and paint bottles, slashing military vehicle tires. The commander of the base and his deputy were slightly injured. The attack came after a rumor spread that there would be an evacuation of the settlements. Settlers also staged a protest in a military zone near the Jordanian border.

There are days when it must be very difficult to be Benjamin Netanyahu. His father, 101-year-old Benzion Netanyahu was the secretary of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the Revisionist Zionist movement, which claims not only the state of Israel as the biblical birthright of Jews, but the Gaza, the West Bank and most of Jordan. The majority of the Israelis who are living in the West Bank are followers of the Revisionist Zionist ideals. In 2009, Benzion was asked by a reporter from Maariv, Israel’s second-largest newspaper, what Israel’s policy should be toward the Palestiniansm what did he want. He replied “That they won’t be able to face the war with us, which will include withholding food from Arab cities, preventing education, terminating electrical power and more. They won’t be able to exist, and they will run away from here. But it all depends on the [Gaza]war, and whether we will win the battles with them.” Asked about the Arab citizens of Israel, he stated, “We don’t have a real partnership with them. The Arab citizens’ goal is to destroy us. They don’t deny that they want to destroy us. Except for a small minority who is willing to live with us under certain agreements because of the economical benefits they receive, the vast majority of the Israeli Arabs would chose to exterminate us if they had the option to do so. Because of our power they can’t say this, so they keep quiet and concentrate on their daily life. I think we should speak to the Israeli Arabs in the language they understand an admire – the language of force.”

It is believed that Benzion Netanyahu exerts a lot of influence over his son, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Palestinians believe that the Netanyahu administration will keep building settlements and shelling the Gaza until all the Palestinians are dead or fled, and they have Benzion’s words and the administration’s relentless program of building settlements for the Revisionist Zionists to back up their beliefs. There really is a reason for Palestinians to attack Israelis. It’s a bad reason, but as long as nothing demonstrates to them that the Israelis are willing to treat the Palestinians as human beings, it will continue to be a reason.

And there’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has followed policies that favor those Revisionist Zionists, suddenly dealing with the fact that those very people he has pandered to and pampered and given the keys the to the West Bank are capable of attacking his army for no rational reason. He has faced down the world on the issue of the settlements and the right of the Palestinian people to their own state. Now, they people he did it for are spitting in his face. In parliament, Netanyahu spoke about the attacks, saying “This is a danger to our democracy, a danger to our country. We will fight this phenomenon and eradicate it.” He has ordered senior security officials to develop an emergency plan to do so. Civil Defense Minister Matan Vilnai called the attackers “criminals, Jewish terrorists who are harming the soldiers who defne them and the security of Israel,” while Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that “violent actions by a group of extremist criminals bear charateristics of terrorism and are unacceptable.” Maybe the next time some Israeli settler opens fire on a Palestinian funeral he won’t be able to run to the Army for protection from the Palestinians.

Rabbi Haim Drukman, a prominent West Bank rabbi and settler leader expressed his disbelief on Israel Radio: “It is hard to believe Jews would do this. It is like the acts of terrorists. How could such wild behavior be directed at the Army? Is the Army our enemy now? What have we come to?” Want an answer? You have come to a point where a tragic accident became a reason for burning five mosques. You have come to a point where Jews attack Palestinians and expect not to be prosecuted. You have come to a point where the survivor of a mulitiple murder spent more time telling the press how important it was to continue squatting on Palestinian land than telling them how much it hurt to lose her family, and her family’s funerals turned into political rallies for the Revisionist Zionists. That’s what you have come to, Rabbi Drukman. You have come to the point where some in your country believe that it is justifiable to treat the Palestinians the way Jews were treated for centuries in Europe.

The demonstrations at a military zone near the Jordanian border were, according to settler Hananel Dorfman, “…a message to Jordan: we are not suckers, stop intervening in our internal affairs….or we will intervene in yours.” The alleged intervention was not by the Jordanians. Jordan oversees a Muslim holy site in Jerusalem, the access to the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. There is a wooden bridge that leads from Judaism’s sacred Western Wall to the compound and it was closed by the Israelis because it was deemed unsafe. Jordan had nothing to do with the decision. Furthermore, what concern is it of the settlers if people can’t get from the Western Wall to the Muslim mosque? Why would the settlers want to go to the mosque? It is far more of an inconvenience to the Palestinians and Muslim pilgrims than to the Jews.

The settlements, which house somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 Jews (the numbers change constantly depending on source), have turned the West Bank into Swiss cheese. They are nice, suburban communities of single family homes, duplexes and apartments which have pushed the Palestinians into less and less arable land. They have confiscated farms which were held by families for generations, leveled olive groves and thrown up barriers between Palestinian towns. Roads have been built from settlement to settlement that cut through Palestinian villages and farms.

President Obama has called for the same two-state solution that every president since Carter has called for, but with a caveat – the Palestinian state should be “contiguous” – all connected, not cut up by Jewish settlements. He called for “land swaps” that begin with the borders the United Nations established in 1948, the so-called pre-1967 borders. And the Republicans have accused him of selling out Israel, throwing it under a bus, violating our “sacred” obligation to Israel. It’s past time that America started looking at the provocations, the treatment of the Palestinians and the terrorist acts of Jewish fanatics and see that there really are two sides to this war. It is not necessary for the Palestinians to live in deprivation and repression, subject to acts of terrorism, in order to preserve Israel, especially when the settlers choose to attack the Israeli government.