Thursday, December 25, 2008

Caution: Settlers Ahead

The House of Cards


".....I stayed in the area and woke up in the morning to the news that settlers had attacked a nearby village, spray painting racial slogans and stars of David on the village's mosque. I have seen stars of David painted by settlers before, mostly on the walls of Palestinian shops and homes in Hebron, but I am still taken aback each time I see it. Do they not remember Kristallnacht? Or do they specifically remember Kristallnacht?

Another friend told me she had been on a bus the week before that was stopped by Israeli soldiers. "You should turn around and go a different way," said a soldier to the driver. "There are settlers up ahead waiting to attack." So the bus turned around, went a different way.....They could place a sign in the road saying, "Caution: Settlers Ahead" and it would seem as natural to the soldiers as a sign saying "Caution: Storm Conditions Ahead" or "Caution: Road Curves ahead." It is as though the condition of settler attacks is unpreventable......

One wonders why the settlers have not been removed. And the answer is simple: These settlers serve the interests of the Israeli government....

....People might start to realize that occupation is not defined solely by presence of settlers (Gaza is experiencing the worst of occupation right now, though the settlers left more than three years ago). People might start to realize that there are Palestinians inside Israel who are treated less than equally, to say the least. People might start to realize that half of the Palestinian population has never set foot in any part of Palestine, and that more than two thirds are not permitted to live in their original villages. In other words, people might get to the core of the issue.

The ideological settler movement is, in many ways, holding together the fragile house of cards that is Israel. It has worked for a while, but it will not work forever. In front of this house we can add one more sign: "Caution: Collapse of Zionism Ahead.""

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