Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The West Bank outposts/settlements - how about colonies?

This Slate piece really nails some major obstacles to the two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians - and it's not just a matter of party politics and such.

Why Jewish settlers in the West Bank are looking forward to Benjamin Netanyahu's premiership. - By Linda Gradstein - Slate Magazine

The woman who's highlighted here is a native Californian who decided to "live her faith" by moving to the West Bank and settling in one of the "outposts" that are at the heart of the problem. There can be no viable Palestinian state in the West Bank unless these outposts are completely eliminated, yet the people who founded them and have come to them to live are the worst kind of zealots - aware only of what the Bible tells them is "Truth," and completely oblivious to the possibility that other people might have an equally strong and legitimate attachment to the land.

When asked about the prospect of being removed from this outpost, this woman said:
"When I think about being uprooted, I have real physical pain. I would never harm a Jewish soldier, but it won't be easy to get me out of here."

And as these outposts continue to sprout, the Israeli government intends to move ahead with expanding some of the much larger settlements (colonies, really), and the incoming Netanyahu government will do all it can to maintain the thousands of Jewish settlers already there and to encourage more to follow.

Let's face it. The two-state settlement is dead. And if the Israeli government persists on its current course, Israel itself - whatever the original Zionist dream of a Jewish homeland that might be nestled within the Biblical terrain and bring the benefits of its own prosperity to the region - will become more and more an embattled and loathed Crusader-kingdom kind of state. And sooner or later, it will share their fate.

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