ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


Gush Etzion by mattsteinglass
February 26, 2010, 7:02 am
Filed under: Israel

I was going to write something about this, but one of Andrew Sullivan’s readers beat me to it.

As far as Etzion and southern settlements go: I encourage you to take a look at a map of settlement activity from Ir Amim.  Ir Amim is a wonderful organization, and a great way for Jews and non-Jews alike to understand Jerusalem (where I lived while I was in Israel.)  I think you will find that settlements are too complex to lump entirely into the “bad column”.  Some settlements are innocuous.  Some are heinously awful.  Ir Amim has done a great job of determining which is which, and I encourage you to make use of them when you talk about settlement activity.  I think it will provide you with more nuance when you approach this debate.

Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal, but when you make judgments about the character of a particular move by Netanyahu, the particular nature of the settlement you’re talking about comes into play. The Etzion Bloc were kibbutzes that were overwhelmed in the War of Independence by Jordanian troops after a long last-ditch battle to protect the southern approach to Jerusalem, and many of their civilian inhabitants were massacred. That story is the stuff of Israeli patriotic legend; re-establishing them has a different feeling about it than tossing down entirely new religious hilltop settlements on stolen land.

On the other hand, you have to keep in mind that Palestinians don’t get to start up settlements at the villages they lost.


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Your last sentence covers my thoughts completely. It even seems dangerous for Israel to use justifications along the lines of “our land before the war.”

Comment by citifieddoug




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: