Tuesday, April 18, 2006

American Jewish Petition: Bring the Settlers Home...

A page of the influential Israeli newspaper Haaretz features a prominent ad for a petition, calling on the US government to urge the Israeli government to reverse its policy vis-à-vis the Jewish settlers in the West Bank:

We call upon the US government:

To urge the Israeli government to reverse its longstanding policy of offering financial inducements to Israeli settlers in the West Bank and to redirect those funds to settlers who are now willing to return voluntarily to Israel proper;

To provide generous foreign assistance and to solicit contributions from the European Union, other major industrial democracies, and the United Nations for this massive relocation effort

Look at the Petition here. Over 12,000 signatures at the time of writing.

The site offers possibilities for non-Jews and non-Americans to also support this cause.



At 7:35 PM, Blogger markfromireland said...

you have mail :-)

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Thanks, Mark.

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Sophia said...

It was estimated that the average american citizen received 2000 dollars from his government after Hurricane katrina while the Gaza settlers received around 200000 dollars each from official american aid for their relocation.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Yes, but it's a well established (and just) custom to compensate people very generously for any forced relocation.

I wish they would want to build a motorway over my property: its value, due to compensation, would increase by some 50%! I could do with the money, frankly...

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

I have a question,
would anyone think of offering the same deal to Palestinians?? say maybe the refugees. Do you think that they would accept that concept??
It might actually solve a lot of the issues standing between Israel and the PA today.

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Gert said...


So you'd be offering Palestinian the possibility of a financially incentivated relocation? Where are these people to be relocated to? The moon?

The truth is that some 4,000,000 have already been relocated, without any incentive apart from force used against them.

For Israeli settlers, a relatively small group within Israeli society, there is plenty of land in Israel proper.

Thanks for the dialogue, all the same.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

well to answer the where - it simple - either stay where they are meaning the country they are living in now, or move to another country that would be willing to accept them. In most casses that should be a lot cheaper than giving them Compansation - and the world should accept them with open arms.

If that were the case and the Refugees were willing to do so it would cut out a lot of the Tension between Israel and the PA. Since these poor people (and I mean that in all seriousness) are being used as pawns in this game.
That would mean the only 2 real issues left would be the land issue, and the violance issue. One can be solved in a second, the other (the land) would take some serious talks - but it is do-able.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Gert said...


"or move to another country that would be willing to accept them. In most casses that should be a lot cheaper than giving them Compansation - and the world should accept them with open arms."

Firstly, financial compensation would always be necessary, so forget about "doing it on the cheap".

Secondly, who would accept them with open arms? This is so condescending: "these poor people should be welcomed elsewhere"; no, these poor but proud people should be entitled to what's theirs. Period. Then they will stop their armed struggle and almost certainly recognise Israel. Many Arab states would quickly follow suit.

Or are you going to come up with another "map"? One that shows that "Palestine never really existed, that only Jews have a right to the land of Milk and Honey [ahem] and that, well, yes, the Golan Heights are also a legitimate part of our great vision of Eretz Israel?"

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

I love your little attack at the end of the post that had nothing to do with what I said. Im not really sure where that came from but that's ok.
So to make sure, No, I am not going to talk about "maps" or "only Jews have a right" or anything to do with the Golan Hights. just to make sure...OK??

All I was trying to say is that if the Refugee issue was solved, and it is solvable, it would:
A. make it a lot easier to end the Conflict between Israel and the PA.
B. Make the life of millions of people living in Refugee Camps, a lot better.

Or is that not good enough?? It was a hypotheticle Question, since The it seems money can solve the issue of the Israeli Settlers, why can't it be used to solve the refugee problem??

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Gert said...

I'll come back to the Golan Heights at the end. It wasn't intended as a "little attack".

The idea of offering a financial incentive to some Palestinians to relocate isn't per se wrong (assuming someone will have them, of course) but it's unlikely to solve the problem entirely. The numbers don't add up: 4 million Palestinian refugees versus 400,000 Israeli West Bank settlers, need I say more? Also, as pointed out, the Israeli settlers would find a welcome home in their own country, possibly returning to a hero's welcome. The fate of these Palestinians remains a lot more uncertain, so this is a completely skewed "solution".

The petition basically underlines the need for financial assistance to returning settlers, a practice that was also applied to settlers returning from Gaza. It's a just and practical practice. Nothing more.

The Golan Heights have nothing to do with the Palestinian issue but it does show the mindset of a considerable part of your compatriots. Annexing that territory would cause another thorn in the Arabs' side. Arguing that the GH are of strategical importance to Israel's security, is plain bullshit in Israel's current geopolitical situation. Besides, many Israelis invoke religious reasons for wanting to annex the GH: in a secular state like Israel this should not be a consideration.


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