Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Settlers going 'crazy' as pressure mounts

Helena Cobban.

Haaretz's Bradley Burston reported this yesterday:

On the Sabbath, Israeli television viewers were treated to the recorded-on-a-weekday observations of Arele, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, grinning as he watched the progress of an arson fire burning Palestinian land near the Gilad Farm, an icon of the outlaw outpost movement.

Asked by Israel Channel Two Television reporter Shai Gal what would happen if Israeli forces tried to evacuate Havat Gilad, Arele replied, "At most, they'll demolish one measly shack, so they'll have something to show - that Kushon [a Hebrew slur equivalent to the "N" word] in the United States, in order to have an Etnan [the biblical term for a fee paid to a prostitute] to give him - if you [secular] guys know what an Etnan is."

According to Arele, the fire, in this instance a form of pre-emptive revenge, was the price tag Palestinians would be forced to pay each time Obama pressed Israel to "touch any settlement of any kind, any place in Judea and Samaria."

This last point is very important.

Gabi Peterberg has warned that, as in the case of the final portion of many decolonization processes, as decolonization in the West Bank become a more imminent reality those settlers who fear losing their situation of uber-privilege and even perhaps their quite illegally acquired homes may well go on final rampages of unbridled violence against the unarmed indigenes.

(And don't you love the term "pre-emptive revenge"?)

The UN-OCHA weekly report for 27 May - 2 June reported (PDF) that,

Settler violence and attacks increased this week in the northern West Bank, notably in the Nablus and Qalqiliya districts in response to a recent Israeli government announcement of its intention to dismantle 26 settlement outposts.

The Palestinians of the West Bank urgently need protection from this violence.

Can the very numerous Palestinian "security forces" who have been trained and armed by the US do anything to provide it-- or are they too busy trying to suppress internal political opposition to Ramallastan in an attempt to help Abu Mazen "protect" the settlers?

The rest of Burston's report makes important reading, too. In it, he writes of "racism... masquerading as love of Israel."

Here's IMEMC on the recent settler violence against Palestinians:

The Israeli Yesh Din human rights group stated that Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank are escalating their attacks against the Palestinians, and significantly increased their attempts to uproot and damage Palestinian farmlands.

The group stated that “the settlers are trying to achieve political goals by committing acts of terror against the Palestinians and their lands”.

It said that the famers in Palestine are the ones who are paying the price for the government’s attempts to evacuate some illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank.

The group added the recent weeks witnessed a significant increase of attacks and attempts to uproot trees, and that such attacked escalating due to the lack of action by the army against the assailants.

Yesh Din sent a letter to Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, the Central Command Chief of the Israeli Army, Gadi Shamni, and the Chief of the Israeli Police in the West Bank, Hagai Dotan, informing them that the settlers sawed and uprooted more than 300 trees, mostly olive trees, in the West Bank since the end of April until the end of May.

The group demanded the Israeli officials to prevent these attacks, and to prevent the acts of vengeance that the settlers carry out after the evacuation of illegal outposts.

Yesh Din attorney, Michael Sfard, stated that his group repeatedly warned the Israeli police and army that the settlers and extremist Jewish groups are carrying “systematic, organized and large-scale terrorist attacks against Palestinian civilians”.

Meanwhile, the Council of Settlement in the West Bank said that the Yesh Din Organization is an “extremist leftist group” that believes that Palestinians and does not even verify their stories with the settlers”.

The Council described the activists of Yesh Din as “snitches acting to disgrace the Jews of the land of Israel”, and claimed that the group “fuels anti-Semitism”.

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