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(Israeli) Settler as a human being
The Jerusalem Post ^ | 21 July 2004 | TZVI BEN GEDALYAHU

Posted on 07/22/2004 9:22:28 AM PDT by anotherview

Jul. 21, 2004 22:08 | Updated Jul. 21, 2004 22:18
Settler as a human being

A hitchhiker from Tekoa in Gush Etzion was riding with me a few years ago when we spotted an Arab youngster standing by the side of the road with rocks in his hand. This was back in the days when Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak were helping Bill Clinton create a New Mideast. I glanced at him long enough for him to know we had spotted him, and he dropped his "toys" and ran away.

The hitchhiker, some screwball American, informed me that she had been working with local Arabs on an experimental farm until "circumstances" forced her to quit.

After we passed the retreating Arab youngster, she turned to me and protested, "I wish you would have stopped and let me get out to talk with him. They have to understand we are human beings, not settlers."

Okay, what do you expect from a screwball American?

But nutty or not, she was right. I also am a human being, not just a settler, no less than one is only a Sephardi, Ashkenazi, secular, tall, short, French, or Italian.

By media definition, I am a settler because I live in a community – okay, settlement – over the Green Line. The only area separating my home in Beit Yatir from the Green Line are some hills occupied by trees and an Arab neighbor, who prefers to call himself a Beduin.

Once upon a time, residents of French Hill, Gush Katif, Ma'aleh Adumim, Kfar Tapuah, and Beit Yatir all had one thing in common. All of us were settlers who in Peres's/Clinton's future would live in pre-1967 Israel.

Anyone with an iota of knowledge of Hebrew knows that the media, which have become part and parcel of the political Left, have bastardized the origin of the words "settler" and "settlements." Critics may want to pooh-pooh the Bible as an irrelevant and anti-democratic volume exposing "settlements" that the first settlers established on occupied territory. But they should first remember that the same word refers to the secular kibbutzim of the 1930s and 1940s as well as post-1948 outposts, such as Ashkelon.

The media has cruelly exploited the "settler" to manipulate public opinion. After the first Oslo talks, every settler killed by terrorists was a "price of peace," a barbaric concept of the Left that is contrary to its own doctrine of humanism.

After the collapse of the Tower of Oslo, in which everyone spoke the same word "peace" and no one understood its meaning, the media redefined "settler."

Starting with Israeli newspapers and the alleged "Kol Yisrael" (Israel Radio) and continuing with CNN, BBC, and The New York Times, journalists had to admit that "settlers" didn't mean every Jew over the Green Line. The term really meant those Jews whom the media thought could be transferred. A "settlement" was not a community but rather buildings and land to be handed over to the Arabs. Even Yossi Beilin gave up on Ramot and Ma'aleh Adumim, but almost everything else still was not on their map of Israel.

The media's "settlers" are Jews illegally occupying Arab land – another lie for the next century's historians to correct. Kfar Darom, Kfar Etzion, and Neveh Daniel, among others, include land that Jews bought from Arabs. Almost all of the communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are on no man's land that no Arab ever thought of occupying, not in the time of the British Mandate nor during the Jordanian occupation.

Through unprofessional reporting, the press has characterized the settler as armed, bearded, and sporting a kippa in a socially unacceptable fashion.

A good (read "bad") example comes from a Haaretz column by Daniel Ben-Simon the day after Arabs murdered Tali Hatuel and her four children. He described a Kfar Darom resident as "a stern-faced man with the typical look of a drooping skullcap, negligent haberdashery, and sandals that have known better days."

Now a Hebrew media campaign for the evacuation of Gush Katif – after which settlements and settlers are supposed to fall like dominoes – is trying to incite the public into thinking that all settlers are plotting violence. Yediot Aharonot, July 5, quotes Peace Now: "The settlers have made their objective to turn the evacuation of Gush Katif into a national trauma and stir up in people fear of civil war."

But the media cannot fool all the people all the time. Most Israelis, at least for now, probably want to transfer Jews out of Gush Katif. But that same mainstream majority is also fed up with agreements and promises just as much as they (and I) are fed up with spending more money on outposts in Judea and Samaria.

They have learned that Judea, Samaria, and Gaza 2004 is not Yesha 1974 and that most of the new "settlers" of the past 20 years are not wild-eyed extremists.

Most Israelis know we are like themselves – professional and law-abiding middle-class people who made a home in a community-oriented society.

They know that most settlements serve their personal and national interests, in terms of security as well as social and financial stability.

Tom Friedman and Israel Radio are stuck with a dwindling number of "settlers," regardless of whether Gush Katif residents – excuse me, "settlers" – are evacuated or not.

By the way, I do not have a beard or a gun, and my skullcap is more or less socially acceptable – unless a drooping reporter looks at me.

The writer is a former US and Canadian daily journalist and lives in Israel.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: israel; israelis; judea; leftwingmedia; palestinians; samaria; settlements; settler; settlers; westbank

1 posted on 07/22/2004 9:22:29 AM PDT by anotherview
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To: SJackson; yonif

This one is a must-read :) Ping.

2 posted on 07/22/2004 9:23:04 AM PDT by anotherview
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To: anotherview

"After we passed the retreating Arab youngster, she turned to me and protested, "I wish you would have stopped and let me get out to talk with him. They have to understand we are human beings, not settlers.""

Moron. Go ahead and get out of the car so the kid's waiting buddies can have you as a stationary target...

3 posted on 07/22/2004 10:47:49 AM PDT by Pete98
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To: Yehuda

LOL. Very good. Yes, indeed, it was Muslim land under the Moors and I am sure some feel it should be returned to Moorish or Muslim rule.

5 posted on 07/22/2004 5:41:32 PM PDT by anotherview
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