November 9, 2008
I believe that Jews, just like everyone else, should be allowed to live where-ever they please. If that means settling land that has always been ours, in places like Hebron or Jerusalem or even Bethlehem for that matter, so be it. Hell, if they even want to live in Gaza, why shouldn't they do so?
My belief and support of the Settler movement stems from this idea. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in Hebron since Biblical Times and I don't see any reason for this not to continue, irrespective of whether the wonderful world agrees with us. Frankly, I didn't see the world doing that much to stop the massacre of six million Jews, or for that matter, coming out against one-sided resolutions blaming Israel for every problem in the Middle Easy at the UN (and we're not even going to talk about either Durban I or II), so I don't really care what they think.
That said, I have a big problem with the behaviour of some of the Settlers who go out of their way to antagonise their Arab neighbours and are now turning their vitriol and malevolence against the IDF and the State of Israel.
Supporting the Settlers in their wish to live in Judea and Samaria is different, at least in my eyes, to condoning the behaviour of the bad apples who bring the movement into disrepute. If it gets to the point where an Israeli soldier feels threatened by a member of his or her own nation, we are indeed in dire straits.
I didn't like the Gaza withdrawal but I went along with it, because I felt that it was an attempt to ameliorate the situation between the Jews and Arabs. I hadn't banked on the Hamas terrorists using the newly vacated land as a launching pad (quite literally) to send rockets into Israeli towns like Sderot. I was probably as naive as the next person and wonder whether the whole exercise wasn't a mistake - but it's happened.
Jews and Arabs are going to have to find a modus-vivendi to allow our grandchildren the opportunity to live in peace. Going around uprooting olive groves, attacking soldiers and acting in a wholly unacceptable manner is going to help no-one and only serve to erode the little bit of support that the Settler movement still has from ordinary Joe's like me.
The Yesha (Settler) Council must bring these extremists to account if they are to retain any credibility with the people who don't have a problem about their presence in places like Hebron and they must act as soon as possible.