Israeli left-wing activists demonstrate against unauthorized outposts, outside the unauthorized Jewish outpost of Migron near Jerusalem, Monday Jan. 7, 2008. Israel will tell U.S. President George W. Bush during his visit to the region this week that it is committed to acting 'expeditiously' to dismantle unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday.
(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
MIGRON, West Bank - Israel will tell President Bush during his visit this week that it is committed to "expeditiously" evacuating unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank, a spokesman for Israel's premier said Monday.
Bush has said he expects Israel to comply with its 5-year-old pledge to take down the outposts, tiny encampments seen by the Palestinians as a major impediment to a peace deal. Bush arrives Wednesday on a three-day mission to push for progress in recently restarted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Most of the outposts consist of a few trailers on West Bank hilltops, put up by hard-line Israeli settlers to prevent creation of a Palestinian state. The Israeli Peace Now movement counts more than 100 such outposts, but the "road map" peace plan commits Israel to removing only the two dozen established after March 2002.
The first phase of the plan, which was never implemented, requires Israel to stop all settlement construction and remove outposts, while the Palestinians dismantle groups that attack Israelis. In later phases, the sides are supposed to tackle core issues like final borders, a solution for Palestinian refugees and sovereignty in Jerusalem.
One of the outposts on the removal list is Migron, which has permanent housing for 40 families, a synagogue, a ritual bath and a nursery school. Settlers acknowledge at least part of the outpost is on privately owned land seized from Palestinians.
On Monday, about 100 anti-settlement protesters gathered across from Migron, north of Jerusalem, on a hill overlooking a main highway through the West Bank.
"Evacuate these people," peace activist Mossi Raz appealed to the government over a loudspeaker. "They are here ... only to block a final agreement with the Palestinians."
Settlers believe the West Bank belongs to the Jews. They reject the premise of the peace negotiations, that the end result will be a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Danny Dayan, a settler leader, said he saw "no reason for Israel" to dismantle outposts, saying it was "obscene" for the road map to call for the removal of outposts and a Palestinian crackdown on terrorism in the same breath.
I simply do not understand the objections to these "outposts." Why does Dhimmedia never ask [the Palestinians, the leftist Israelis or U.S. State Department officials] exactly how "a few trailers" impede peace efforts? Is the problem that Arabs might have to breathe the same air as Jews? Or is it only the land they cannot share? What exactly is it about Jewish life they cannot live with, or even near?
Could they share water with us? The shade of a tree? Would it be okay if Jews prayed under the same sun and clouds, or slept under the same stars as Arab Muslims? What's the radius? How close to a Jew are they willing to live, or rather, how far away do we have to be in order for them to call it peace?
It seems to me that any "peace agreement" would imply some level of coexistence. I'd like to ask the Palestinian "negotiators" about the extent of their willingness to coexist with Jews. What would it look like? If Jews shouldn't live in the house next door, could they live on the same street? And if Arabs can't tolerate Jews on their street, could Jews live on the next street over? In the next town? How about in a few trailers on a hilltop here and there?
Then again maybe it's not space, but numbers. I'd like to ask those Israeli leftists that if 40 families should not live in Migron, could 30 families live there? How about four couples with no children? Two Jews and a goat? No, I know, there is an unquestioned and unquestionable idea that it has to be no Jews whatsoever. None. Not one.
The sun comes up in the east and Arabs require any territory under their control to be totally Jew-free. It is a given. The Sinai had to be rendered Jew-free before Egypt would accept it in the late 70s, and Gaza had to be Jew-free before the Palestinians would accept it in 2005. Is not that the most abhorrent sort of bigotry?
I can't think of any places on earth, other than Arab countries, that are necessarily off-limits to anyone. There are no Black-free zones, no Pole-free zones, no square foot on the earth where a Canadian or a Parisian or a Bangladeshi or a Catholic cannot go based on who they are. So why does everyone think it's so okay, even so great, that a place... any place... would be officially Jew-free?
It sure doesn't feel like peace now, knowing that I would be arrested by Israelis -or lynched by Palestinians- if I were to simply walk into the Gaza strip. And I highly doubt that Condi Rice thought it was "peace" when in the segregated American south there were places she wasn't allowed to enter, water fountains she couldn't use, and hotels that wouldn't rent her family a room.
This Peace business is the biggest lie of our times. If we could all just call it what it really is... Sheer Hatred ... it would be a lot more honest. Then we could have the hate process, a hate deal, hate activists (from Hate Now), teams of officials negotiating the hate, and even concessions for hate. It would make so much more sense.
And if I could get answers to some of my questions about
peace hate, that would be good too.