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Sunday, March 27, 2005

"Settlers"

I am very harshly (even brutally) critical of colonialism (this includes the very idea of the state of "Israel"), and I have no respect for the land thieves who call themselves "Israelis". But the land thieves I want to talk about in this entry are not the "Israelis" in "Israel"-proper, but the "Israelis" (double double quotations needed?) who have "settled" (a romanticised term if you ask me) on land occupied in 1967.

Yes, they are land thieves. Yes, they should not be there (same argument they use for refusing entry to Palestinian refugees). Yes, they should be kicked out (and eventually out of all of "Israel"). And no, they have no one to blame but themselves. They brought the "disengagement" upon themselves. Had they not stolen that land, there would've been no need for any "disengagement". Having said that, I understand that it's not easy to leave your home (even if it never really belonged to you). Now maybe those "settlers" can imagine what it's like for the Palestinians who have been systematically dispossessed of their houses and land (and here we're not even talking about loved ones) so that the right kind of people can live there, according to some book written 2000 years ago.

Where is the humanity? Where is the understanding? How can you demand understanding for your plight when you have not been understanding of others' plight for more than 5 decades?? How can you demand respect from others when you've never shown it? More importantly, how can you demand peace from others when you haven't done anything (despite numerous initiatives from the other side) to give it a chance because you believe in something called "Greater "Israel""?

Understanding you tell me? Sure, I understand what it's like to be forced out of your home, to see others celebrating on the roof of the house that you once called yours. But isn't that what you've been doing for the last 57 years? It hurts, doesn't it? Let me tell you something. You are there based on ideology, not based on land ownership; that land never belonged to you. You are there based on your beliefs that the Jews have a legitimate right to that land, even if others have the deeds to it. You are there based on your belief in your right to dispossess others in order to populate their land with Jews. You are not there based on an immediate, internationally recognised right to that land. Your "case" is 2000 years old and has gone through a cycle of possession and dispossession that has not been perpetrated by today's rightful owners. Yet you insist that you are correct in dispossessing today's owners, and insist that doing so is just. You argue that your claim should be internationally legitimised. Yet you do not rely on international law in arguing that the land belongs to you. Yours is a 2000 year old book that you believe in; that is the only "proof" you have to show the UN or any other international body. If your "dispossession" of those lands pains you so much, imagine the amount of pain it has caused and continues to cause to thousands of Palestinians.

You insist that you are human beings just like those Palestinians. Yet you also insist on being treated by them and others in a way different from your treatment of them.

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