On August 26th in an online conversation on GNblog I made this series of comments:
– And no, I don’t think small Jewish settlements should leave, as long as they are willing to live within the law in the territory they fall under. Of course, if they want to….
– I know what you mean about leaving the settlers, but after much discussion with National Religious settlers who talk about Israel making the WB “Judenfrei” in order to instill some good Jewish guilt, I prefer to provide a soft target and call their bluff.
– Rather than provide the PR nightmare of visions of the IDF dragging them off, ten times more dramatic than in Gaza, I would let them stay, provided they agree, in writing to become residents of Palestine and to abide by its laws. I would also make absolutely clear, to avoid any attempts at stirring trouble, that under no circumstances would Israel invade or go to war over them and that if the Pal government could not protect them, at most they could expect assistance with repatriation to Israel. Just like any foreigner anywhere else. There would probably need to be a trade off with the Pals for good will and their protection, such as a symbolic trade with some 1948 refugees in the WB.
– Moshe – the settlers, whether you agree with their position or not, are grown-ups. No need to infantilize them. To move within the green line/prospective border with appropriate compensation or to remain at their own risk/expense is simple enough to understand.
For an entire nation to be blackmailed by a small minority holding itself hostage in order to affect foreign policy is ridiculous. And this minority will never ever compromise.
So imagine my surprise when I saw this article titled “Let the Settlers stay Where They Are” in Haaretz by noted columnist Bradley Burston and dated September 1st.
The answer is simple. The settlers are right. They should stay right where they are. No matter what. Even if there is an eventual peace. Even if the land they live on is part of a Palestinian state.
For decades, the leaders of the settlement movement have told us that they will not leave their homes for the sake of a decision of the sovereign government of the state of Israel. They vow to make any future substantial evacuation of settlers from the West Bank so gut-wrenchingly difficult as to be functionally impossible.
…Let us, then, take the settlers at their word. If settling the land captured in 1967 is of paramount importance to the Jewish people, settling the land should also take precedence over making sure that land belongs to the Jewish state.
..And while we’re at it, let us take the Palestinians at theirs. If they are so concerned about the evils of apartheid, then they must accept the idea of Jews living in their midst.
….Let them stay. Let them stay right where they are. Let them have the courage of their beliefs. It’s a test. For the settlers and, especially, for the Palestinians.
And some of the people I had that conversation with (and who disagreed with me) cheerleading in the talkbalks!
I think I will be writing him a letter. Either we share the same mental space a la Jung and his “Universal Unconscious”, or someone read my stuff.