The occupation defiles the Holy Land

Barbed wire near the south edge of the West Bank

Yesterday morning, me and my mother embarked on a tour of the South Hebron Hills guided by Breaking The Silence. I highly recommend the tour, if you ever have an opportunity to take it. I was impressed at how positive it was. No anti-Zionistic sentiment seemed to be involved, just a sense of collective responsibility. During the tour, one of the things that repeatedly struck me was how beautiful the West Bank is — and what an eye-sore the occupation is, with its soldiers, vehicles, barriers and all.

Just now I was at the weekly demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, and again I was struck by the ugliness of the occupation. The Palestinian houses seem to be in much better shape than the homes occupied by settlers, which in one case sported badly graffiti’d stars of David all around its door.

I can easily understand why someone would want to build a house on the West Bank and live there, somewhat in isolation, surrounded by the charming hilly landscape. The thought is quite tempting, really.

But what are we doing to this country? The occupation disrespects not only the people who live here, but the very land itself! How do self-professed lovers of Israel support the regime that scars the landscape with vandalism and the colors of concrete and steel, jeeps and uniforms? You’d expect them to take better care of what they call a Holy Land.

Do those in favor of the settlements and occupation have some kind of fetish I’m not aware of, or are they simply intent not only on performing ugly deeds but on deforming a beautiful landscape?

2 thoughts on “The occupation defiles the Holy Land”

  1. Let’s do a little quick math. The equation is as follows: If the all (or even a goodly portion of) Arab Palestinians were truly willing to accept a two state solution and live in peace – and so it was known by Israelis that once they left there would really be peace, then we all know that almost all Israelis (including religious) would immediately evacuate and strike a peace deal. We also all know that if there were no settlers tomorrow, there would still be just as much terrorism if not more so until the goal of ridding all of Israel of Israelites was achieved. Given the reality of the preceding statements, what can we see is the only variable that will lead to true and lasting real peace? The acceptance of Israel’s right to exist as Israel by enough Arab Palestinians so as to allow a peace agreements to last and flourish. For when this variable is plugged into the equation we get peace. Now that we are having a discussion based in reality, let us look at what conditions are truly needed in order for real peace. The following conditions, if met, will lead to Arab Palestinians acceptance and thus real peace. 1. Stop all propagandizing and brainwashing of young children which indoctrinates them to a hatred of Israelis. 2. Stop incorporating religion with a death cult view of heroism inherent in dying as a martyr. 3. Promote peace as a virtue which will allow for a better life when combined with individual freedom and economic progress. 4. Stop teaching a false history filled with myth (ie Israelis never existed, Palestinians were here for a long time as a people seperate from other Arabs, there was no temple, Israelites stole land and started wars…). If these criterion are met, then in a decade or two enough Arab Palestinians will truly look forward to peace and they will get it. Of course, like most worthwhile things in life, this is a difficult route. This is why it is not acknowledged as the reality. But reality doesn’t change if we ignore it. So long as people apply an easy and quick fantasy model to the situation they will only achieve a fantastical peace. Only by applying the realty above can a real peace be achieved. God bless you.

    1. Hello Jason,
      Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond.
      I have a few questions because I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, much of which is surprising to me. Can you please provide a source for the following details?
      -That most Palestinians do not wish to live in peace
      -That there is more indoctrination for hatred on the Palestinian side than on the Israeli side
      -That there is more of religious and obsession with death on the Palestinian side
      -That there is more denial of the Zionist narrative in Palestinian education than there is denial of the Palestinian narrative in Israeli education
      -That hardcore settlers and their supporters don’t really mean it when they talk about holding the land for thousands of years or forever

      You should heed your own advice about not applying a fantasy model to the situation. Of course both sides bear responsibility. Of course in a perfect world some magical changes in Palestinian society could hasten peace. But Israel is by far the stronger side (at least compared to the Palestinians) and could equally hasten peace given some magical changes.

      Absent magic, I am left with speaking up as an Israeli that sees far too much done by Israelis to perpetuate the conflict and far too little to bring peace. I don’t deny that other parties are involved, but I think passing on the blame and acting like one has no responsibility is, well, irresponsible.

 

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