Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In which I call out kachniks

Did you all see the photo of the settler bathing her kid in an outdoor tub on the cover of yesterdays Times? And what about the inside photo of some psycho settler tossing a cup of wine at an Arab woman?

Here are the pictures [tub | wine] and here's the article's money quote
There are 300,000 settlers in the West Bank (another 200,000 Israeli Jews live in East Jerusalem) and they are not monolithic. A third are politically and socially indistinguishable from most of Israel and moved there for suburban-style housing and close-knit communities. Another third are ultra-Orthodox and do not consider themselves settlers or Zionists, wanting only to live together in an appropriate environment somewhere in Israel. The remaining 100,000 are ideologically (and, most of them, religiously) committed to staying. They have a fairly uniform view of the situation: most believe that there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation; that if the world wants a state for Palestinians, it should set it up next door in Jordan; that all of the West Bank, which they call by the biblical name Judea and Samaria, is a central part of the Jewish homeland; and that Arabs will do everything they can to destroy Israel in any borders, so staying in the West Bank is a matter not only of history but of security.
This is an important point, and one often obscured by anti-Obama Jews. When the president (like every president before him) says settlers are an impediment to peace, he's not speaking of the middle class professionals living and raising families in comfortable homes in quiet law-abiding neighborhoods, but of the long side-curled fanatics who burn Arab fields, block Arab roads, appropriate land, and join Jewish undergrounds that kill and maim Palestinians.  I don't create any moral equivalence between kachnik settlers and terrorists - they are of course categorically different - but I do insist that these hyper-aggressive kachniks, with their nonsense messianic ideas and contrary to mainstream halacha land fetishes are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
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