Thursday, August 18, 2005

WSS: Weepy Settler Syndrome

I’ve had it. I think I’ve seen one too many images of weepy settler theatrics (and weepy settler questions on radio interviews) for my own sanity. I mean, I don’t know even know where to start with this. 2000 (by some estimates, 6000..and shame on every one of them) journalists from around the world, and the image dominating this entire period is that of weepy settlers (not, I might add, of wacko settlers shooting to death four Palestinian workers in the West Bank.)

The story is NOT about settler surfers having to leave the beautiful seashore they crave; or dismantling prized organic orchids or whatever the hell it is the settlers grow; or weeping over the agony of leaving their paradise on earth that God, according to them, said was theirs and theirs alone.

It is about 30, 000 Palestinians who lost their homes (and many times, their lives), sometimes with less than two minutes notice, sometimes with no notice at all, to armoured Israeli bulldozers-all for the sake of these “weepy settlers” who are being “forcefully evicted” from the “only homes some every knew”, to quote a recent article in the LA Times.

Sharon talks about the pain he feels upon seeing these images. I wonder if he felt any pain when he destroyed the lives of those refugees in Rafah. Or when his soldiers shot to death Iman al-Hims 17 times; or Noran Deeb while she was lining up for school; or when they ran over Rachel Corrie with their bulldozers.

The settler enterprise is unlawful, cruel, racist, perverse, and violent to name a few.

It is wrong. It must end. In their name, millions of Palestinians lives’ have been crippled, roads torn apart and sealed off; thousands of homes destroyed; hundreds of innocent lives lost; acres up on acres of fertile farm land, of trees that had been hundreds of years growing in this land, razed to the now scorched earth.

Yes, I see a lot of things to weep about in Gaza. Settlers being “evicted” from their “homes” are not one of them.


Blogger Anonymous Me said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. It's a necessary antidote to the WSS. And it's so true - that image and idea totally dominates the news coverage I've seen.

3:51 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

I wonder if he felt any pain when he destroyed the lives of those refugees in Rafah. Or when his soldiers shot to death Iman al-Hims 17 times;

In that respect you are right.
Sharon does not feel the pain of the palestinians.

But same applies to the palestinians.
Do they feel the pain of the jews ?

I remember when a mother and her 2 children get shot in their beds , 2 years ago.

Palestinians did not feel her drama either.

That is how most human beings are .
Each side DOES NOT feel the pain of the other.
An Israeli does not feel the pain of a palestinian.
A palestinian does not feel the pain of an Israeli or of a Jew.

Human beings are not able to feel the pain of the ennemmy.

Therefore the problem is not Sharon , only.
All human beings behave that way.
Human beings do feel their own pain , their family pain.., but not other peoples pains and worries.

4:31 PM  
Blogger ifyouwillit... said...

For years the Israelis have been living in the face or terrorism. You talk about the thousands of Palestinians that lost their homes, but the reality is that the refugee problem is a political pawn that Arafat kept alive while he prevented the money sent by the US, UN and EU from getting to the correct and needy pockets.

The buldozed homes you refer to are the homes of indiviuals that wrap explosives round their waists and blow themselves up at malls or on buses. No one that behaves in that manner, no matter what race, religion or background, deserves to carry on living freely.

Pre 1967 there was little in the area. A desert that has been populated and developed out of love for the land. This country was a barren wasteland that the British were pleased to get off their hands. Many of the Palestinians claiming to have been evicted from their homes came from Jordan or other Abab countries.

4:45 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

When it comes to the middle ast conflict each side seems unable to understand the other.
A Pizzeria is blown Up. The palestinians call it resistance. The Israelis a suicide bombing. A Palestinian does get shot in a checkpoint. Palestinians call it a murder , pro israeli fellows do say that the idf does not target children as hamas does.
This double narrative is valid to the 48 events also.
Things are getting better ? No.
Israeli Jews and Arabs live in 2 separate worlds .
The so called wall aka Security fence is a symbol of this.
Human beings separed by a wall that and foremost started in their minds.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's happening in Gaza now is truly unfortunate no one wants to be thrown out of their home after 38 years. I'm a Palestinian, my family left in 1968 and we live in North America now so I have some personal experience with a similar situation. The media here is all over this story and as I’ve said to my friends and on other blogs before, I believe that if today’s media had been around in 1947 the state of Israel never would have been created! The Zionists would have been marginalized as a fringe Jewish group. Palestinian Jews, European and American Jews were given a precious gift in should have been received with thanks and humility. What they are being forced to give back is only a small fraction of what needs to be given back, a large portion of which can never be given back...including Palestinian dignity.

At the minimum we should go back to the original 'Partition Plan' here's a map if you're not familiar with it:

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For years I've kept up with Middle East news. Having read enough to know each side; Isreali and Palestinian, have grounds for anger and to mourn loss, it seems an impossible situation to resolve. As an American in New Jersey, I feel much closer to the turmoil than the physical distance might suggest. I love both peoples; and hope our humanity will overcome our inclination of self destruction.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it is obvious that many don't want to admit to who the real terrorists are. Here's a quote from Ben Gurion your first president..."The complete destuction of Palestine is necessary for the success of Israel." There is so much for you to learn of Zionist terrorism and genocide. Maybe you already know. Just in case you don't check out But as for the post by "itisnodream" you're just wasting your time for those of us who know about the history of your zionist state. I think millions have lobbied congress in Wash.DC. to protest Israeli Apartheid. I know that this movement will not be stopped. Too many of us here in America know. We will also have a major demonstration in DC. on 9-24-05 to protest the illegal war against Iraq and the illegal occupation of Palestine. Palestine Now And Forever!

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Jewish American who probably does not agree with you on a number of issues, I have to say that you make a good point. My only response would be to point out that the disengagement story is unique because it is the Israeli government forcing the settlers to leave Gaza.
One could make the argument, as you do, that they should not have been there to begin with, but that doesn't change the fact that the story this week is somewhat rare. That the Palestinians have suffered injustice I accept as a given, but the comparable story for me from the Palestinian side is not their grievances over the last 58 years, but when Abbas acts forcefully, using his army and police, to reign in Hamas and Islamic Jihad. I think he will, and I think that story will be a much more urgent one than the issues you brought up, as heart felt and real as they may be.
Best regards for Peace..

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, this is not about the pain of the Jews, and I am very happy for the Palestinians. I'm not surprised at Sharon's racist and one-sided empathy, but the least he could do for the state of Israel (since he did pioneer this mess) is to extract the schvantzes from Palestinian land. The only cloud on this silver lining is that they're moving to Israel rather than some other land--far, far away. Those hooligans are an embarrassment.

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel total frustration when the past is invoked as in the comments of global activist without any practical consideration of the current situation. Time cannot be reversed. Neither Israelis nor Palestinians are going to disappear into the sea. The solution will involve significant compromise on both sides, and belittling the pain of compromise on either side will accomplish nothing. No suffering can ever make up for any other suffering and all suffering must be acknowledged and lamented. This week marks a big change for Israel, and even though I am suspicious of Sharon's motivations, I cannot help but feel that any change in the direction of leaving the territories provides some hope in an otherwise static state of despair. The real triumph will come when Israelis and Palestianians realize that our futures are being hijacked by zealots on both sides who would rather enact their narcissistic fantasies of "heroic" martyrdom than make concrete progress toward a workable solution. It is much, much braver to face the habits of hatred in your own heart than to commit symbolic public acts in the service of inflexible principle.

5:06 AM  
Blogger C.J. Minster said...

Thank you for expressing the frustration I've been feeling for the past week whenever I read, listen, or watch mainstream news.

I don't know how Zionists created an all-encompassing culture of victimhood, but I wish international journalists would have a small bit of perspective.

We in the U.S. need to bring our own government and private industry into line. The U.S. Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF, which has sections around the world including Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon) is adding to the voices for peace with a national campaign "Women Challeng U.S. Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East."

Not that my identity should matter, but here it is - I am a Jewish American woman who grew up with the lies about Palestine being a barren wasteland in Hebrew School.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only good thing about this disengagement is that it will allow us to strengthen our grip on West Bank. No more gifts to terrorists! It is unfortunate that political pressure from anti-Semitic UN and European Union and American fear of angering arabs forced Sharon to betray his own cause and give up Gaza to barbarians who burn Israeli flags in celebration of disengagement - see Reuters video for that. Those flag-burning youth surrounded by masked hamas gunmen are the real face of the so-called "palestinian" nation - I just wonder what will they have to celebrate when Israel will stop using ALL palestinian labour by 2008 (that's the official plan)- I guess it will be back to donkey racing and UN begging for them!

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the images on CNN for five hours last night without a break, of the two synagogues where protesters were being taken out by soliders and police. I WONDER how these images will play worldwide, how they will impact Israeli viewers, Palestianian viewers, Arab viewers outside Israel, and all people worldwide. TIME and NEWSWEEK will likely produce amazing stories come Monday. What do all these images mean?

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I have to answer that one and no more for a while for I am just a guest here, but if you want to talk of begging that is all Israel does of my country America. Israel could not last one year without American aid. For the proud Zionists remember this, the future of Aparthied "Israel" will not be decided in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem but in my city -Washington, D.C. No matter how many flags you raise or how many songs you sing or how many people you kill to advance your own interests, the holy land will always be Palestine and rightfully belong to the Palestinians. And not that my identity matters, but I am a white anglo-saxon Christian who is an American.

10:28 AM  
Blogger ifyouwillit... said...

Its amazing how Americans think their capital carries the world on the shoulders. Open your eyes, you're not the super power you think or wish you are. Many countries round the world support poorer allies, but it's not all to do with the US.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Layla, just a technical question:what do you hear will happen to the land where the settlements stood? Will they be a) restored by a commission to their former owners (I assume it was mostly miri land, so these might have technically lost their right to the land in the course of all these years), b) used for the benefit of the community and, as I hear, sort of dealt between political groups, whether through a commonly agreed procedure or through wasta - in which case the question of whether there will be an indemnification for former owners and farmers is open?
I know the question is barely germane to the issue, but after reading in an earlier comment that Gaza - of all places, "Ghazzah al-khadra" (green Gaza)! - was another desert prior to 1967, I had rather stick to technical issue than speak my mind too emotionally.

3:57 PM  
Blogger أبو سنان said...

Some people are putting the cart before the horse. It was the ISRAELIS who expelled the Palestinians first, not the other way around. What is happening today in Gaza is just writing a wrong their own ancestors made. Time for the West Bank and Al-Quds next.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so very bitter toward the Israelis, and I wonder whether you have ever taken just one minute to reflect on what YOUR people have done to cause their present circumstances.

Did you feel any pain when Palestinian terrorists shot and killed pregnant Tali Hatuel and her 4 children at point blank range while they sat in their car? (her only crime was driving while Jewish)

Did you even give a damn when Palestinian terrorists stoned to death two young boys, Kobi Mandel and Yosef Ish-Ran as they played in the caves near their hometown of Tekoa in the West Bank? What the hell was THEIR crime?

Did you, a mother yourself, shed even one tear when a Palestinian sniper shot and killed a Jewish baby, Shalhevet Pass, at a playground in Hebron? A BABY.

Just once I'd like to hear a Palestinian say unequivocably that these and many other murderous acts committed by your people are WRONG. No "but the Israelis...". Really, I'd like to hear what you have to say about this.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I left the last comment, and wanted to add one thing. You say:

"The settler enterprise is unlawful, cruel, racist, perverse, and violent to name a few."

Do you use those same words to describe the atrocities committed by the Palestinians, like the ones I mentioned in the last comment? Or does the murder of innocent people not matter to you if those people are Jews?

4:42 PM  
Blogger ifyouwillit... said...

It was the ISRAELIS who expelled the Palestinians first

The Palestinian-Arabs didn't want a state when they were offered it at the same time the Palestinian-Jews were offered Israel. The offer wasn't good enough.

1937 Peel Commission proposition on the creation of an Aravb State in the Land - rejected by the Palestinians

1947 UN Partiton Plan - rejected by the Palestinians

What about the autonomy offered as part of 1979's peace talks with Egypt? Nopt to that as well.

2000 - Ehud Barak's offer of 97% of Jeruslaem and creation of a Palestinian State. That too was not good enough.

There seems to a pattern here. Please do not accuse my country of not trying to make moves for peace.

Israel wants nothing more than to live at peace with her neighbours.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

I'm afraid I don't have time to respond to all these comments (and diatribes), as I"m very busy at the moment. But I am reading them.

Zayizif-5% of the land is privately owned and will return to its righful owners through courts and tribunals (most have taboo/land deeds for the land). The other 95% will return to the government and be incorporated into their regional 20 year plan for the area, including housing, infrastructure, agriclture, parks, etc. check out this interview i conducted with palestniian pullout coordinator:

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1937 & 1947
"rejected by the Palestinians"

should read
"rejected by the Arab Nations"

In May 2000, Arafat and the Palestinian leadership watched the Israel withdrawl from Lebanon and realized this: "Why should we negotiate for a "state" in the West Bank and Gaza, when through the pressure of terrorism, we can have all of Israel?"

The rest is history. Camp David talks fail, second intifada [planned long before Sharon walked on the Temple Mount] begins.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At the minimum we should go back to the original 'Partition Plan'"

Arab nations: "Ooops! We made a mistake. After 60 years of effort to remove Israel from the Partiton Plan, we now think its a good idea."

Yeah, right.

"It has been almost impossible for members [of the Arab League] to agree on anything other than opposition to the state of Israel. The PLO was founded at the league's 1964 summit, and in the 1967 meeting, just three months after the Six Day War, the league rejected an Israeli peace proposal that would have returned the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria. In doing so, it established the "three nos" policy: no to recognition of Israel, no to negotiations with Israel, and no to peace with Israel."

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zionist ficti-story propaganda machine in action. Israel as a state was created with 2 million people in the land of Palestine, only 1/3 of which were Jewish. It had emphatic support of Britain, the US, and the UN because these "generous" countries didn't want the influx of Jewish immigrants.

10:12 PM  
Blogger David said...

ITISNODREAM seems a little too young to realize how many mistruths he utters about history in the land of Palestine, but I don't blame him. I blame his teachers, the writers of 1st-world history have always lied to hide the darker side of their past. In America we've done the same thing with the Indians; worse, our government is still doing it to this day.
Enough is enough, for you angry people to comment on a blog. My mother always said, if you don't have something nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all. These are trying times for Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike, and hopefully they will lead to a more peaceful co-existence. Laila is entitled to her expressions on her blog, as ITISNODREAM is entitled to his. Her pain is no less and no more different than yours. We all come from the same forebears. Reach out and make a difference.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forebears? Well, I guess bears are better than pigs and apes!

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" wacko settlers shooting to death four Palestinian workers "

nice little editorializing, the settlerS bit.

sort of like palestinianS are murderers.
You agree with that last statement too, right?

9:05 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

See: Baruch Golstein; Nathan Zaada, et. al.

11:08 AM  
Blogger anglomom said...

See: Baruch Golstein; Nathan Zaada, et. al.

In your use of "et. al." you are trying to mislead your readers into thinking that there are countless other "Jewish terrorists", when in fact there is perhaps one more- the despicable man who shot those Palestinian workers.

Not only does this number pale in comparison to the nauseatingly high count of Palestinian terrorists, but there is also another difference. The vast majority of Jews condemn those who indiscriminately kill innocent Palestinians. They do not speak for us. Their actions fill us with anger, shame, and sadness. We think they and anyone who supports their actions are, frankly, wacko.

Compare this to the reaction of Palestinians after a successful suicide bombing or murder of Jews. There is dancing, rejoicing, proud parents beaming and handing out candy to children.

And you wonder why we don't hold out great hopes for peace.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

You misread Palestinian society. Perhaps you have fallen victim to the lens of the camera broadcasting events to you-a family rejoicing does not translate into a society rejoicing or condoning. The majority of Palestinians do not support suicide bombings against innocent Jews. My grandfather and father grew up side by side in Gaza's old city with Jewish and Christian neighbours. We harbor no ill-will towards Jews, only towards the actions of a government interested in sustaining its people's own livlihood, security, and freedom at the expense of ours.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Global Activist,

I find your comments to be funny. They are not based in reality, but in some type of bizarro world. If it makes you feel good to think that the US is the only reason Israel survives then I encourage you to continue.

I am sure that there are many people who like to hide from the truth. It is always fun to make comments like if you had really been taught the truth because statements like that sound powerful, but they lack substance.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I read about this post in Mark Glaser's piece about media coverage of the Disengagement in the Online Journalism Review.

I'm completely in accord with you about the settlers' histrionics. It was sickening as was much of the behavior of the resisters. And I'm certainly in accord with you about the evils of the Occupation and the suffering done to Palestinians as a result.

But I think you make a mistake in dismissing what happened in the Gaza settlements this week. While no one knows whether Disengagement is a harbinger of more to come in the W. Bank, it opens the possibility of more to come. And that is a hopeful sign. It certainly doesn't mean peace is coming. But it's a piece of optimism & there's too little of that going around the Mideast at present.

I think if you dismiss too lightly what happened in Gaza, then you run the risk of making the same mistake that the pro-Israel set makes in dismissing political developments with the Palestinian national movement. In their eyes, every development means more of the same: bombings, death, terror. If they opened their eyes they'd see the complexity of the political situation in Palestine. I wish you'd try to do the same regarding the Gaza pullout.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The media frenzy that accompanied the Gaza pullout was quite hilarious.

So many pictures of weeping settlers. Those poor people had to give up land they "rightfully" stole and are getting compensated for doing so.

If Israel had wanted the pullout to happen without the histrionics there was a very easy solution. Tell the settlers when the IDF will leave and the only settlers left would be the lunatics.

It was all theatre for the world press.

What a scam.

10:45 PM  

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