April 8, 2009


As I have been going to the chiropractor in the afternoons, I have had more time to catch NPR during the drive. Listening to part of the story on the Israeli barrier in the West Bank has just been depressing. I understand, to a point. I certainly understand the concerns about suicide bombers, and the need to protect people at weddings and pizza parlors. That I get.

I also get the political failures of the Palestinian leadership, and the desire for certain people in Syria and Iran to stoke fires that the rest us (and probably most in the region) would prefer were not stoked.

But when I hear about places like Ariel, a settlement in the West Bank, it just makes me both sad and angry at the same time.

I certainly don't begrudge people wanting better for their life. But this little oasis in the desert is not that. It is people purposefully wanting to stop the peace process. It is American evangelicals who fully expect the Jews to either convert to Christianity or perish in order to facilitate the secret code that hastens the end times--sending money to secular Jews to build an olympic size swimming pool in contested lands. All justified by some reading of the OT, no doubt. Something is wrong here.

The worst part of the story came at the end, when they were discussing the mayor of this illegal settlement (Nachman) and his approach to the issue of the Palestinians.
"People like Ron Nachman are bringing the end to the two-state solution possibility," Sfard says. "And then we will have to face a different dilemma: that is, between a ... democratic, one-state, binational state, which I'm sure Ron Nachman doesn't want. And the other option, that Ron Nachman probably would support, is a real apartheid!"

Asked about the efforts by Sfard and other Israelis to help Palestinians protest the barrier, Nachman replies, "In some countries, they would have hanged those people by now."
Sigh. [Bang head on table] Sigh.

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