Thursday, September 15, 2011


Migron is a headache, it is a small Jewish settlement on the West Bank in Samaria. It has been in the headlines because the Israel Govt. sent the IDF into Migron last week and in the middle of the night they roughly turfed three families out of their homes and razed them to ruins. This was after an anti-settlement Israeli organization Peace Now petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to have the "outpost" dismantled. That this action was considered an important step was indicated by the statement of support for Israel's action by the US State Department, which has been pressing for such a policy for years. As they always say, it has been US policy that all Jewish settlements on the West Bank are illegal, although this is not supported by interpretations of international law (from the 1922 Treaty of Lausanne to the 1993 Oslo Accords).

Whatever the interpretation, this action unleashed a hornet's nest, in the form of predictable counter-attacks by the settlers and their supporters, who feel that they are being victimized. There were several actions, first against mosques in the Arab villages in the area, one of which was burnt, and then an attack on an Israeli military camp, in which buildings and trucks were set on fire and vandalized. In every case, the perpetrators spray painted in Hebrew the words "Migron" and "price tag" on the walls. These actions of course produced another stream of comments from the Israeli Govt., which deplored them, and even the US Secty. of State who condemned them. However, the US did not reflect that their position, which is at least legally questionable if not politically self-serving, was the cause of these counter-reactions. What do you expect if you go in the middle of the night and bulldoze people's houses, especially if the occupants are Jews? This is reminiscent of Nazi Germany, although so far noone was killed. If the Israeli Govt. doesn't know that it will cause a reaction of this type then it is ignorant. If the Obama Administration doesn't know that it will cause internal schisms within Israel, then it is premediated.

Let us also not be naieve. Jewish settlements are a permanent fixture in Judea and Samaria and no Palestinian declaration of statehood, whether supported by 130 countries at the UN or not, is going to change that.


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