Same Ol’ Shit

Word comes from the Defense Ministry in Jerusalem that Amir Peretz, the much-maligned and grievously inexperienced labor leader turned feckless Defense Minister, is in negotiations with settler leaders on a deal to take down some of the outposts, move others and give authorization to the rest.

Meanwhile, word comes from the tireless Israeli arm of Peace Now – Shalom Achshav – that nearly three-quarters of the 102 outposts in the West Bank – 74 percent – are at least partly built on private Palestinian land. (43 percent of all the land on which outposts are built – are private Palestinian property.)

I mention these two items en route to a third, a reflection. As a casual student of Israeli history it is nothing short of amazing that the prior two items were published on October 20, 2006. It is as though we are caught in a time-warp. Thirty years later, it is the same shit. Unbelievable. Israel has very real enemies both in their neighborhood and around the world. But the gravest threat to the Jewish State is the continued occupation of land that by any sane moral or strategic calculation Israel cannot hold onto indefinitely. The settler movement, though rooted in the pioneering spirit of Israeli society, is a perversion of that ethos. It is a cancer. And it is well past late in the day that Israelis cease negotiating what is in fact non-negotiable.

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