The Whole Place is a "Settlement"

An pro-settlement Israeli commenter on Ha’aretz, the voice of Israeli liberalism (see comment 7 by a transplanted Dutch Jew in far northern Israel):

Settlement on the land, Hityashvut, has been the backbone of the Zionist endeavor since the first colonies were begun over 120 years ago. In the time of the British, it was especially necessary to create “facts on the ground” in places where the British discouraged settlement, in order to ensure that these locations would remain part of the state of Israel.
Today however, the government is us. Settlers who create illegal “facts on the ground” in Judea and Samaria help our own government and our own IDF – us. It is constructive to assist the Israeli government and the IDF with establishing settlements in places that have a large and hostile Arab population.
Large parts of the Negev and the Galilee remain sparsely settled and it is also important to invest our efforts in developing these lands. Facts, arguments and reasoning based on moral and historical rights are never obsolete and are still valid today. As to our historical rights: see here.

Sometimes there is no need to put words in their mouth. The horse’s mouth opens and speaks for itself. Not much to add here.
This is my beef against Zionism. “The settlements” and “normative Zionism” are properly conflated. Truly, they are an extension of one another. Focusing on “the settlements” while ignoring that the whole damn place is really a gigantic settlement creates a false distinction and whitewashes the Zionist project while legitimating it.
Note the comments about the Galilee and the Negev.
Israel has been engaged in something called “the Judaization of the Galilee” for many years now. This involves refusing to allow Arab cities and villages to expand, while surrounding them, as if they were bacterial infections,  with the antibiotic of government-funded Jewish communities.
The Judaization of the Galilee is discussed even in liberal Ha’aretz as if it were the most normal and proper thing around. The Israeli Left, those who decry “settlements”, seem to have nothing to say about the Judaization of the Galilee.
Couple of questions.
Suppose the US government regarded the Black areas of the South with alarm, refused to give Black towns and cities the permission to grow, shorted them on government aid, and surrounded them, as if to isolate them, with lavishly funded all-White towns and cities. Who would not call this out for the White Supremacism that it is?
It is this staunch anti-racist banner that I lift high when I oppose Zionism. It’s the only reasonable position for any anti-racist or non-racist to take.
Unless someone can make a case that Jews get to be super-racists while this project is denied to everyone else. Anyone takers?

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14 thoughts on “The Whole Place is a "Settlement"”

  1. It is this staunch anti-racist banner that I lift high when I oppose Zionism. It’s the only reasonable position for any anti-racist or non-racist to take.
    Marxists are pretty funny people. They oppose any notion of superiority of a group over any other groups, yet they are just guilty of this belief themselves. Consider Marxist instructors (which are most instructors), who often hold a grandiose belief that their students are below their level (ie, “Why, you’re just an undergrad”).
    Talk about hypocrites. ROFL!

  2. Dear Robert
    You and I also live in settler states. Every country in the Western hemishere, except Haiti and a few other Caribbean countries, is a settler state in the sense that is was created by the descendants of European settler-conquerors. George Washington and Simón Bolívar were not natives. They were more like Ian Smith than Nelson Mandela. However, yesterday’s settler is today’s native. There comes a point at which we have to say: bygones are bygones. That’s why I support Israel’s right to exist within its pre-1967 border. There are now many native-born Hebrew-speaking Israelis who deserve to live in peace and security. I only ask that they grant the same to the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank.
    Palestine is grossly overpopulated. There are a total of 6 million Jews and 5 million Arabs in a semi-arid area of about 26,000 square kms. However, this overpopulation exists whether there are 2 states or only 1. This is not rocket science.
    Regards. James

  3. At this point, I think the 2-state thing is heading towards dead. Hamas’ behavior, and Israel’s, seems to indicate that neither one wants 2 states. Each one of those seems to want one state, but neither wants to live in a single state with the other. This is not going to work.
    I respect the right of Israeli Jews to remain in Palestine, however, I do not support the current state of Israel because it is a racist state. Are there many other states in the world as racist as Israel? That is an interesting question. If there are, I would not support them either. Actually, I would argue that they don’t have a right to exist. Racist and bigoted countries are starting to lose their right to exist right there. That is why I say that Sudan, Burma, Indonesia and some other places have no right to exist either. In their current form, that is.

  4. I don’t think letting bygones be bygones applies here. Israel today is still new enough to be stopped. Just as the settlement of America really should have been stopped. I like living here as a European American but what my ancestors did is unforgivable. It justs seems like there is still a chance to stop this conquest thang. I don’t know how though, that is just what I think.

  5. Definitely it should be expanded beyond the 1967 borders. That’s for sure. I have a problem with saying that the whole thing is illegitimate because I myself am a settler-colonist and I don’t want the Indians telling me to leave the US so they can have it all back. So I can’t support the radical Palestinian movement to that extent.

  6. Dear Robert
    States as such are not racist, only their policies may be. The fact that some of Israel’s policies are racist does not make the state of Israel illegitimate, only those policies. Strictly speaking, Israel is not racist because Jews are not a race and Gentiles can convert to Judaism. It would be more accurate to say that Israel practices imperialism in the occupied territories and religious or ethnic discrimination at home. Arabs are not a race either.
    Any state that is accepted by the majority of its citizens or subjects is a legitimate state. Between 1945 and 1989, the Polish state was legitimate even though the communist regime was rejected by the vast majority of Poles. It was the regime that was illegitimate, not the state.
    States can be legitimate in parts of their territory only. The Tsarist state was quite legitimate in the Russsian part of the Empire but not in most non-Russian parts. In 1910, the UK was a legitimate state in England, Wales, Scotland and Ulster but not in the rest of Ireland.
    Condemnation of Israel’s policies should not induce us to question Israel’s right to exist. It is pointless to argue that Israel should never have been created. The reality is that it was. We should formulate policies in light of what exists today and not in light of what would exist today if things that should not have been done had not been done.
    If a rape occurs that results in pregnancy and childbirth, that is no reason to kill the baby. The rape should not have occurred but the baby should not be killed. Similarly, the Zionist rape of Palestine should not have happened but the Israeli baby should not be killed.
    Regards. James

  7. I like that rape analogy mr. schipper. but that doesn’t take into account the emotional scars and anger. A lot of people get abortion after rape.

  8. and to Robert. I was speaking idealistically (sp?) I would hate it if the American Indians rose up and killed us whiteys. It would be justifiable to Israel I think but reallly just not cool.

  9. damn, I need to think more on my comments, but I also did not mean that Israel wants that or would be for it in reality. I’m a very apologetic person. 🙁

  10. oh i didn’t mean justifiable as in killing jews like an abortion. that is pretty twisted. I meant Israelis might feel that killing off Palestinians would be a solution. I was trying to expand on the rape analogy and messed up a bit. sorry.

  11. but no one wants to move? and 2 states won’t work? is there any hope? this is a depressing topic. put more recipes or physical anthropology stuff up. I’m gonna just observe the Israel topics now. I’m swimming a bit.

  12. but no one wants to move? and 2 states won’t work? is there any hope? this is a depressing topic.
    Right, no one wants to move. 2 states won’t work because of all the settlements, and Israel won’t dismantle them. There probably is not much hope, I guess, but who knows? Maybe there is hope of something. I mean, Gaza is practically sovereign, that’s a step in the right direction anyway, and the Saudis keep floating their peace process thing.
    I have tons of physical anthro in my notes. I just need to make it into posts, and it should not be too hard.

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