by Jeremy Gillick
Settlers in Hebron
Much of the West Bank is in turmoil following this morning’s highly anticipated evacuation of the Orwellian “House of Peace” in Hebron. Though the evacuation itself was a success, as Israel’s security forces took several hundred settlers holed up in the controversial house by surprise, removing them all within half an hour, it didn’t take long for things to get ugly.
According to Ynet, “Sources in the settler public announced the launching of a ‘price tag’ policy that will be implemented through stone throwing and attacks on Palestinian houses.” Associated with a growing fringe of Jewish settlers known as the “hilltop youth,” the “price tag” policy mandates acts of low-level violence against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in response to the dismantling of settlements and outposts in the West Bank. According to a recent report on rising settler violence by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, retaliation often includes “blocking traffic, setting fields on fire, [and] throwing rocks.”
The price tag for evicting settlers from Hebron, though, is a bit higher than usual. According to an article titled “Settlers Rampage in Palestinian areas after Hebron Eviction” in Ha’aretz, “The Israeli rights group B’Tselem released video that appeared to show a settler shooting a Palestinian in the stomach from point-blank range, and Palestinians pelting the settler with rocks.” Continue reading
Posted in Politics, religion
Tagged Beit HaShalom, Ehud Olmert, Hebron, hilltop youth, House of Contention, House of Peace, Israel, jewish, Palestine, Settlers, violence, West Bank
Senior Editor Mandy Katz reports from Israel…
A water crisis notwithstanding, tourists are having fun up here in the Kineret, Israel’s name for the Sea of Galilee and its environs. While they might shake their heads at super-long “beaches” where the inland sea once lapped, and might fret over the much more worrisome possibility of pumps’ going dry, they don’t seem particularly concerned about the impending national elections.
Not all tourists here can vote, of course, as they’re a multinational lot. In the national parks, you do hear a lot of Hebrew, as in the verdant spring-fed pools of Tel Dan. The tamer “Gan Yardan” (or Jordan River Garden) park also centers on flowing water, but diverted into masonry channels and pools; around shaded picnic tables, sometimes set right in the shallow streams, multi-generational Arab clans with boomboxes fire up grills, cool watermelons in the water, and watch their children splash. Meanwhile, on sun-baked roads overlooking the Galilee’s depleted waters, German, French, Japanese and English are some of the languages coursing through tour bus microphones, as Christian pilgrims make the rounds of sites commemorating the multiplying of loaves and fishes, Christ’s visitation to Saint Peter and the Sermon on the Mount. Continue reading
Posted in Politics
Tagged Ariel Sharon, Benyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Olmert, Gan Yardan, Israel, Kadima, Kineret, Likud, Shaul Mofaz, Tel Dan, Tzipi Livni
You have no doubt heard that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, embattled in a corruption investigation and still taking heat from the 2006 Lebanon War, announced he will step down yesterday.
What do you think? Is this a good thing for Israel? Who should take Olmert’s place? The leading replacement candidates are Kadima’s own Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, as well as Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor) and Benyamin Netanyahu (Likud).
Who will step in?
(Stay tuned. We are working on republishing our profile of Olmert from the June 2006 issue.)