Israel, Palestine, and the Snowball Effect

First, some history: On November 2nd 1917, United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued a letter – i.e. The Balfour Deceleration – to Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, stating (in part) that “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” It was the most significant step to that date for the Jewish people and their Zionist movement, though it took 30 years for the United Nations to pass a similar resolution (181), and then shortly after for the British forces to leave Palestine, and thereafter for the declaration of independence for the state of Israel, to be followed by the War of Independence, resulting in the displacement of most of the Arab inhabitants from the new state.

Some twenty years later, the Six-Day War solidified Israel’s survival as a state, in the process gaining control over Gaza and the West bank, practically all the Holy Land territories once in control of Egypt, Jordan and the United Kingdom. Coincidentally, it also gave rise to the Palestinian struggle for independence and a state of their own. Other wars, battles and peace negotiates and treaties took place thereafter, but Israel first refused to recognize, then fought hard against the establishment of a Palestinian state, built a Separation Wall to that effect, and continued the settlement endeavor and the occupation of the territory the Palestinians claim for their future state, thereby preventing it from happening.

And on October 7th of this year, three years and a month short of the one hundred years anniversary to the Belfour Declaration, the United Kingdom Parliament – in a decisive, 217 to 16 vote – passed a nonbinding motion to recognize the state of Palestine. That resolution followed the UN General Assembly resolution two years earlier, granting Palestine the status of a non-Member Observer State in the United Nations. Other countries, mainly in South America, have already passed similar resolutions, and in Europe Ireland did the same, with Sweden and Spain declaring their intentions to do likewise in short order, and France veering also close to such a debate and action, its foreign minister qualifying by saying that “Paris should recognize a Palestinian state only if doing so would help achieve peace, not as a symbolic gesture.”

So second, here’s a predicament: This movement, this process is not going to stop any time soon. Rather, it is going to grow and gain speed and strength. Its escalation, like a snowball rolling down a mountain’s slope, will gather velocity and volume. It may, ultimately, crash upon impact, or – like an avalanche – will bury the village and its inhabitants underneath it. There is no way to stop it, or reverse its course. Just as the other snowball, the boycott movement – i.e. BDS – continues to grow and gain momentum. Taken together, they are threatening to bury their opponents: Israel and America under their weight. The town will survive the avalanche, no doubt, but what about the village?

As for America, how long will it continue to be the sole supporter of Israel in the world, while arming it to the teeth, remains to be seen. For now, this friendship and mutual-interest partnership seem safe and sound. But as, on the one hand, the above mentioned “Palestinian state-recognition” snowball continues to grow and expand, thereby isolating America more and more; and as, on the other hand, the combustible substance that is the Middle East continues to explode in fire and war, it threatens the stability not only of the at region but of the entire world. It is not inconceivable to see a day when an American president will come to realize finally – as did President Bush the father – that enough is enough. And that Israel must be stopped and put in its place, for its own good, before triggering a bomb that might threaten the entire world.

Thirdly, then, Israel itself. Currently, PM Netanyahu and his partners in the government, coalition, Knesset and the decision-making kitchen, are operating under a number of assumptions and policies. First, to their minds, the conflict between Israel and the Palestine is unresolvable (Netanyahu said so himself). Second, and as result of that, it can only be managed (the key word here). Third, we Israelis are not only good at managing things, but we also have the power and support of the Americans behind us. Fourth, this exploding Middle East, with Arabs and Muslims killing each other, is working to our advantage. Fifth, all these resolutions are useless, symbolic and unbinding.

But guess what: Unbinding, unbinding, and then suddenly – one day soon – it is binding. In all kinds of different ways. Meanwhile, a growing movement in Israel – Olim L’Berlin, how ironic is that? – is gaining strength, with more and more young, bright Israelis leaving to that particular city, and to other cities in Europe as well. Not to mention America, with about 700,000 or so expatriates Israelis living and thriving (yours truly included). It may be so that Israel will implode from within, first, before the snowball hit it full force and crash it. Or, a much better scenario: The Israeli people will come to realize the imminent threat and danger that are rolling their way, and will finally choose new leaders that will have the wisdom and courage to avert this coming snowball by joining its movement, and finally leaving the occupation behind, allowing the Palestinian people to have – like the Jewish people – a state of their own.

* Published originally on “The Times of Israel.”
** The “Leave a comment” link is the last tag below, in blue.

Confession of a Settler


Hey you, what’s new?
Not much, except your new land grab.
That’s why you’re calling? It’s Rosh Hashanah.
I know. So why now, the whole world is against us anyway?

Listen to me: stop whining and come back home to Eretz Yisrael. Let the dogs bark all they want, you hear me, our caravan is moving on. Ever heard of this Arabian proverb: The dogs bark but the caravan moves on? That’s our motto here, and our mojo too. I like it so much, it’s hanging on the wall of our trailer, which is also our command center. Nothing better to illustrate our policy and activity in Judea and Samaria of settling our forefathers’ land, you hear me? I will not be surprised if this old saying is hanging on the walls of the Prime Minister as well. Because more than anything else it sums up our settlement endeavor. The hell with what the world thinks.

But why now?

Here you go again: you have to hit them when they’re down, when the iron is hot. Otherwise, they’ll never learn. Which, come to think of it, is actually a good thing. After all, they’re just Arabs. Look at how they’re going about beheading people left and right. Case in point: our latest announcement, right after we crushed the Hamasniks in Gaza. We give them the whole shebang now: the largest land grab for the biggest settlement in 30 years. How that for a Rosh Hashanah present, I ask you? That’s why now, man, don’t you understand? Everything I have to spell out for you. It always was like that with you. This is not the kibbutz, bro, this is the goddamn Middle East. It is burning; it is exploding! About time you come back home and join the fight, and the fun too, instead of criticizing and asking all these stupid questions.

Wait, don’t hang up. What about the Palestinians who own the land?

They don’t own any land, you idiot, it’s our land. All of it! Read the bible again, instead of the New York Times and Haaretz, it will do you good, believe me. Everything is written there, black on white. No need to go online for it, either. Do you still have the bible there?


Then read, man, read it every day. Not just on the holidays. And I tell you something else, too: this is our revenge and retaliation for the killing of the three teenage brothers from our Yeshiva. Blessed be their memory and their spirits up in heaven. Thankfully, it also brought about that mini war in Gaza. We wanted a bigger one, mind you, an annihilation war, but Netanyahu was running scared. So now he pays for it with this new settlement. But don’t get me wrong man: there is a grand old plan here.

What plan?

Greater Israel. Ever heard of it? From the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Jabotinsky is dancing the hora in his grave as we speak. It’s all in the pudding, man, the way you say it over there in America. We make it impossible for your president and what’s his name, the tall Don Quixote guy?

John Kerry.

Right. They can’t even think again of the Two-State solution. Gone, baby, gone. Kaput. Dead in the Dead Sea. So who’s going to stop us? President Obama, don’t make me laugh. He tried, didn’t he? But he’s afraid of AIPAC, and too occupied with all the other problems – ISIS or ISIL, you name it – that’s on his plate now. Don’t you see his black hair turning white? Netanyahu is a much better politician, you know, and even more popular in the American Congress. We’re sending him there pretty soon to fix things.

But condemnation are coming from Europe, too, don’t you–

So what? Let the dogs bark, told you that already. Are you deaf or something? You’re getting old fast there in the diaspora, man. Come breathe the fresh air of the rolling Judean hills, it will make you young again. And consider this, too: Did they ever really stop us settlers from doing God’s work? Of course not. We showed them the middle finger, the way we did with the latest peace negotiations. Who killed it, you ask? We did! So what if the Europeans condemn us and demand a reversal of the decision. F*ck them. It will never happen. Let them deal with the rise of anti-Semitism in their countries. Which we, of course, have nothing to do with. Let them boycott us all they want. It helps our cause.

How come?

Come here, my friend, and you’ll see for yourself. I hear more French now than English, almost more than Hebrew even. This new large settlement we’re going to build, it’s for all the Jewish people running away from France and making Aliya. We need to house them, man, we need to feed them. So you Jews in American, send us your money and shut up. And know this, too: the more anti-Semitism there in the old country, the more Jews we have here in the Holy Land. Simple as milk and honey. So let them bark to their heart content – we will continue to build and settle. Our caravan is moving on.

I hear you. But where to?

To the Promised Land, man, where else. When are you going to grow up? I’m losing hope of ever seeing you again. Remember the old song, “We’re both from the same Village?” Naomi Shemer, our national poet, remember her? So make a bonfire, why don’t you, and sing it the way we used to back then in the army. It will do you good!

Okay, I will. But aren’t you already there, in the Promised Land?

Not yet, man, not yet. Way to go. We will stop moving only when the whole of Judea and Samaria is settled by Jews. When that job is done, we’ll throw out all these Arabs who are now building our settlements to the other side of the Jordan River. Those who choose to stay will continue to do the dirty work for us, while we’re busy studying the Torah, and our wives are busy giving birth to the multitude of Jews who shall inherit the land. Only then the Messiah will come.

But aren’t you afraid of hitting the abyss suddenly with your caravan?

I’m not afraid of anything, and our caravan is in no danger of hitting the abyss anytime soon. God is on our side, don’t you see? He will tell us when to stop, just the way he tells us not to stop right now. Not to listen to all the goyim, or people like you, self-hating Jews. This is our land, man, he gave it to us in the bible. We’re just reclaiming it, that’s all. Screw the Europeans, what do they know anyhow, except giving home to all those Muslim infidels who now threaten not only the Middle East, but all their beautiful cultural cities: London, Berlin, and Paris. Soon they will have Muslim majority there. So they can bark all they want; we know they cannot bite. We are moving on. So have a good year, my friend, and say hi to the wife and kids. I’m hanging up. Shana Tova!

* Published originally on “The Times of Israel.” ** The “Leave a comment” link is the last tag below, in blue.


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