Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jews are Always Settlers

There is yet another example of an ordinarily pretty good news organization (The Washington Times) going brain dead and printing verbatim a terrible, biased, anti-Zionist slur from the AP. I wasn’t going to bother posting about it because I am so tired of having to exhaust myself on this stuff and I have come to the conclusion that the newspapers are just too short-handed to read this stuff carefully before they call is “content” and give it space. As I posted a comment on the article and began to move on, though, I could not get over the use of the words “settler”. It is a pejorative now, used to paint Jews as aliens and outsiders, but I have a different emotional attachment to the word.

Whether he was placidly agreeing with my mother during one of her extended tirades (he called them lectures) or concluding a business deal, my dad would often say, “I’ll settle for that. I’m one of the early settlers.” He was a very gentle but effective negotiator. He always did his best to make every situation a “win-win”. I have always thought that this was not just his way but the Jewish way. After all, when the Romans destroyed our temple and we began our two millennia of wanderings, expulsions and holocausts, we had to get into the habit of settling. In all that time there was only one place on earth we were not settlers, Jerusalem. We were beleaguered there, by the Romans Arabs and Turks, persecuted and often murdered but it was always our home. That is why the use of the word “settler” bothered me so much. The Washington Times article is here.

Here is my comment as I posted it at the Washington Times web site:

This is so obviously badly slanted as to be almost unbelievable. Even so, there is enough information in the article to get to the truth. Key Phrase: "Mr. Grenimann said 29 members of the al-Kurd family lived in the house evicted on Tuesday. Some of them had settled there after they were evicted from another house in the same neighborhood, following the Israeli Supreme Court's decision to uphold the settlers' claim to the ownership of that building." Translation: They are illegal squatters that the Israeli government is unable to screw up the nerve to deal with directly, nearly forcing the legal owners to do stupid stuff like this. The pathetic case went all they way to the SUPREME COURT OF THE LAND and the so called journalist who wrote the article still calls it a "claim." The truth is that the Israeli courts bend over backwards to uphold "Palestinian rights". Would a squatter case ever get argued in front of the US Supreme Court? When the Jordanians overran West Jerusalem in the 1948 war for independence, they massacred a Jewish population that had inhabited the Jewish quarter continuously for more than three thousand years and blew up ancient Synagogues and community buildings in order to expunge all trace of Jewish life there. Now Jewish people are referred to as "settlers" and Arab squatters are portrayed as "Palestinians". They are not "Palestinians", they are Arabs. They are of the same Arab tribes that compose a majority of Jordan. There was never such a thing as a "Palestinian" until 1968 - the name is the single biggest triumphant lie foisted by Arafat on the conscience of the world. When Israel left Gaza, all Jewish "settlers" had to leave because to stay would have been a death sentence. If East Jerusalem ever does become the capital of a previously fictitious state, all Jews will be forced out by violence and/or death. The Arabs living in Israel are the most secure, wealthiest and healthiest in the world and all the Washington Times can do is run obviously scurrilous trash like this. The great injustice here is not that the Jewish people who did this are not being “nice people”, it is that the very fact that they stand up for their property rights makes them villains.

It goes on and on. German Jews in the 1930’s refused to believe that they were not Germans, just as the Spanish Jews before them they learned that they were all too easily turned on as “settlers”. But, it is always easy to call Jews settlers. We are. We lived in Germany for four hundred years among settled Germanic tribes that had lived there for a thousand years- making them the early settlers. In that sense, very human being on earth is a settler. But in Jerusalem, in Judea, Samaria, Tel Aviv and Sderot we are the Early Settlers. This was recognized in modern times by the creation of the modern state of Israel. If we allow the world to forget our place and our rights, if we allow the newly invented Palestine to squat on our property, who will find a place for us?

Israel has proved time and time again that she will “settle” for peace with a Palestinian state that does not pose a mortal threat. Israel is, in that sense too, an early settler. Over and over the so-called “Palestinains” have proven (Fatah, Hizballah and Hamas even publish it in their charters) that they are not going to settle for anything less than the annihilation of Israel. That makes them very late settlers indeed- maybe even squatters.


Blazingcatfur said...

" dad would often say, “I’ll settle for that. I’m one of the early settlers.” He was a very gentle but effective negotiator. He always did his best to make every situation a “win-win”.

Heh, Me Sainted Irish Mother negotiates from a position of "Smack-Win"

Robert J. Avrech said...

Whenever Muslims reach a critical demographic mass in a western society they move to colonize that culture and that involves denying the rights of non-Muslims, especially Jews. The Jews of London are settlers as are the Jews of France. Brooklyn is next.

Yaacov Ben Moshe said...

My Jewish mother merely laid siege with verbal barrage and battered until quiet descended. I know the Irish approach very well too though- my wife, god bless her...

truepeers said...

True, it is not wrong to say my family here in British Columbia are "settlers". But we are also striving (at our best) to be leaders, or "firsts", in re-membering the Western law, in both its ancient and modern revelations, by which anything like this modern society is able to function. We can respect an ancient aboriginal presence here, but if our claim on an ancient presence is not respected, all hell breaks loose - because what other ways are there to organize a rather peaceful modern society of four million+ people/individuals from all over?

In other words, claims to be "first", while often resented (in the name of other "aboriginal" claims), are nonetheless often, not always, necessary to human existence and progress. Nothing good can come into the world that all can signify or enjoy simultaneously. Someone has to take the lead in finding what is necessary for human society to evolve. The way to judge claims on firstness morally, is whether one's claim will allow others to in turn become first in taking an ethical relationship to its next, logical, revelatory, freedom-advancing stage.

It seems to me that only fools, i.e. the terminally resentful, would not see modern Israel, whatever its flaws, as a model for a freer Middle East. Like you, I would remember this modern claim on firstness, to which the enduring relationship of the ancient Jewish nation is a necessary but not sufficient condition.