This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Premonition and Death

"Lately, I have had a lot of objections in light of the security situation, thoughts about what is necessary and what is unnecessary to do, about fears, about my husband and children."
"The situation is not easy and sometimes it feels like Russian roulette."
Dafna Meir, 38, murdered by a 16-year-old Palestinian

"It is difficult for me to imagine that we will never sit together again and drink tea or laugh together again, and that you will not be there when I get married or get drafted or have my children."
Renana Meir, 17 in mourning
The family of Dafna Meir at her funeral in Jerusalem on January 18, 2106. Meir was stabbed to death at the entrance to her home in the settlement of Otniel on January 17. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The family of Dafna Meir at her funeral in Jerusalem on January 18, 2106. Meir was stabbed to death at the entrance to her home in the settlement of Otniel on January 17. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In 2011, five members of the Fogel family, including their three-month-old baby, were stabbed to death in their home in Itamar, a Jewish settlement south of Nablus. West Bank settlements are guarded and protected by armed forces of the IDF and the perimeter fences surrounding them are in theory meant to keep the inhabitants safe. Several years ago tunnels built by Hamas were discovered leading from Gaza toward some West Bank settlements; those tunnels were destroyed by the IDF.

But this is another year, and another challenge has been mounted against Israeli civilians living in east Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, and in West Bank settlements. A Palestinian teen manged to squeeze through a hole in a settlement fence to stab and wound a pregnant Israeli woman, south of Jerusalem in Tekoa. The Palestinian youth was shot and hospitalized. He will recover and no doubt go on to repeat his attempt at murder at some future date.

An attack that took place the day before when the home of Dafna Meir in Otniel south of Hebron was breached, saw the  young attacker stab the mother of six children to death, in the presence of her eldest daughter. That attacker fled, but was arrested a day later. The result of those attacks is heightened concern, of course, but also banishment of all Palestinian workers from the Gush Etzion settlement block.

There are 25,000 Palestinians for whom Israel has issued work permits for the settlements. They are construction workers or light industry workers. They are now deprived of paid employment in an area where unemployment is high and the job market tight, leaving Palestinians frustrated and discontent. The question is, how is it even remotely possible to relax Israel's military occupation of the West Bank while its residents pose a violent threat to Israelis?

The deliberate and ongoing efforts of the Palestinian Authority to foment unrest and violent reprisals in response to manufactured insults and plots to rob Palestinians of their heritage sites has resulted in four months of incendiary violence and the deaths of both Israeli civilians and their Arab attackers, along with others engaged in violent protests against Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Authority has done little to produce a working civilian infrastructure or advance peace, preferring to engage its people in "resistance".

The woman whose uneasy letter had been sent to her community bulletin is dead, her six children deprived of their mother's presence, a Palestinian teenager under arrest for her murder, and nothing will have been solved to find a way out of the dilemma of distrust and violence, hatred and murder. The West Bank settlements resulted from Palestinian authorities refusing time and again to commit to peace with Israel in exchange for a state of their own.

The original refusal took place in 1948 and it has been repeated time and again. The entire territory in question was once part of ancient Israel. Orthodox Jews consider that territory theirs by heritage, and since Palestinians have not agreed to partition it and to take their portion formally, they feel justified in settling it as their ancestors had done. If there is a solution to the intractable problem of two disparate ethnic and religious peoples finding common ground on a trajectory to peace, it has not yet surfaced.

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