An irate PULSE reader, a Zionist immigrant to Israel from Britain, has written to ask why I haven’t condemned the murder of a family living in the illegal colony of Itamar near Nablus. The reader, by the by, describes himself as a ‘lefty.’ It’s always interesting to see how political terminology entirely loses its meaning when employed by Zionists. Choosing to migrate from a safe, free country to join the side of the masters in an aggressive ethnocracy is not what would normally be called ‘lefty’ behaviour. Here’s another example – a “left-leaning youth movement” is establishing a new settlement in the illegally occupied and ethnically-cleansed Jordan valley. Hooray for the Zionist left.
As it happens, I think the attack on the Itamar family was repulsive. I have no idea how anyone could stab young children to death, even the children of racists and thieves. These murders were immoral and politically counter-productive. They gave Israel an excuse to whine about the bloodthirstiness of the natives and a pretext for building hundreds more homes in the West Bank (although Israel does these things without pretexts too).
Palestinians, of course, have seen thousands of children maimed, murdered and dismembered over the years by Zionist violence. Over 300 children were murdered during the Israeli assault on Gaza two years ago (perhaps if my children had been among them I would be better able to understand the murder of the Itamar children). The vast majority of children in Gaza, and in the refugee camps of the West Bank, suffer psychological problems as a result of the constant violence directed against them by Zionism. During the Israeli-organised massacres in Sabra and Shatila, babies were thrown on bonfires. Sadly, I don’t have time to condemn each and every case of Zionist terrorism against children.
Since it’s been brought to my attention, I hereby condemn the murder of the children in the colony of Itamar. I do not, however, wish to set up an equivalence between the inevitable violence of the oppressed and occupied, however ugly it may be, and the violence of the oppressor and occupier. The answer to this terrible situation in which both sides suffer (although one side much more than the other) is for occupied Palestine from the river to the sea to become a democracy rather than an ethnocracy.
Immediately after receiving the email from the Zionist, I received another from a friend in Nablus. He attached this report:
Villages across the West Bank have reported raids by settlers following the murder of five Israelis early Saturday morning in Itamar settlement.
A three-month-old baby girl, two children aged three and 11, and their parents were all stabbed to death in a brutal attack which has been blamed on Palestinians.
As Israeli forces launched a manhunt across the northern West Bank, residents of several Palestinian villages said they were stormed by angry settlers.
In Burin, near Nablus, village council head Ali Eid said residents of the illegal Bracha settlement raided the village.
Settlers entered Maher Mahmoud Hassen’s home and tried to take his children, who managed to escape, Eid said.
Settlers also entered the homes of Najeh and Hatem Tawfiq E’mran, he added.
Residents of nearby Huwwara also said they were harassed by settlers, who tried to enter Palestinian homes in the eastern side of the town.
Town officials called on residents to gather in the area to protect the homes in a call over the loudspeakers of the local mosque.
Residents responded to the call, and settlers left the area.
Meanwhile in Hebron, settlers threw rocks at a Palestinian Authority civil defense vehicle, smashing the wind screen and injuring the driver, police said.
Ibrahim Abu Sabha sustained head injuries from the shattered glass as he drove between Yatta and Al-Musafer villages in the southern West Bank district.
In the central West Bank village of Beitillu, residents said settlers handed out leaflets threatening residents that their lives were at risk.
Settlers distributed the statement signed by “the Jews from the land of Israel” at the village entrance, locals said.
Israeli forces have detained dozens of Palestinians since the attack in Itamar settlement. Several military checkpoints have been reinstalled and flying checkpoints set up across Nablus. Locals said the army has declared the district a closed military zone.
Israel’s military had no immediate comment.
Tensions between Palestinians and settlers have escalated since the Israeli government removed structures at an illegal outpost west of Nablus on February 28.
Settlers responded to the demolition immediately, firebombing a home in Huwarra. Two children were taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation.
Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at Palestinians during clashes with settlers near Nablus on Monday, injuring 10 Palestinians, medics said. One settler was injured by a rock, a spokesman for settlers said.
Settlers also smashed shops and cars and cut down olive trees in Hebron.
On March 3, settlers organized a “day of rage” rallying in Israel and the West Bank and threatening further attacks against Palestinians.