It was with resignation that I read the recent Irish News article entitled, ‘Israeli forces evict Jewish settlers from Palestinian land’ (Feb 2nd).
The story concerned the eviction of 250 illegal settlers from the Amona settlement in the Occupied West Bank. The narrative attempted to portray the Israeli PM, Netanyahu, as something of a peacemaker desperately trying to appease hard-line elements within his cabinet.
The truth, however, is that Netanyahu himself is as hard-line as any. His reasons for evicting the colonists of Amona are as a legal necessity to comply with a court order, as well as to provide a well timed distraction from the international story recently highlighted by the passing of UN Resolution 2334, condemning the widespread and continuing Israeli land grab and its associated ethnic cleansing.
Netanyahu is strongly in favour of settling the entire West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights with Zionist interlopers. His government repeatedly refer to the area as Judea and Samaria, blatantly ignoring any Palestinian claims to statehood.
The article stated, ‘Amona is the largest of about 100 unauthorized outposts erected in the West Bank without permission but generally tolerated by the Israeli government’. In fact Amona is one of the smallest, as all Zionist settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are unauthorized, and are deemed illegal under international law. Some of these colonial squat centres have tens of thousands of illegal occupiers in them. Modi’in Lllit has a population of 64,000, Beitar Lllit has 49,000, and Ma’ale Adumim has 40,000.
Such trespassers should never be referred to as ‘residents’, as they were in the aforementioned article, in addition to a similar article in the Irish News (Feb 1st) which was entitled, ‘Residents ordered to leave West Bank settlement’. A term such as resident confers a respectability that is most certainly not warranted, especially when we look at the horror that such settlements and their occupiers cause, including stealing land, destroying homes, destroying livelihoods, destruction of habitat, discrimination, segregation, isolating native people, intimidation, oppression, verbal and physical abuse and associated trauma, and the murder of the indigenous population on a whim.
Amona had 250 settlers who will now be relocated to another illegal Israeli officially sanctioned site. But what about the other 750,000+ illegal Israeli settlers that squat elsewhere across the region? Or is that a story that the western media really don’t want to address?