[So far as I can tell, the Christian Peacemaker Teams are both conscientious and accurate in their reports.  This report (below) is emblematic of the abuses of Palestinians by creeping expansion of the settlements into Eretz Israel.

I recall once being asked with one of my philosophy department colleagues to serve on a panel featuring a debate between a two state peace supporter and an Eretz Israel type who refused to use the term, “Palestine,” for which he substituted Judea and Sumaria.  We had been warned that many faculty had declined to serve in this hot spot role, but we figured that as representatives of truth speaking, we should do our part.  The scene was itself interesting — Jewish students and others seated in the front of the hall and Muslims (silently) in the rear.

The debate proceeded along obvious lines with the two stater distressed by the Eretz Israelite.  I was allowed one question by the chairman,  so I asked the latter what he expected the Palestinians to do if they were to be driven out per his program of expulsion.  His answer was that that was their problem.  If they did not like the arrangements, permanent occupation with no right of return, they should get themselves out.

Frankly, I was a bit stunned to see the real face of what I take to be a powerful, if minority, voice in Israel, which nevertheless has the support of governments there.  The settlements and the treatment of Palestinians living near them tell the story.  And everything I encounter tells this same story.  Woe to the children of all.   Best and sadly, Ed Kent]



Coming together in Susiya
Art Gish
At-Tuwani, West Bank
15 January, 2007

On Saturday, January 13, 200 Israelis along with 200 Palestinians
gathered in the Palestinian village of Susiya, in the South Hebron
hills for a day of solidarity between Palestinians and Israelis.

In 1985, the Israeli military demolished every dwelling in the old
village of Susiya, and evacuated its 1,000 inhabitants.  Some of the
people returned and now live in tents on their land about a half mile
from the original village.  The Israeli military has not permitted the
villagers to build any permanent structures.  They support themselves
with their flocks of sheep.

The Israeli military now wants to demolish the villagers’ tents and
evict the villagers who stand in the way of the expansion of the
Israeli Susya settlement.  The purpose of this gathering of Israelis
and Palestinians was to build support for the case of the people of
Susiya to be heard by the Israeli High Court on January 29, to prevent
the Israeli military from demolishing their homes.

This assembly included speeches by both Israelis and Palestinians,
including a recent history of the area, the effects of the nearby
Susya settlement, and the court case.  One Israeli speaker said he
dreams of a peace between Palestinians and Israelis that does not need
to be defended by weapons.  “Beat those weapons of war into
agricultural implements,” he said.  A Palestinian speaker quoted the
prophet Mohammad as saying, “God did not create you to be enemies.”

The day concluded with a walking tour of the area, viewing the ancient
Susiya village, seeing the ruins of demolished caves and homes,
getting a view of the village land confiscated by the Susya
settlement, and the settlement on the next hilltop to the south.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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