24 thoughts on “The Horror: Gush Etzion Settlers Wake Up to Find Google Says They Live in Palestine! – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I’m a long time reader of this blog, but this post seems bit extreme even for you. How can you say this about Gush Etzion? It’s an early area of settlement, from before Israel was even born. There is no controversy here about stolen land, at all. Jews were also murdered here from those early days, and Yemenite Jews also settled here. Gush Etzion is not some hilltop outpost in the heart of the WB!

    1. @MarkyMark: Ah, a telling argument, until you consider that there are several hundred Israeli Palestinian villages settled for hundreds of years which were destroyed during Nakba. So if Gush Etzion is an inalienable part of Eretz Yisrael, then those villages are an inalienable part of Palestine. There’s only one way to go if you want to settle this equitably: Gush Etzion & those Nakba villages are included in a single unitary state. You can call it Israel or Palestine or Israel-Palestine for all I care.

      I’m only spinning out the logic of your own claim to its proper conclusion. Think about it & what you want. Because what they want is no different than what you want (except seen in a mirror).

    2. @ MarkyMark
      “Gush Etzion (….)There is no controversy here about stolen land, at all”.

      This simply an enormous lie ! Don’t tell us you have no idea of Palestinian land being expropriated (no to speak about the water ressources) to expand the settlements within Gush Etzion.
      Or “IDF agrees to expansion of West Bank settlement”, Haaretz Dec 12, 2011 by Chaim Levinson.
      And what about the Highway 60 linking Gush Etzion to the State of Israel. Where do you think that land comes from ? Richard Falk has brought this particular case to the UN, only a few days ago but you’v never heard of the Palestinian village of Beit Safafa, have you ? Those Arabs just don’t count….
      “Un expert urges Israel to stop highway construction through Palestinian community”. On the site of UN News Centre, May 13th 2013.
      So full of it.

      1. Actually Deir there is no “Palestinian land” being expropriated, that is an enormous lie in itself. And Israel has every right to want to connect Gush Etzion to its capital city. Gush Eztion is a Jewish neighborhood. The neigborhood in Hebron, which had existed for centuries before Israel even existed. Yet you want the Jews of Hebron out. How do you explain that? It’s the same here, and this isnt in the middle of the West Bank either. This is a normal Jewish town, and your views toward it are clearly motivated by anti-semitism, which today manifests itself in opposition to Jewish territorial rights in their homeland (and no I don’t care if your boyfriend is Jewish and you have an MA in Jewish Art and you love Jews.)
        Richard Falk has no credibility.

        1. @MarkyMark: What a load of horse manure. Gush Etzion is only a Jewish neighborhood because it expelled all the Palestinians who lived in or near it. Yes, sure there was a tragic history to Gush Etzion and Jews were killed defending it. But the fact that Gush Etzion exists on Palestinian land over the Green Line means it is not part of Israel. Not in any legal sense according to international law. Now, if you’re willing to recognize a Palestinian state and end Occupation right now, we can argue whether Gush Etzion might be swapped for Israeli land. But until you’re willing to do that & urge your government to do so, all the rest of your verbiage is nothing but meaningless hot air.

          And do NOT accuse Deir Yassin or anyone else here of anti-Semitism. That is a comment rule violation (read them now) that will get you moderated if you do it again. Opposition to Israeli theft of Palestinian land is NOT anti-Semitism. That charge is a smear and calumny & I won’t tolerate it here.

          1. @ Richard
            When MadMark starts his first comment by “I’m a long time reader of this blog…..” I think he’s just giving the standard introduction learnt at the Yesha Hasbara course.

          2. @Deir Yassin: I noticed that comment. It is a dead giveaway and must be one of the tricks of the trade learnt in the entry level course.

            THere is Yeshivat HaRav Kook and Yeshivat HaKotel. Now, let’s start Yeshivat Hasbara.

          3. That is absolutely not true, and makes no sense chronologically. Gush Eztion was founded in the 1920’s, before the ’48 War and before any Palestinians were expelled or Palestinian villages destroyed. So what you say can’t possibly be true! In fact you have it backwards: the Arab Legion (not the Palestinians!) destroyed Gush Etzion in 1948, and massacred and expelled the Jews, destroying and burning the community. The Jews then then only returned after the ’67 War. So the foundation of the Gush Eztion settlements is not connected in any way to the expulsion of any Palestinians, or to depopulation events. For you to think that the foundation of any Jewish community beyond the Green Line must be connected in some way with explusion of Palestinians is nonsense. There are communities beyond the Green Line which are not so connected, and communites in Israel which are. In fact more communities inside Israel itself are connected with expulsion than those beyond the Green Line! So your mindset on this is totally inaccurate, to say the least!

          4. @Markymark: It is absolutely true that Gush Etzion is beyond the Green Line and therefore lies outside Israeli borders according to international law. Israel is not entitled to it in any way shape or form unless the Palestinians are willing to agree to a suitable land swap. IF they are, that is. And the longer you maintain the Occupation the less likely such agreement is.

            I’d suggest that we all agree that Gush Etzion and the entire West Bank is Israel and all its Palestinian citizens be offered Israeli citizenship. If you’ll agree to that, then I think we can solve this thing pretty fast. What do you say?

          5. I agree, in theory, that all people living in the West Bank should be given Israeli citizenshi, given the current map of Jewish settlement all over the West Bank. But, there is a serious obstacle in the way, which is that Israel is the Jewish state, which needs a Jewish majority population for it to remain a Jewish state in any meaningful sense. This should have been taken care of at the very beginning of the conflict, with the Partition Plan, for example. But the decades of conflict have entangled the two peoples in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to be separated, even though a two-state solution is still the theoretical ideal.

            Thus I still believe in the two-state solution, with a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but with Israel retaining important population blocs like Gush Etzion, which are so close to Israel’s capital, and are not associated with any expulsions. It happens to be on the “wrong side” of the Green Line, but at the same time was originaly founded decades before the 1948 War. There was thus some justice, in my view, for Israel to re-establish it in the wake of the 1967 War. (Israel would also give the Palestinians additional territory as a swap. I also believe giving the Gaza Strip a large chunk of territory should be on the table as well, even to the point of doubling or tripling the Gaza Strip’s size.)

            In any case, whether Israel should have gone on to establish many more settlements throughout the West Bank is another matter, but it certainly didn’t help the long-term prospects for an equitable two-state outcome, which will now require the painful spectacle of dragging Jews out of their homes (something which even hardened pro-Palestinian activists can’t possibly look at without some sympathy). But is Israel ultimately to blame for all of that? It certainly bears much responsibility, but I also believe that not just the Palestinians, but the larger Arab world does as well, since when the Israelis believed they had no serious peace partner, and were surrounded by hostile regimes with which they are still technically at war, it is hard for the Israelis to take the Arabs seriously. This then lead to further hutzpadik Israeli policies, which in turn just further complicates, and inflames, the situation.

            Whether a solution can ever be found to this tangled mess, is not certain. That is my view. One thing is certain though: the early Zionists (and by this I also mean your beloved cultural Zionists, Richard) were incredibly naive about the Arabs, and the larger Muslim world, and how that world would perceive the Zionist project.

          6. So you agree “in theory” that Israel should be a democracy and that everyone, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, should be citizens. But in practice in order for Israel to be a Jewish state (which it isn’t in reality, btw) it can’t be a democracy. Great, now that we’ve settled that there’s not much left to say, is there. Just that you’re a hypocrite who talks a good game.

            decades of conflict have entangled the two peoples in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to be separated, even though a two-state solution is still the theoretical ideal.

            Another contradiction in terms: it’s “almost impossible” for Israel and the Palestinians to be separated, yet they somehow can be miraculously by a two state solution, which you call “theoretical.” Whew, now that you’ve made all that crystal clear, I feel so much better.

            Now, if you do believe in this two state solution, I’m willing to “give” you Gush Etzion if you’ll “give” this “theoretical” Palestinian state a suitable population center that was historically Palestinian, but which sits inside the Green Line. So tell us which former Palestinian village, preferably on or near the Green Line, will you give up??

            ..The painful spectacle of dragging Jews out of their homes (something which even hardened pro-Palestinian activists can’t possibly look at without some sympathy)

            I always find it humorous, though the humor is unintended on your part, when Israeli Occupationists like yourself “advise” or “suggest” what Palestinians should do or feel. Why in heaven’s name would you think any Palestinian would shed a tear for a settler of Itamar, Shvut Rachel, Tapuach, etc. being removed from their settlement? Have you or any of these settlers shed a tear for the thousands of dunams stolen from Palestinians? When you can point to anything like that let me know.

            …It is hard for the Israelis to take the Arabs seriously.

            It may be hard for Israelis to take the Arabs seriously, but that’s their problem, not the Arabs. Not to mention that it’s even harder for the Arabs to take your thieving, conniving, lying prime minister and his government seriously.

            the Israelis believed they had no serious peace partner

            Once again, just because Israelis suffer from a delusion doesn’t mean the Arabs are at fault for it.

            Whether a solution can ever be found to this tangled mess, is not certain.

            Oh, there will be a solution. Just not one you’ll like. The longer you persist in the nonsense you’ve written above and some other Israelis continue to believe the nonsense they do, then the worse the actual “solution” or outcome will be for them (according to what their preferences would be).

          7. You wrote: “Oh, there will be a solution. Just not one you’ll like.”

            Can you explain what you mean by that? What are you envisioning in that scenario?

          8. It’s hard to imagine the logistics of that actually occurring without some kind of outside military intervention.

          9. No, I don’t agree. All that’s needed is for international organization & (political) intervention; or for Israelis eventually to come to their senses. A South African style international campaign would be all that’s necessary to force change. Along with UN support. Won’t happen tomorrow. But eventually.

          10. There were two African outcomes against Afrikaner racism and injustice, S/Africa and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia). If Israelis persist in their stubbornness to a genuine, sovereign Palestinian state the road ahead as Lincoln once said to skeptical unionists regarding the outcome of the civil war, “its either all this or its all that.”

          11. @ Mark
            You can scream all you want, the fact still stands that Gush Etzion has been expanding onto Palestinian land. You apparently haven’t read any of the articles that I mentioned:
            1. Yehuda Litani in the Ynetnew-article: “Expansion of Gush Etzion continues unabated”: “What participants will not hear from organizers is how settlements were expanded, the methods by which lands were expropriated from Palestinain Arabs, the expansion orders given by the Israeli civilian administration and the seizing of Palestinian land by settlers in the dark of the night. (…..) They will not see the olive groves and the vines of the village of Husan, uprooted by bulldozers so that Beitar Elite [sic] could be expanded. They won’t see the private plots of land belonging to the residents of Bethlehem and Beit Jala that were fenced off by settlers….”
            2. The Chaim Levinson-article in Haaretz: “Israel’s military establishment has approved the establisment of a new permanent neighborhood and a farm near the WB settlement of Efrat. The project will go beyond the community’s current built-up area, constituing an effective expansion of the Etzion Blog (…..)”
            3. As you don’t like Ricard Falk, here’s an article by Meirav Zonstain (Israeli) on Beit Safafa: “Beit Safafa (….) is now facing it’s third major bisection, this time by a highway being constructed by Israel that will literally cut through the neighborhood. Highway 4, or the Begin Highway, is a Jerusalem ring road intended to create one continuous strech of highway from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc (…)”
            Meirav Zonstein, 972mag: A divided Palestinian Neighborhood Torn in Two By An Israeli Highway
            4. Last but not least, a very well-documented article with maps of the Gush Etzion expansion by the Applied Research Institute/Jerusalem Land Research Center:
            “Israeli settlement activities swallow more land from Nahhalin village” : Before the occupation in the year 1967, the original area of the village was 12.000 dunams. The Israeli occupying authorities have confiscated more than 60% of the area to construct settlements. Nahhalin and the nearby villages of Wadi Fokin and Husan are threatened by future expansion of the surrounding Israeli settlements. From the south Nahhalin is bordered by the Gush Etzion settlements, covering around 50% of the land that originally belonged to the village”
            This is an article from 2002. If you gogle, you find more recent ones.
            And you never answered Richard’s question on Palestinians’ right to go back to their hundreds of destroyed villages, did you ?

          12. PS. I didn’t see the discussion further down the thread before answering, but Mark’s statement about Gush Etzion ‘not stealing Palestinan land’ is still a lie. And maybe it’s a coincidence, but I’ve come across quite a few Americans who moved directly from the States to Gush Etzion, and they all were specialists on the Arab/Muslim world. Is that the water you’re stealing ? Or field study of the underpaid Palestinian peones ?

  2. I hope the “price tag” attack occurs. Attacking powerless Palestinians is one thing, sort of like tearing the wings off flies. Attacking powerful corporations might turn out to be something else entirely. Google, for instance, might have enough “oomph” to get the “price tag” event widely publiized and explained (together with the policve’s doings w.r.t. it).

  3. RE: Amir Schiby, in his inimitable ironic way, has captured the nuttiness of it all with his graphic image of the Google Mountainview campus under price tag attack. I’ve even heard that settlers have threatened to launch such a campaign unless the internet giant immediately renounces its decision and restores them to their former residency in the Davidic kingdom of Judea. ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: And, if Barbara Boxer gets her way, these Israeli “price tag” terrorists from the West Bank will soon be able to enter the U.S. without even having to get a visa!

    SEE: “Barbara Boxer’s visa bill for Israel comes under concerted attack”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 5/18/13
    LINK – http://mondoweiss.net/2013/05/barbara-boxers-concerted.html

  4. As our analyse on google-earth-politics shows: ‘G00GLE-xTLD-GL’ can develop even worse! Next step could be that GooglePalestine is part of NorthCorea, and Israel has to rebuild on Greenland…

  5. Assuming you all live my ancestors land. When do you plan on moving back to the European lands most of you are from. Richard/ Bob/ Mark and Deir all have wonderful points. How about we encourage the American government to do the same.

    Yet you all have so much to say about the Israeli government and the Palestinians living under it.


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