Monday, December 26, 2016

Israelis Talk About Greater Israel

I mention Greater Israel in the previous post. It's always been the unspoken aim of Zionism -- i.e., taking all of Palestine not just what was taken in 1948. Natasha Roth, one of the young Israelis who put out +972 magazine, talks about Greater Israel in light of the United Nations Security Council vote late last week that condemned Israel's settlements -- not the occupation only the settlements, she points out.

Roth mentions a Jewish settlement in occupied Palestine called Amona, also spelled Amonah. It's on Google maps. It's one of what are often referred to as illegal outposts, settlements Israelis began without official approval from the Israeli government. Some of them eventually gain official approval, a small handful have actually been dismantled. Amona has symbolic importance  within Israel because the Israeli government has tried to shut it down many times but it remains there, and also because because it was blatantly built on land the settlers stole from Palestinian farmers. Amona has been mentioned in several post-UN vote columns I've read in the Israeli press: here by well known writer Gideon Levy in his Ha'aretz column.

Here are two screen shots of it. Amona was begun by people from the official settlement of Ofra, which is in the lower center of the second map, with Amona about 3/4 mile directly above it. The other villages you see are Palestinian. The numbered roads are "settler only" roads built by the Israeli government. They are usually fenced their entire distance. Palestinians are arrested or shot if they go on them and in many places they hinder Palestinian travel and prevent access to their fields, orchards and olive groves. If you look near the lower left of the second map you can see where a Palestinian road curves to go through an underpass under a "settler only" road.

"Settlers" or colonizers as some call them include among them some of the most rabid Zionists, but also some young people who are attracted because they are low cost housing, subsidized by the Israeli government and by rich supporters of Israel in the US, but those too often become radicalized after living in a settlement. A woman whose podcast I sometimes listen to, Tamar Yonah, seems to fit that description. She works for a media outlet called Israel National News which is considered to be the voice of the settlers. Settlers often use vigilante violence against Palestinians in nearby villages and burn their fields and orchards, with the intent of getting them to leave. The Israeli Army, the occupying force, is stationed in outposts throughout Palestine and typically defends settlers as they make these attacks.


  1. And we continue to finance the Israeli government. To the point that if you disagree with the financing and speak out you are cast as an anti Semite. Theses actions by the Israelis, among many others, are the cause of much of the unrest in the area, if not the cause, the catalyst.

  2. I wish the vocabulary around this was changed, especially in North America. The word settler calls up an image of brave pioneers taming a mostly empty wilderness. The fact that the wilderness was not empty or had only recently become depopulated is another issue. What matters here is that for most Norte Americanos the term is positive. For those Israeli building projects on stolen land I propose the term Encroachments.