What constitutes the life of a settler? A house on the cheap; a standard of living above the national average; a job usually subsidized by the government; a fierce religious, nationalist, uncompromising conviction on the justness of his cause; a supportive, heavy-handed social environment; a highway system; transportation arrangements; socially enriching activities; and, at times, a life that comes with the risk of danger.
The settler goes to and from his home without seeing anything. He does not see his neighbors, he does not see the danger he exposes his children to, he does not see the moral baggage he carries on his back. He does not want to see all this, and an entire system surrounds him that makes life easy for him despite his blindness.
Some of the highways on which he drives are cleansed of Palestinians; he has never visited the neighboring villages, not one of whose names he would know were it not for traffic signs pointing in their direction. His teachers, functionaries and rabbis sketch out the scenery that is his world, leaving him no shred of doubt: the Arabs are terrorists, all of them are suspicious packages, and the Jews are allowed to do as they wish, for they are the lords of the land, and there is no other but they. [continued…]
Just before Christmas, the US President, Barack Obama, signed into law one of his country’s biggest aid pledges of the year. It was bound not for Africa or any of the many struggling countries on the World Bank’s list.
It was a deal for $US2.77 billion ($3 billion) to go to Israel in 2010 and a total of $US30 billion over the next decade.
Israel is bound by the agreement to use 75 per cent of the aid to buy military hardware made in the US: in the crisis-racked US economy, those military factories are critical to many towns. [continued…]