Sharmine Narwani writes:
Logic dictates that the physical presence of half a million Jews in illegal settlements and outposts – connected through a maze of Jewish-only roads – has stealthily destroyed the possibility of a land-for-peace compromise. And Israel’s government has spent $17 billion on settlements since occupation began.
But here’s something we don’t talk about readily. Why would consecutive Israeli governments heavily subsidize and incentivize the relocation of young families – women and children – into hostile environments? Why would Israel – which claims security dangers wherever there are Palestinian populations – deliberately and systematically place its Jewish civilian population in “harm’s way?”
The settlers are Israel’s human shields and live bait.
“Naatzi! Naaaatzi!” This word, amazingly enough, is a settler favorite. “Nazis!” they screech at foreign TV crews, while waving their infants around. “Nazi, Nazi, Nazi,” they chant as they provocatively try to stop Palestinians from harvesting their olive crops. And the IDF soldiers wait and watch – occasionally intervening to push a frustrated and humiliated Palestinian objector away from a taunting, threatening Jewish settler.
Eventually, a half-crazed Palestinian will fight back, even kill some settlers. Israeli authorities immediately step in and claim the “Security Risk” has increased and more Palestinian land has to be confiscated to ensure Israel’s security. More Palestinians are detained, harassed, punished. More Palestinian homes are occupied or demolished. See how that works? Unleash your craziest Jews onto a Palestinian civilian population until someone blows a fuse and hits back. Then use that as the pretext to encroach further into the lives and onto the land of Palestinians.
Jewish settlers. Half a million of them in 121 illegal settlements and 102 illegal outposts. Human shields and live bait for Israel. The Jewish state’s frontline army for depopulating Palestinian land.
International law recognizes the right of a person living under occupation to resist or retaliate against occupying forces – nobody would question a Palestinian lashing out at an Israeli soldier. But kill a Jewish settler, and the lines get blurred fast. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the “occupier” (Israel) may not settle its populations (Jewish settlers) in occupied areas (West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem), but these laws also do not permit the harming of civilians except in the case of self-defence during an act of violence. In other words, although Israel flagrantly violates the former law by incentivizing Israeli citizens to move into occupied Palestinian territory, these same international conventions do not allow Palestinians to willy-nilly defend their lives and property from Jewish settlers – except during actual hostilities, when they are usually at a considerable disadvantage.
But are settlers really “civilians” as intended by the protective language of the Fourth Geneva Convention? This is debatable on at least one score, as the language dealing with “protected persons” is often prefaced with “civilian persons who take no part in hostilities…”
“The Hilltop Youth consist of hundreds of young settler boys and girls who have become protectors of the illegal outposts pitched on Palestinian-owned land throughout the West Bank. Traumatized by Israel’s desettlement of Gaza, they have vowed to resist a similar fate, and heeding only the “law of God” and the religious-nationalist action calls from the likes of Judeo-fascist high-priestesses Daniella Weiss and Nadia Mattar, these kids have unleashed the newest waves of settler vigilantism: “Price-Tagging.”
Every time authorities act against the perceived interests of the settlers, the latter will exact a “price tag” by carrying out reprisals against nearby Palestinians and their property.