(The United States policy in regard to Israel has always been pretty straight-forward: Anything they do to “protect” their state is just fine with us. Well, to many of us some of those actions need to be reviewed as to their long-term effect on the broader Middle East policy. In this article Lloyd addresses one of the most recent Israeli actions.)
Don't feel bad, I had not heard about it either. Only by stumbling onto it on the American Aljazeera web site did I happen to catch it. In this turbulent time when much of the Mid East is in protest and flux, this is probably the best single source of news. If you presume it does not give an objective account of what is happening, then that presumption is called "prejudice," that is, to pre-judge. So I recommend you go on the site and judge for yourself and share your opinion on this blog.
But as to the "'Day of Rage' Poured Wrath on Palestinians," here is the link: The "day of rage," as Mel Frykberg explains it began last Thursday in reaction to the March 11 knife killings of an Israeli settler family--parents and three children--near Nablus, in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. I'm sure you all heard about that as it was on every news program I heard on TV and NPR for two or three days or so. But the settler's rage was also directed at the Israeli government because they had torn down some illegal structures on one illegal settlement. As reported by Ha'aretz these were tents and tin shacks (there are an estimated 100 such "illegal-illegal" settlements in the West Bank). That is, this settlement was in an area where the government had not authorized any building--thus, an illegal-illegal settlement (illegal to Israel and to the UN), as opposed to a legal-illegal settlement (legal to Israel but not to the UN).
Though there were no suspects, and some said that the killers could have been Thai laborers involved in a pay dispute, the settlers nevertheless went on a rage against Palestinians for the duration of the week when "day of rage" was to take place across the Arab world. Settlers burned tires in the street and blocked traffic in Nablus, pedestrians were attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails, a house was firebombed in a nearby village, and on Monday, 3/21, a Palestinian was stabbed by settlers, a shop was burned and settlers stoned cars in Hebron and ran over a five-year-old boy, giving him minor injuries. On Sunday, 3/20, an 11-year-old Palestinian girl was run over while walking to school. Jewish settlers with machine guns accompanied by the IDF tore up hundreds of olive trees planted by Palestinian farmers near Bethlehem.
Why did they do this? The reasoning is so unbelievable that it is necessary to quote some lines from the report by Mel Frykberg in their entirety to prevent the reader from thinking the Israeli response is being distorted:
"The government must understand that it doesn't pay to destroy our homes and we are going to make them regret what happened here," said Rabbi Meir Goldmintz, who teaches at West Bank seminary.
"We are going to pay them (Palestinians) a visit to do what the Israeli government should be doing to them and not to us," he said pointing at nearby Palestinian villages. So if you are angry with your government for enforcing its laws, abuse, terrorize, and destroy property of the Palestinians. Is this sick logic or what?
But wait, there's more. In response to and as punishment for the killings, the Israeli government authorized the building of 500 new settlement houses. And the icing on the cake is that, according to a report in Ha'aretz, the previously ruled illegal settlements would now be legalized. Meanwhile the Israeli government is setting about in earnest demolishing "illegal" Palestinian homes, which means that after the Israelis have demolished a Palestinian home (70 so far just this year--and it's only March), the Palestinian has to get a permit to build a new one and the Israelis make it next to impossible to get a permit. So the homeowner has no choice but to build one without a permit.
Is it coincidental that this illegal land seizure and Israeli State-sanctioned terrorism against the Palestinian people is taking place now? Probably not. With the "breaking news" in the U.S. obsessed with radiation in Japan, uprisings in the Arab world, and a heated political wrangling taking place over the cost of 175 Hellfire missiles fired at Libya, the Israeli atrocities are able to sneak under the radar. (Not that most of their atrocities against the Palestinians don't do that anyway, even in times of no news.) Then after the "fog of war" clears there are new "facts on the ground" in Israel--new houses built, Palestinian homes and land and wells destroyed--and hey, Americans are interested in the Future, forget about the past.