Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Regarding "Counting on Palestinian rejectionists", by Nadav Shragai, Ha'Aretz, June 2, 2003: Reading the heading of this article I expected to find once more proof of converging interests between Palestinian terror groups and our own fanatic ultra-nationalists, who would hate to see an end to the occupation. When Nadav Shragai writes that " After losing their faith in Ariel Sharon, [ the residents of Efrat and Karmei Zur ] are now pinning their hopes on the Palestinians. That is, they believe that, to a large extent, the future of the settlement enterprise depends on continued Palestinian rejectionism ", it is suggested that continuing Palestinian terror attacks will serve the interests of those who say they will resist the evacuation of settlements. If that is what the writer and editors of the article intended to transmit to us readers, they should have used portraits of different spokesmen and -women than the ones whose words are quoted in the article. We read about a young widow whose husband was killed by terrorists. She says that the road map awards a prize to the murderers of her husband, angrily dismisses the possibility of evacuation of her settlement as irrelevant, since the settlements are " not just an ideological statement. They are a lifelong project, a personal and communal home to us all." The next interviewee rejects the possibility of armed settler resistance against the IDF, while calling the Palestinians the occupiers. The last person portrayed in the article shares with us his doubts, says that we lack a true partner on the Palestinian side, and states some of the major problems of a continued occupation. He also expresses criticism of the road map, as well as his view that evacuating settlements will be necessary: " I do not hink that every settlement is holy...There is no need to make this into a scared principle, beyond any logic." Nothing in what these three settlers said suggests that they see their interests served by " continued Palestinian rejectionism ", and most of their words make a lot of sense, ' even ' to an opponent of the settlement policies and the occupation such as I am. In these days of tension, expectation, cynicism and - who knows - opportunity journalists and their editors have a larger responsibility than ever before. Instead of suggesting things that were not said they should stick to the truth. If that truth is ugly and troublesome it should be published, but if reasonable things are expressed and interesting points are raised by our ' ideological adversaries ', their words should not be given suggestive headings. Other settler representatives provide the media with enough material that does not require any suggestion or imagination.

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