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Reflections on one state from the West Bank

The first time I went to my current sublease in Bethlehem, I noticed something strange on the floor — the Star of David. When I moved into the place and looked closer at the pattern, I noticed a menorah. Here I was, in the heart of a Palestinian city, and the floor was “Jewish.”

Hand-painted floor tiles in an old, pre-state home in Bethlehem. The design depicts the Star of David and a menorah. (Photo: Mya Guarnieri)

My apartment is in a home that is at least 100 years old. Hand-painted floor tiles were common in wealthy homes — Christian, Muslim, and Jewish — throughout pre-state Palestine. While I know that the land wasn’t always divided, the current context makes it hard to imagine a Palestinian family putting such tiles into their home.

But here the floor is and it gives me hope. It reminds me that the land has seen better years and that better years might be on the horizon. Not in a divided land, because we’ve already seen that division doesn’t work, but in a land where symbols of Judaism or Christianity or Islam might appear in one another’s homes.

***

Those who are opposed to a shared, democratic state sometimes cite security as a reason that Israel must remain a Jewish-majority state. But a one-state solution would privilege the security of every individual rather than that of an individual religious (and/or ethnic) group. And to those who argue that the separation barrier has lead to a drop in suicide bombings, I offer a basic from Statistics 101: correlation doesn’t equal causation. Further, the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinian workers come into Israel without permits everyday suggests that if a suicide bomber really wanted to get in, he or she could. (The fact that some people manage to come in without permits does not mitigate Israeli restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement).

Some opponents of a one-state solution also say that the state’s character must remain Jewish for purposes of identity. But why?

If anything, having a Muslim partner has actually strengthened my understanding of and deepened my connection to Judaism. He is very curious about the religion and customs. Not only did he study up on Rosh Hashanah before he came to the holiday dinner, he had questions for me. Answering them helped me reflect on the occasion. And, his general questions about Judaism remind me that there’s no better way to understand a subject than to teach it. I’d like to think that my curiosity about Islam has also helped my partner reflect on his roots.

***

Then, with the clock ticking on my sublease, I go to look at an apartment to rent for the long term. It’s a lovely place, built in the early 1800s and it is high-ceilinged and full of light and air, and the elderly owner and I get on well. When she tells me that she and her family are refugees from Jaffa, from the Nakba, my stomach drops. And a feeling I can’t quite place — sadness, shame, guilt, anger, all of it? — settles on my chest.

When I leave, I call the current tenant to ask her a few questions not worth mentioning here. In the course of our conversation, she tells me that the most important thing to the landlord is to find the right tenant. She’s old, she wants peace and quiet; that’s more important than money, the tenant explains, adding that the landlord has recently turned away other people who looked at the place. Among the reasons, she suspected one of the men of being Jewish.

“Oh,” I say, casually. “She doesn’t rent to Jews?”

“No,” the tenant answers.

My question settles around my ears and I hear how stupid it sounds. Of course the landlord, who was made a refugee by the Jews, doesn’t rent to Jews. I can’t say I blame her. But, still, it hurts to hear.

I return to my sublease and the floor tiles look dull. Of course, I won’t abandon my long-standing belief in the one-state solution, including the Palestinian right of return. But, sometimes, it’s hard for me to imagine how it will all unfold.

Read also:
Why West Bank Palestinians avoid traveling at night
Palestinians struggle to remain in ‘unified’ Jerusalem
Media misconceptions: Is the conflict really about Jews vs. Arabs?
Bringing the Green Line to Sir Paul McCartney 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Shmuel

      “Of course the landlord, who was made a refugee by the Jews, doesn’t rent to Jews. I can’t say I blame her.”

      This sentence sums up the attitude of all those who write for + 972 magazine.

      All the blame is reserved for what Jews may or may not have done to Palestinian Arabs. But no blame for what Palestinian Arabs did to Jews historically.

      That’s why you people have zero credibility in my eyes. Not only mine, but many others as well. No balance in this magazine. It’s sole purpose is to vilify Israel, Israelis and Jews.

      The only reason why I visit here is to try and redress the balance in a small way by writing what I write in my posts.

      Reply to Comment
    2. RK

      Given the history of the dominant state creating facts on the ground, the landlord’s policy is not surprising. In his place I would also be hesitant to rent to a national of the occupying state, lest that person declare ownership of the house, stop paying rent and refuse to leave with the full backing of the occupying state and army. You’ll have to wait until there is in fact a single state for all.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Laurent Szyster

      “Of course the landlord, who was made a refugee by the Jews, doesn’t rent to Jews. I can’t say I blame her. But, still, it hurts to hear.”

      So, of course, nobody could blame me if decide not to rent to Germans, Latvian, Poles, Russians, Romanians and most Europeans because of the Holocaust that made two of my grand-parents refugee and killed all their relatives.

      Also don’t blame me if I don’t rent to Arabs because my maternal grand mother’s family had to flee Syria’s anti-jewish riots.

      It’s so obvious, bigots have good reasons to act like they do.

      Unless they are Jews.

      Of course.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Shmuel

      “When she tells me that she and her family are refugees from Jaffa, from the Nakba, my stomach drops. And a feeling I can’t quite place — sadness, shame, guilt, anger, all of it? — settles on my chest.”

      Do you ever think of the Hebron massacre though? Or other cold blooded massacres of Jews by Palestinians? Or the fact that because of the Palestinian Arabs insistence that no more Jews could come to Palestine, the Brits prevented Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany from entering, resulting in thousands of more Jews being murdered in Nazi Germany? Oh and why don’t you ever reflect on the 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands and their treatment by Arab countries? Or the expulsion of Jews from East Jerusalem in 1948?

      All of the above happened in isolation on another planet right? The Nakba is the only thing that matters? Context is irrelevant?

      Don’t you ever wish that some of THEM would come out in public and express guilt feelings for what they did to Jews? Like you do for Arabs? You know? If they would, I too would exhibit a different attitude. But it would have to be as public as your expressions of guilt. Not just in a backroom in private.

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        “because of the Palestinian Arabs insistence that no more Jews could come to Palestine, the Brits prevented Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany from entering, resulting in thousands of more Jews being murdered in Nazi Germany?”

        In the past, you’ve defended the right of immigrants to evict the fellahin from land bought by Zionist organizations.

        “the next time you buy a house with tenants in it, I expect you to leave the tenants in the house even if you bought the house for the purpose of living in the house.”

        http://972mag.com/eu-diplomats-recommend-sanctions-against-israeli-settlements/66805/

        So talk about wanting to have your cake and eating it, too. You want the unfettered right to settle Palestine both as a nationalist movement and as a refugee. The Palestinians are not responsible for what happened to the Jews in Europe. They had no obligation to give their country over to a nationalist movement which intended to remove them.

        To put not too fine a point on it, if the Zionist movement was charged with rescuing Jews from Europe, it wasn’t very smart to close off any possible venue by enacting schemes to conquer it from the natives. Name even one people in history who readily gave their land over to invaders — you won’t find any.

        Reply to Comment
        • Shmuel

          It was not their land. Certainly not solely their land.

          And yes, If I buy land from legal owners, I have the right to live on that land.

          You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you sell me land, you can’t stop me from living on that land and keep it for your felahin.

          Reply to Comment
    5. Shmuel

      “Further, the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinian workers come into Israel without permits everyday suggests that if a suicide bomber really wanted to get in, he or she could”

      Really? So why do you think the suicide bombing campaign ground to a halt? You tell us then. Do you think they suddenly gained humanity and took pity on Israelis?

      May I respectfully suggest that one word sums it up. DETERRENCE! And the security wall is certainly part of that equation. It showed that barbarity has consequences and that if the wall would not be enough to stop the indiscriminate bombings of Israeli civilians, other measures would follow.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Shmuel

      “Some opponents of a one-state solution also say that the state’s character must remain Jewish for purposes of identity. But why?”

      Why? May I suggest that you go and read up on what motivated Herzl to start the modern movement of Zionism?

      Originally, he was an assimilationist Jew. He wanted to solve the “Jewish Problem” by having Jews assimilate into their host nations. he even advocated the mass conversion of Jews to christianity. But after watching the antisemitic travesty of Captain Dreyfus’s trial, in France, in what was then considered to be one of the most enlightened countries in Europe. He came to the conclusion that there is only one way to solve “the Jewish problem”. To have ONE country in this world as a haven for Jews in which Jews are a majority and govern themselves. And how prophetic was he? What happened in Europe about 50 years later, vindicated his vision entirely. Had there been an Israel in the early 1940s, far fewer Jews would have perished in the holocaust because Israel would have been there for them as a haven. As it was, very few countries wanted to let in Jewish refugees who fled Germany and other European countries before the worst of the holocaust hit European Jews.

      They say, those who refuse to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it. Maya, you are one of those who refuse to learn from history. But people like me are here to remind you of it. That’s why will will tefuse the likes of you to railroad us into a ONE state solution, in which we will become a minority again, with all our sinews!!!!

      Reply to Comment
      • Let’s give the albino’s, the red heads, the disabled, a state of their own so they will not feel persecuted anymore.
        Try to get out of your mental ghetto, Shmuel. Without interaction there is no life. The more scared you become, the lonelier it gets.

        Reply to Comment
        • Shmuel

          “Try to get out of your mental ghetto, Shmuel. Without interaction there is no life. The more scared you become, the lonelier it gets.”

          When I’ll need your advice I’ll call you Engelbert Lusitz. In the meanwhile, if you want to experiment with your own well being and the well being of your loved ones, go ahead and experiment, don’t let me stop you.

          Me? I just look around the region and the rest of the Arab world and I see how minorities are treated. I also see rife sectarianism, how Sunnis hate Shias and vice versa. I also see how they treat Copts, Assyrians, Christians, and other minorities. And I am not convinced that my fear is imaginary. Go figure …

          Reply to Comment
    7. Shmuel

      “But here the floor is and it gives me hope. It reminds me that the land has seen better years and that better years might be on the horizon. Not in a divided land, because we’ve already seen that division doesn’t work, but in a land where symbols of Judaism or Christianity or Islam might appear in one another’s homes.”

      Don’t be so nostalgic Maya. Read what that leftist icon, Karl Marx wrote about the condition of the Jews of Jerusalem in 1854. And remember that Herzl didn’t even conceive of modern Zionism then.

      “He begins by stating that its “sedentary population numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Mussulmans [Muslims] and 8,000 Jews.” He goes on to say that “the Mussulmans, forming about a quarter of the whole, consisting of Turks, Arabs, and Moors, are, of course, the masters in every respect.” After this dry recitation of facts, what follows is somewhat surprising. Marx goes on:

      Nothing equals the misery and the suffering of the Jews of Jerusalem, inhabiting the most filthy quarter of the town, called hareth-el-yahoud . . . between the Zion and the Moriah . . . [They are] the constant objects of Mussulman oppression and intolerance, insulted by the Greeks, persecuted by the Latins [Catholics], and living only on the scanty alms transmitted by their European brethren.”

      http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1854/03/28.htm

      Reply to Comment
    8. Mya i think you’re putting the chicken before the egg. Right now the One Democratic State is only in our minds, less we forget. Occupation & daily Nakba continues unabated & this is how those subjugated by it respond to this messed up situation, that is exactly why we must work to change this situation which is the cause of this antagonist attitude

      Reply to Comment
    9. I like Mya’s posts–they’re on the ground life posts, giving a feeling of standing there, well, maybe just winking in and out of existence there.

      This post reveals doubt even with belief, and that is something that is going to with your land a long while. The focal doubt conservative nationalists express is adequate security, but Mya’s doubt here involves exposure to risk. She worries if her own goals can be actualized; pure security people don’t do this.

      As to the refusal to rent to Jews, equal protection will have to forbid this, which does not mean that the refusal does not have an understandable cause. My mother was Jim Crow Southern who lived into this century yet refused to abandon the purity of segregation (I’ve just given away about half my motivation for commenting on this site). I disliked her beliefs intensely but, as I aged, I began to see how her Great Depression upbringing in Arkansas motivated her intransigence. That doesn’t mean I approved at all, but I could eventually talk around the views. And I knew she would be leaving this world.

      I do not believe One State will appear as political movement, but as socio-economic inevitability, with much pain along the way. Even then, I believe a general Right of Return impossible. But the young may show me wrong, and I am very glad Mya and her friends are out there.

      I am glad Shmuel is commenting here as well; he professes a powerful view. I believe the brutality of the IDF after bombings (a Kolumn9 description), coupled with PA security work (some of which I suspect is quite ugly) indeed have retarded bombings. But I suspect something else is going on on the ground, something positive, not yet well articulated in print by either leftists or Palestinian civil resistance. I suspect, just suspect, a culture is evolving which makes bombing, from recruitment to preparation to aid, more difficult. I suspect bombing is not done, but they will be few and sporadic, or at least I think this outcome possible. I don’t think Israeli deterrence is the only factor in play, albeit its placing was a fundamental engine to the present point.

      If something is changing on the ground, something going beyond fear of the IDF, people like Mya may help all of us understand what. I would say that if one wants long term Jewish security against this violence, people like Mya you want out there.

      Don’t silence those able and willing to go where you cannot. Life self evolves. The margins of present life can be very important. These posts inhabit one such margin.

      Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        Greg, I like that you say out front what most one-staters are strangely hesitant to say clearly: The one-state solution they envision will solve the settlement problem.

        Palestinian Arabs will be legally required to sell and rent to Jewish settlers – who will no longer be settlers anymore, just Palestinian citizens like every other – no matter where the Jews want to live.

        This is every Palestinian Arab’s dream: to have Jews living side-by-side with them in peace, on every formerly-Arab city street, in every formerly-Arab apartment building, in every formerly-Arab village. Given that, I just can’t figure out why Mya’s one-state vision isn’t popular with Palestinians.

        Reply to Comment
        • A One State outcome, not solution, would leave open the question of recently usurped land. The settlements would not necessarily be stable under such review.

          Again, not solution but outcome, consequent of occupation retained for security. You’ve all, on all sides, trapped yourselves.

          Reply to Comment
    10. Vadim

      Hebron is one of oldest Jewish communities in the world, a place with long Jewish history and with Jews living there almost continuously up until 1929. Now – you see a house with Jewish painting on the floors. What can be the cause?(1) Ultra liberal Arabs with a kink for Jewish designs lived there. Or (2) Jews lived there and were thrown out.

      The woman who does not lease to Jews has her own reasons. Some of them may be concrete and some may stem from animosity coming from a 100 years old struggle. I really see no problem with her decision and can’t understand people that accept her decision but call the same decision made by Jews racism. By the way, are there laws governing the lease of homes to Jews in the PA? Like the lovely law banning selling to Jews?

      Your last paragraph is just precious. You witnessed two things, completely misinterpreted the first to fit your point of view and accepted the second one without any problem because it again suits your point of view. Even then you feel the need to repeat your blind belief is not shaken. OF COURSE you won’t abandon your belief in the one-state solution – it’s a BELIEF. It is not based on facts, just on wishful thinking.

      I think you will not lose your faith even if each and every person in the PA will approach you and confess that the one state solution would only be a step in their fight against the Jews, your faith will not waiver if Ismail Haniya will publicly announce that he will personally blow himself up if he’ll become a citizen in a united state and you will not become an unbeliever even if every single piece of evidence brought to you will show that it’ll be a disaster…

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        ” Ultra liberal Arabs with a kink for Jewish designs lived there.”

        Or maybe illiberal Arabs who wanted to walk over Jewish symbols with their shoes.

        Reply to Comment
    11. MIkesailor

      Shmuel: You write about ‘purchasing’ land to live on. But never mention the stolen land which comprises most of your “Jewish” state. Shouldn’t that land be returned to the rightfull owners, those who lived there and didn’t “sell” their land to the zionist immigrants but had it confiscated at the point of a gun? As for Aaron, why should the Palestinians trust the Zionists? How long has Oslo, and the idea of Palestinian statehood been postponed? It was only to last five years before everything was determined. How long has the “occupation” been supposed to end? The oppressor continually finds excuses to deny the oppressed their rights. From supposed “historical” wrongs suffered by others, to the idea that somehow the oppressed are “unready” or “undeserving” of the human rights reserved to those with the power.
      I understand the Israeli Jews’ reluctance to end the occupation: it is difficult to jump off the tiger you have been riding for so long. Yet, the fiction that you can ride that tiger forever; that the Shoah or past pogroms, or past discrimination against other past generations will give you license to oppress and brutalize new generations of Palestinians or others will prove your undoing. For it seems that you have learned nothing but to maintain and fan the flames of enmities past and present, and therfore the prognosis for any “normal” future appears dim. Mya, Larry and their ilk are attempting to show another way out of your dilemma,to get off the tiger without serious injury, but you either cannot or will not accept that possibility. YOu are trapped within a lack of imagination, self-reflection and any empathy for the ‘other’. Pity.

      Reply to Comment
      • Shmuel

        Mikesailor

        You know what? I won’t even dignify your one sided post, which is full of omissions and lies, with an answer. All it shows is your hatred of one side, us, and unconditional support of the other side, them.

        When you decide that you really want to debate something, come back with a serious post and we might be able to have an adult discussion.

        Reply to Comment
    12. Kolumn9

      Indeed it is clear how the one state solutions in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt have privileged the security of every individual. Indeed I fail to understand why it isn’t obvious to every Israel that all he has to do to achieve permanent security is to just accept living in a minority in another wonderfully democratic majority Arab countries. Why really should the Jews not just move back to Syria or Egypt or Iraq if they are interested in living in peace in a majority Arab Muslim country? Obviously their rights will be protected. Stupid, stupid Jews. Can they not see the kind of paradises those places are for Christians and other minorities? What idiots these Jews are for insisting on maintaining the ability to defend themselves when it is so clear they need none and they will certainly be treated with the kind of overwhelming respect that the Christians are treated in the rest of the region.

      And those idiots that think that the security wall managed to bring down the number of suicide bombings. Why can’t they just get it through their heads that the Palestinians had a sudden and unexplainable shift of mindsets towards Gandhian nonviolence where instead of despising Jews they wish to hug them and kiss them and make them feel better? It wasn’t the security wall or the security measures at all that caused the Palestinians to stop massacring Jewish civilians. The Palestinians just one day woke up and decided that killing Jewish women and children is wrong and that is how it was stopped.

      And besides, one must always remember that before the partition this place was paradise where Muslim Arabs practically worshiped their Jewish neighbors. Not once did they massacre them or make laws to degrade their religions and traditions. And in the neighboring countries with their thriving Jewish communities it was even more of a feeling of unity and brotherhood which would never cause any Jews to feel excluded or sufficiently persecuted that they would leave wholesale, leaving all their possessions behind.

      Indeed. Let’s all us Jews move to Ramallah so that we can live with the Palestinians. I mean clearly there are Jews that do try to do that in East Jerusalem and clearly they are being welcomed into the neighborhoods by the local welcoming committees with cookies and cakes.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Richard

      This sounds so childish, some people might read it as a joke about people who want one state. I can’t believe derfner is letting himself be published next to this.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Kolumn9

      One more thing I thought of. You are a Jew with a blue ID card which makes you either an Israeli citizen or a permanent resident. You now live in the West Bank. What is it that objectively makes you not on of those dreaded settlers who are Jews with blue ID cards that choose to move to the West Bank?

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        LOL.

        Reply to Comment
      • Gearoid

        Are you serious? Even an ultranationalist like you cannot be that dense.

        She’s living there without trying to force Israeli sovereignty, law, and culture on Palestinians. She’s not trying to remove and diminish them. She’s living with them.

        I cannot believe you are possibly so dense as to not see the difference between settlers, with their violent supremacist ideologies and attempts to extend sovereignty, and someone simply living in the area. It’s not about geographic location, it’s about behavior.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Ahhh. So it is her intention that makes her not a settler. Well that would leave you generalizing that every single one of the 600,000 Israelis that you consider to be living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank including children are there to ‘try to force Israeli sovereignty, law, and culture on the Palestinians’. Or are some of them too not settlers by your definition assuming their intention is simply to have a wonderful life and live in peace and friendship with the neighboring Arabs?

          So, you argue that there are 600,000 Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with violent supremacist ideologies? Well that sounds a lot like one of those crazy generalizations that people around here tell me I should avoid like the plague and approach each person as an individual with their own intentions and ideologies. But then again, it must be my ultranationalism that causes me to be so dense and which causes me to not understand your logical reasoning.

          So, again, what is it that objectively makes Mya not a settler that makes a 4-year old child born in say Modiin Illit or Alfei Menashe a settler? Is it the intention or the violent supremacist ideology of that 4-year old whose parents moved there due to economic reasons that classifies him or her a settler?

          And it does appear that she is in some ways forcing her culture on at least one Palestinian man unless of course she is entirely submissive in her relationship.

          Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            You hit the nail on the head with your sarcasm, K9.

            Unless a Jew is subservient and apologetic around here, he is not even human. He is something you put a label on and spit on.

            The Palestinians on the other hand walk on water and they have halos above their heads.

            Reply to Comment
      • MB

        Well, she doesn’t uproot, burn or cut olive trees you see. She decided not to to live in the West Bank to take the place of the arabs living there, she goes to live WITH them, do you understand the difference ? For knowing personally some arabs and having lived with them, most of them (among the educated) would welcome any Jew who defines himself as an anti-zionist/anti-colonialist. The idea that arabs are a violent, innately anti-semitic (how can a semite be anti-semite ?) is simply a zionist propaganda, that enables them (and you) to demonise a whole people, continue your aggression and theft, all in the name of ‘security’. I highly admire jewish people like Mya, who speak of justice, equality, honesty and denounce the moral drift of the Israel. Really, those people are among the most courageous among you.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ilonj

          Translation:

          You admire Jews who are subservient, apologetic and who don’t tear wings off flies out of boredom.

          You make yourself very clear.

          Reply to Comment
        • Shmuel

          Helloooooooo!!!! Anybody hooooooome????

          Why does one get the feeling that one is talking to mindless automatons, bots programmed to endlessly repeat the same one sided mantra:

          “Occupation”, “Occupation”
          “Occupation”

          “Settlements”, “Settlements”
          “Settlements”

          “Racism”, “Racism”,”Racism”

          But not even willing to listen or respond to context and how the other side, the Arabs contributed and continue to contribute to this mess that came about because of this 100 year war that the Palestinian Arabs instigated and insist on continuing unless they get 100% of their demands met and which includes the death of Israel. Yes, the one state solution would be the death of Israel AND the death of many of the Jews of Israel. The rest would become subservient, compliant little Ghetto Jews who would be barely tolerated and would be periodically culled as has been the destiny of other minorities in the Middle East.

          Keep up the good work fellas. Keep on emboldening Palestinians to demand everything and give up nothing for peace and this war will protract for another 100 years.

          Or, push for stupid solutions like the one state “solution” and there will be nothing to talk about because most Israelis are not suicidal. I tell you what we ARE though. We are a very patient philosophical people. We can wait it out till the Palestinians and their stupid allies (you know who you are) grow some more brain cells and decide to become adults. We know it might take a few generations. But we will still be here.

          Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          But isn’t the presence of Israeli citizens in the West Bank, regardless of their politics, illegal?

          Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          HAHAHAHA. It is always funny to hear someone denounce demonization and then proceed to demonize 600,000 Jews (including many children that were born there and many non-Zionist Haredi Jews) who happen to live in the West Bank for a myriad of reasons. Are you even remotely capable of introspection when you write your responses or do you just mindlessly parrot nonsense? Whose propaganda are you parroting? Also, you suggest an interesting caveat. You point out that among the ‘educated’ Palestinians a non or anti-Zionist Jew might be welcome. Does that suggest that the ‘uneducated’ would not welcome them and might cause them harm? Would then that be acceptable because the harm was carried out by the uneducated or would the dead Jew still be a dead Jew?

          In any case. I return to my question. Mya is a Jewish Israeli citizen or resident that has settled in the West Bank. How is Mya objectively not a settler? Please provide a legal definition which excludes Maya from such a definition.

          Reply to Comment
          • MAX

            Mya is not a settler because she is renting an apartment from a non-jewish landlady. If she was a settler, she would have declared that God and the Torah have decreed that this land was given to the jews and that the present inhabitants are just parasites or invaders, who will defeated, ejected or killed by God’s decree – Kind of like 21st century Canaanites and the settlers are Joshua and his army dedicated to ridding their promised land from God.
            Mya is trying to relate to the palestinians, their experiences, plights and feelings. She has a muslim boyfriend – how many settlers would have any friendly interpersonal relationship with muslims?
            Far from denigrating her as a “Leftist”, I would applaud her as an Israeli – she is transcending the narrow confines of jewishness and evolving into the identity of an inclusive nationality.
            I think that the early Zionist thinkers also had similar ideas. Hertzl didn’t write about expelling the arab inhabitants, he wrote about creating a national homeland that the jews could belong to but so could the arab muslim and christian populations
            If Israel is solely the nation of the jews, why didn’t they call it Judea or Judah? Because Israel was historically the homeland of the 12 Tribes of Israel. It was a federation of related tribes. Even early Ben Gurion and ben Tsvi writings acknowledged the relationship with the native arabs, who they considered to be descendants of the historical jews/israelites. So Israel itself was founded on the idea of coming together – of uniting all the tribes of Israel not just the jews. And genetic studies are indicating that the West Bank population is genetically identical to the jews. Why? Because they are converts – not true arabs like the bedouin but they are hebrews who developed an arab cultural identity to stay on the land that they believe God gave them. Here’s an idea: open a conversion process to allow them to convert to Judaism or create a new “hebrew’ identity in which you can be of any religion but you acknowledging your hebrew ancestry and culture.

            Reply to Comment
    15. Tomer

      Maya sounds like a Cuckoo Leftist to me. She does not understand why Israel exists. She wants the state to dissolve itself and join together with the Arabs to create her single state paradise. She knows nothing about history or what the surrounding Arab states are like.

      Reply to Comment
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