Interesting article re West Bank Settlers and Palestinians

This is a crosspost from MoreMediaNonsense

From Haaretz :

Not all settlers and Palestinians want each other to disappear

The article is about a group of West Bank settlers trying to reach out in dialogue with their Palestinian neighbours :

The group is headed by Shmulik Klein of Neve Daniel, Nahum Pachnik (of the “unlawful” settlement outpost Sde Boaz) and Eliaz Cohen. The group aims to carry on a dialogue with the Palestinians, religious at its root but political in its evolution. They believe that only a conversation held between these two poles, settlers and Palestinians, can bring about a sustainable peace, the kind that cannot happen under international threat or the terms of a UN resolution. The role adopted by the settlements in this discourse is to be “the fingers spread forth for peace,” as Rabbi Froman is wont to say.

The initiative is still very much in its infancy :

Right now it is still a small group, whose members are trying to navigate their way through unmapped terrain – afraid, on the one hand, of what the settlement people will think of them. They fear being construed as traitors, of having a “pulsa denura” curse invoked against them (like a threat made to one member when she tried to publicize in the local newsletter the fact that the sessions were taking place). On the other hand, they are afraid that publicizing the meetings will torpedo them and panic the Palestinians. Therefore they have opted not to reveal the name of the village where the get-togethers were held, nor the full names of the Palestinians who have taken part in them.

Some quotes from the participants :

Members of the group, and the dozens of settlers who have taken part in its meetings, do not subscribe to any one political orientation. They want to defer talk of a political solution to a later stage. But the direction is clear: a binational state, which Eliaz Cohen openly preaches, and which even Amrussi prefers over the other options; or a Palestinian state in which the settlers will remain as citizens bearing equal rights, according to Pachnik, or even as people “under the protection of” – an idea attributed to Rabbi Froman during his contacts with Hamas.

and :

The solution, as proposed by one member of the group, is the settlers staying where they are, under Palestinian rule. “It is important that there be a Jewish democratic state, and if there were a binational state, it would be vague and distorted,” explains this individual. “I believe that when we live under Palestinian rule they will very much respect us and accept us.”

The idea that the settlers could stay under a Palestinian state may seem far fetched but what other option would be open to them ? It seems obvious Israel will have to give up military protection of the settlements at some point and if the settlers don’t want to stay under Palestinian rule Israel will have to remove them en masse.

The initiative above may show some realisation on the part of the settlers of their situation and as such is welcome. Lets hope such dialogue continues.