When the journalist Liam Bartlett told settler leader Nadia Matar that all the settlements were illegal, her response was instructive:
The UN is biased, uh uh uh, pro-Arab – we know that. Leave it and where should we go? Where should we go? Back to Auschwitz? Where do you want us to go? This is our homeland.
It all sounds so reasonable. And yet decades of violence, stolen land and murder of Palestinians has rightly framed many of the settlers as extreme fascists.
The story’s introduction speaks for itself:
It was near the top of Barack Obama’s “to-do” list. On day one in the White House, the first overseas call he made was to the Middle East, trying to get the Arab and Israeli leaders talking again.
Why the rush? Well, hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers are moving into the West Bank, building new towns on Palestinian land. And if there’s ever going to peace in the Middle East, this is one problem that has to be fixed.
The settlers will have to move out.
But try telling them that. They’re obstinate and refuse to budge. And, as Liam Bartlett discovered first hand, when they’re cornered, they fight back with teargas and guns.