How touching that some settler heads actually spend a few minutes considering the rights of Palestinians before continuing to oppress them. Farcical:
Danny Dayan, the chairman of the Yesha Council of West Bank settlements, told U.S. officials that some settlers would be willing to move to Israel proper in exchange for financial compensation, according to confidential State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
Dayan also said he was opposed to some of the tactics employed by Israeli settlers and that he was in favor of removing roadblocks and checkpoints to ease conditions for the Palestinians.
His statements, which were made in closed-door meetings with U.S. diplomats in Israel in recent years, came in response to questions about a potential evacuation-compensation bill in the Knesset. When asked about the issue, Dayan replied: “I’m an economist, and I know that some people will take it if the price is right.”
Dayan also told U.S. Embassy officials that he was aware of the Palestinians’ attachment to the West Bank. He acknowledged that he was “shamed and embarrassed” by the desecration of Palestinian mosques and the vandalism of Muslim gravestones. Dayan added that settlers were guilty of “morally horrific” things, including attacks on Palestinian property as retribution for Israeli government efforts to rein in settlement construction, also known as the “price tag” policy.
The WikiLeaks cables report that Dayan told the U.S. officials that this policy was “a mistake that will not serve the interests of the settlement movement.”
According to the documents, Dayan’s sentiments were echoed by Elyakim Haetzni, a founder of the Yesha Council. Haetzni expressed concern that settler rabbis were not doing enough to dissuade the so-called hilltop youth in the West Bank from harming Palestinians.
Dayan also supported the removal of checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank so Palestinians could enjoy greater economic prosperity and human rights. During one meeting with U.S. diplomats, Dayan said he was “deeply attached” to the West Bank, adding that the settlers had a “moral right” to settle there. Dayan said he understood why the Palestinians felt a similar tie to the land.
Another new Wikileaks release on Israel:
Israeli left-wing non-government organization Peace Now has urged the U.S. to pressure Israel into evacuating West Bank outposts, according to an American diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, adding that the group regularly updated both Washington and the Defense Ministry on ongoing settlement construction.
A 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable quoted Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer as telling U.S. embassy officials that Israel may “evacuate a few outposts to show the U.S. that it is doing something, but in exchange it is trying to co-opt the settlers by retroactively approving some outposts and giving them a freer hand in building in the West Bank.”
The documents also reveal that the Defense Ministry used Peace Now’s services to track West Bank settlement construction, with Eitan Broshi, an aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in 2008 as being “eager” to meet Peace Now representatives to discuss the issue.
A Peace Now representative reportedly told U.S. embassy officials that Broshi “did not appear to be aware of the recent construction in some settlements and questioned the legality of construction in some others.”