Settlers and Palestinians to join in protest against the wall

Posted: April 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Right, The Settlements | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

An unusual protest is scheduled for Thursday in the West Bank: settlers and Palestinians are planning to march together in protest against the security barrier Israel is building south of Jerusalem.

According to a report on Srugim, a national–religious news site, the protest was initiated by Eretz Shalom, a new pro-peace settlers’ movement. A flayer the settlers distributed (shown below), claims that the planned fence “will damage the nature in the area, hurt the residents of the [Palestinian] village Volga and their fields, won’t add to the security of Jerusalem, and will be a waste of state’s money.”

The settlers invite all residents of the area, “Jews, Christians and Arabs”, to meet at the border police checkpoint on 16.30 and march together in protest.


Is this more than a gimmick? It’s hard to tell. There has been some talk of peace initiatives coming from the far right recently. Naturally, they all lead to the one state solution, with most of the settlements staying where they are and the Palestinians becoming Israeli citizens. These ideas are yet to be developed, but I wouldn’t dismiss them altogether.

Many people on the left will find it hard to accept the idea of settlers talking about peace, but we should remember that not all the Jews living in the West Bank are like the radical and violent people of Yitzhar. Some of them are from second and third generation in the settlements, and they really struggle to find a solution that will enable them to live in peace. According to another report on Srugim, the people of Eretz Shalom don’t deal too much with politics, and view themselves as a grassroots, regional initiative. I think we should wish them luck.

4 Comments on “Settlers and Palestinians to join in protest against the wall”

  1. 1 Noam said at 11:17 am on April 27th, 2010:

    I don’t quite know what to make of this noam. On the one hand, I agree with you that this is interesting. I think there was a piece in Ynet about something similar a few months ago (I think I even posted it on FB). But on the other hand, shouldn’t the settler children, if they think what their parents or grandparents did was wrong, first and foremost move back to Israel?

  2. 2 lirun said at 1:46 am on May 4th, 2010:

    how was it?

  3. 3 noam said at 4:07 am on May 4th, 2010:

    I don’t know – i wasn’t there and it wasn’t widely reported. But I will try to get more info on the activities of Eretz Shalom and report them here in the future.

  4. 4 tamar said at 8:32 am on May 4th, 2010:

    I was there, and saw almost as many reporters and Border Police as demonstrators (no Palestinians among them). Placards (brought and distributed) read, in Hebrew and Arabic, “The wall will lead to war” and “Settlers and Palestinians together against the wall.” One Israeli woman told me that she came because she had shifted from protesting to supporting… anything even faintly positive. An eloquent and knowledgeable Haganat Hateva spokesperson, emphasizing that the group’s points were nonpolitical, outlined concerns about environmental damage and destruction of nature and open space. A settler took a political stance: both communities would be adversely affected, and, asked, Who stands to gain financially from building the wall despite data refuting any merit. An Eretz Shalom leader replied, Yes, when asked whether he lives in his own hilltop (my understanding of the quick Q&A). R Fruman did not speak publicly, and a group of young men (yeshiva guys?) were boiling water for coffee during the nearly two-hour delay in commencing the proceedings. I left feeling hollow and sad though glad to have been present and to bear witness.