Murder And Settlement In Israel

The murder of several members of the Fogel family on the West Bank has unleashed a tremendous outcry of anger among conservative religious leaders in Israel. Together with those who have settled on land that originally was identified as Palestinian, now claim the right to build and build to their heart’s content. Yariv Levin, a member of the Knesset, expressed a popular view: “the new constructions are simply a response to the practicality of any urban community.” In other words, the land really does not belong to us, but we have a right to use land that is technically part of the Palestinian state because we began constructing homes and we have to continue doing so. Lost in anger of the horrible deaths of the Fogels is a simple question–does anyone know who actually committed the murders? The “assumption” is the murders were committed by a Palestinian. There is a high probability this is correct, but, as of this day, no one has captured the murderer or murderers. Shouldn’t everyone first learn who committed the crime?

Navri Peloy, UN commissioner for Human Rights has made clear what international law says about settlement construction. “The settlement of Israeli citizens in the occupied Palestinian territory is clearly prohibited under international law. All state actions in support of the establishment and maintenance of the settlements, including incentives to create them and the establishment of an infrastructure to support them is, illegal.”

I will undoubtedly create fury among some Israelis by offering the following analogy–during WWII, Germans were given the right to settle on Polish land since Nazi Germany had conquered the area. No further comment. And, I am NOT making any use of words such as Holocaust. Just a simple statement of fact.