Actually, a number of Holocaust survivors and their families have
claimed properties in East Germany, Czechoslovakia (or what was C...)
since the fall of The Wall, and a number of legal cases are pending. No
one wanted to go back to Poland. Meanwhile, the Germans have been paying
millions of marks in reparations to Jews for years, something the
Israelis have not been willing to do for the Palestinians, which if they
had might have changed the present situation..
Heck, Israel won't even admit it's responsible.
A significant number of the West Bank settlers are from the US, and are
relatively poor by choice, that is, as ultraorthodox Jews, the men don't
do any work and study the Torah all day (much good it has done them or
They are subsidized by the State (which is subsidized by the US), and by
their supporters in the US, and given special discounts, loans, etc. by
the government, for living in the Occupied Territories. Since they hate
non-religious Jews almost as much as they hate Palestinians, they prefer
living in their own closed neighborhoods (read "ghettos"). They are
appropriately viewed by secular Jews as parasites, since they don't have
to go into the army and live their life on the dole.
They are also the most racist sector of Israeli society, although
technically they don't live in Israel. In fact, like most of the
orthodox, either in the occupied territories or inside Israel, they
consider themselves Jewish as opposed to Israeli, whereas the secular
consider themselves to be Israeli first. There are those who believe
that if there was not an Arab enemy, the two groups would be at each
other's throats as they were a couple of thousand years ago.
Whatever, those settlements are illegal under international law and
those settlers knew that when they moved there. From a moral point of
view, they have lost any right to live on any square inch of Palestinian
land without Palestinian permission, and by that I don't mean that of
Arafat who has been on Israel's payroll to the tune of $8 million
annually. That's a story that has been reported in the Jewish press
there and here, but hasn't yet slipped into the mainstream media.
> I don't really disagree with Blankfort on the Palestinian Arabs' right to
> return to their homes. I do think, though, we should carry this to its
> logical conclusion. While I'm not sure I would like having a shtetl hovel
> near Radom or maybe a place by the Black Sea (well..sounds good, that), I
> believe some survivors may want re-dibsies on some bits of Poland, Germany,
> etc. The Miwoks, if any, probably wish this pad where I'm working just now.
> By the way, I do *not* mean this as a reductio re the Palestinian claims.
> What I do think we need to look at, though--to let in as a serious piece of
> this argument--is that, as I understand it, many or most of the Israeli West
> Bank settlers are poorer Jews effectively unable to survive in the more
> desireable areas of the country. I just wish we could--as numerous Arabs and
> Israelis I've known do--recognize the class issues here and start to
> transcend the ethnic ones.
> Best, Paula
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