This elicited a response from Yisrael Medad, a prominent settler, who wrote on his blog the following:
People, like Jeffrey Goldberg, complain of a two-tiered justice system on the West Bank.Let's run through this quickly. First, "Arabs living in Judea and Samaria are not citizens of Israel. So, they can't vote." Imagine the following sentence, justifying apartheid: "Blacks in South Africa are black. Therefore, they can't vote." How is this an argument and not a tautology? Obviously (or not obviously, to some people) this is the crux of the situation -- Arabs on the West Bank are denied voting rights in Israel, and are also denied the right to separate completely from Israel. (Their leaders haven't helped the situation, but the Israelis have not helped much either.) A more accurate, if still tautological, statement would have read: "Israel will not enfranchise Arabs living in Judea and Samaria. Therefore, they are disenfranchised."
Let's get this straight: the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria are not citizens of Israel. So, they can't vote. Just like an Israeli living in the United States but who is not a citizen cannot vote. Arabs of the new Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, if they opted for an Israeli ID, can vote in the city's municipal elections.
Otherwise, they have a democratic system in place. And they can enjoy justice.
They can appeal, still, to the High Court of Justice. The police, firemen and Hadassah Hospital are their's. As long as no peace treaty has been fully worked out, and their terror continues, and their incitement continues, and their educational system is hateful, among other negatives, why shouldn't there be a two-tiered system?
Next: "Just like an Israeli living in the United States but who is not a citizen cannot vote." Is this what passes for a deep thought among the intellectual leaders of the settlement movement? There's one crucial difference between an Israeli immigrant in America and a Palestinian on the West Bank: The Israeli immigrant in America voluntarily moved to America. The Arab on the West Bank is from the West Bank. He didn't move to Israel, Israel moved to him.
Of course, the occupation of the West Bank was justified militarily, after Jordan used it to launch an attack on Israel in 1967. But that doesn't change the basic fact, known to all, that Arabs happened to be living on the West Bank when Israel arrived. They are not immigrants to the West Bank. They are native to the West Bank.
As for the rest of Medad's post, I simply don't know if he sincerely believes that Arabs on the West Bank have equivalent legal rights before Israel's High Court, or equal access to Israeli services, or if he knows he's pulling our legs.
One of the most dispiriting aspects of the Middle East conflict is the inability of both sides to see that their enemy also has legitimate claims to the territory in dispute. Palestinian rejection of the right of Jews to live in their ancient homeland is absurd and immoral. But so is the notion that Palestinians on the West Bank are somehow immigrants, and should be punished as immigrants until they agree to enjoy their punishment.
This article available online at: