I enjoy reading your blog positioned right next to mine on Arutz Sheva. After reading your piece on how you hosted the BBC [a must read before continuing with this post], I received a phone call from the network asking to write the script for a special on the West Bank. [I do this to make some side money.] Turns out, it was your piece. I wrote the script that will be aired.
Just a note. You did a great job explaining Israel’s case. I plan to use some of your lines in my own Israel advocacy work. But I really need these extra bucks, so I had to give your clips the “proper” BBC spin. Here it is:
This is BBC Foreign Hour.
A BBC crew in Palestine visited with an Israeli settler to hear her perspective on the Israeli occupation. Paula Stern lives in the illegal settlement of Maaleh Adumim and established a technical writing company in occupied East Jerusalem.
The militant mother takes pride in her son who is an IDF soldier. Of all names to choose for her blog, she selected: A Soldier’s Mother. Stern explained that she chose to live in a settlement not for economic reasons. She is driven by biblical craze and passion. She quotes verses from the bible, utterly disconnected from today’s realities. She admitted that she is driven by ideology, calling the illegal occupation of Palestine "quality of life" and "proper."
When asked pointblank if she is a settler, Stern gave a cold, heartless reply. Ignoring the suffering of the indigenous, Arab population, she said as though telling a joke: "Yes, I am settler just like all Americans and Brits are settlers. We settle in our homes and live there." Only one mile from her home, we passed through an Israeli military roadblock where Palestinian cars were halted for lengthy inspections and abuse, as Israelis pass through freely with a wave and smile for the soldiers.
Stern tried to distort reality claiming that settlers don't fire or carry guns or have beards. Here is recent footage that a BBC crew caught of bearded, gun-toting settlers: [Insert footage of whacky bearded weirdo settler saying, "Yup, I am trained on this gun and will not hesitate to use it if given the opportunity."
[Insert Stern quote] "You see these barren mountains. That's what Maaleh Adumim was before we came - a completely barren hill.
[insert Bedouin] This is Achmud who lives in a squalid shack several miles down the road from Stern's settlement. "Yes, it's true, the top of the mountain was barren. But my great great great great great great grandfather used to graze sheep there where the settlers are now. We had our home in the valley below it. But, when the settlers came and began to build, we all had to flee. It is hard being far away and deeper in the desert. I yearn for my father's land back. No one will hear us."
It never occurred to Stern that maybe she should pay reparations to Achmud, or plant flowers, palm trees to make his dismal conditions a bit nicer. [Insert Stern] We are proud of the flowers and palm trees that we planted here. We made the desert bloom. Our town looks beautiful.
Stern returns from her hi-tech, high-paying job in occupied Jerusalem to go shopping in a settlement supermarket where she fills her cart with amenities from America such as Skippy peanut butter.
[Cut to Bedouin boy insert] "My cousin in Ramallah told me that his aunt's 15th cousin tasted Skippy peanut butter and said it was heavenly. But we can't afford it. For dinner, we gather camel droppings in the desert, and pick out the undigested kernels of grain and grind them to make flour."
Stern showed us the lavish stores in the settlement's mall and the bowling alley where she and her colleagues play. Back at the supermarket, the menial laborers are Palestinians trying to etch out a living under the impossible conditions of occupation. They are not allowed to enter Jerusalem or to seek better work and a better life like Stern. They have never been to the bowling alley.
Completely oblivious to the plight of the Bedouins who once lived next to the settlement, Stern couldn't stop praising her town stating how good and beautiful life is there. It was harsh to see how these extremist, fanatic, strange beings called settlers turn a cold shoulder to their former Arab neighbors and live in complete denial of the suffering they have inflicted on the native Bedouins who once called this place home.
I am Fitzgerald Rutherford Adams [close up of tear running down cheek] reporting from Occupied Palestine.