Stop Zoomorphing the "Settlers"
Stop Zoomorphing the "Settlers"

The demonization of the “settlers” and the manner in which part of the Israeli society is gloating over their displacement will remain an indelible blot on Jewish history. 

They want to transform these idealistic citizens' Maginot defense line into their Massada. 

The "settlers" of Judea and Samaria represent a highly constructive element in the Jewish nation. They serve on the front lines and bore the brunt of Arab terrorism, suffering more casualties than any other sector of the Jewish body.

In their communities the fear of being shot or stoned is palpable, and the psychological impact on children and adults alike is immense (the butchery in Itamar became just another entry, although an especially barbarian one, on the long list of Jewish victims of Palestinian terrors).

The "settlers" assumed the role of a new Jewish vanguard filling the void left after the secular elites of the earlier days of statehood disappeared. Their patriotism and love of the land transformed many of them into role models.

But the manner in which the residents of Judea and Samaria are being portrayed is disconcerting. It will be remembered as a seminal case in the history of blood libels.

"Settlers" are being treated only in one way; they are less than human beings. Their villages are branded “illegal” and in the end they find that they themselves have become “illegal beings”. Pariahs. Vilified as enemies of the state and a needless burdens on the “defense budget”.

Western cartoonists often depict the "settlers" as animals. The Nazis used such dehumanization techniques to lay the groundwork for the physical extermination of those labelled “pests”, the Jews.

The main zoomorphic motifs used today for Jewish settlers are spiders, the octopus and the blood-thirsty vampire.

Labeling the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria “illegitimate” plays into the hands of the terrorists, painting a large target on the backs of every Jewish “settler”. Some Jewish media created an atmosphere of hysteria and hatred against the entire "settler" community.

It is time to call a halt to the criminalization of thousands of Jews and their reduction to second-class citizenship. Jews in Judea and Samaria live in constant uncertainty, having no idea whether they will keep the homes for which they have worked hard and risked much.

They hear different prognostications from different governments. Some encourage them to believe they will stay under Israeli sovereignty, others tell them their only choice will be to live under a dictatorial Arab regime or relinquish their homes and find a place in 1949 Armistice Lines Israel.

They are Jews who expose themselves and their children every day to danger (and pay a heavy price in the sacrifice of innocent lives) because they believe that by so doing, they are preserving the sanctity, ensuring the long-term security and upholding the honor of the State of Israel and its people.

Unfortunately, Israel is now sending out the unsettling message that the blood of those living on the wrong side of an imaginary line on a map is not as red as that coursing in the veins of their fellow countrymen.

The nights in Judea and Samaria are longer.