(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
With the United Nations special session on the Palestinian statehood bid
set for Friday, around 200 settlers held a march in northern Samaria,
which they said was meant to show that Israel would not be divided.
Followed by a battalion of foreign and local journalists, the march set
out from the Fogel family household, where five members of the same
family were murdered in a Palestinian terror attack in March.
Settlers to hold two marches against Palestinian state
The march then made its way to a junction a few kilometers down the hill
from the settlement, where the crowd of mainly teenage boys danced and
sang while a van full of Breslav hassidic Jews blasted religious-themed
The Itamar march was the largest of four demonstrations held Tuesday,
joining similar but smaller protests in the settlements of Beit El,
Kiryat Arba and Hebron.
Standing outside the Fogel house, Samaria Regional Council spokesman
Yossi Dagan said the message of the march is “no to a state for
murderers and no to a terrorist state.”
“We want to show the world that the people of Israel are alive, happy and well – and we aren’t leaving here,” Dagan added.
Walking to the junction that leads to Nablus, which was closed to
Palestinian traffic during the march, Benjamin Allen, a resident of
nearby Yitzhar, said “we’re here to show the world that this is ours.”
In regards to the upcoming Palestinian statehood vote, Allen said “I
think it’s just a side-show right now. I think that there won’t be much
pressure on us because the United States won’t go along with this vote.
But I think if [US President Barack] Obama is reelected he’ll put
pressure on Israel. Since he won’t be able to do anything domestically,
he’ll focus on foreign stuff – and the first place will be here, then
we‘ll feel the pressure.”
When asked if people in Yitzhar are fearful of the statehood vote, Allen
said “the people in Yitzhar are very strong and they have a great deal
of faith. They aren’t afraid of anything. We just carry on, it’s all we
Also Tuesday, about 15 demonstrators showed up at the entrance to Kiryat
Arba waving Israeli flags, though the hordes of journalists on the
scene had difficulty discerning who was protesting and who was waiting
to hitchhike to Jerusalem.
“‘Peace’ is one of the most frightening things,” said Baruch Marzel, a
right-wing activist. “Whenever there is ‘peace,’ Israelis are killed,”
he said, adding that attempts at negotiations inevitably led to more
waves of terror attacks and more deaths of Israeli civilians.
Marzel said he did not believe a Palestinian state would be formed in
the near future, but the settlers were ready to act against it.
Right-wing group My Israel has planned “shadow marches” wherever
Palestinians plan to march in support of the UN bid this week.
“We’re going to fight. If Jews don’t have a right to live in Hebron,
where Jewish history started 3,800 years ago, then where do they have a
right to live?” he asked. “Should we go back to Auschwitz?”