I am a settler. According
to most of the world I and people like me are to blame for violence
in the Middle East, terrorism around the world, hatred of the West,
if some media reports are to be believed also for the violence in
The Sudan and so much more. I'm sure given time the tornadoes hitting
many coasts around the world could also be attributed to the settlers.
If I were to be viciously murdered and hacked to death along with
children and old people tomorrow, it wouldn't be the person wielding
the knife that would be at fault, it would undoubtedly be me!
I am an enemy of the world. I am more of a nefarious
and violent entity than Al Qaeda, the murderers of the school
children in Beslan, the Madrid bombers, The Janjuweed in
Sudan, Al Zarqawi in Iraq, etc. I can tell you how I know,
I have no side to the story. When a terrorist perpetrates their
act the media fall over themselves to try and understand why. Was
it their upbringing? The fact that they may have been a social outcast,
picked on at school, the oppression they felt by events half way
around the world, whatever the reason is will we will find out and
paint a very human picture of these people who commit inhuman acts.I
am a settler, apparently I got up one day and felt like oppressing
the poor Palestinians and stealing their land and that is the whole
of my story.
In media reports around the world I do not have a
sex, I do not have a profession, I do not have likes or dislikes,
I have no context. I am always referred to as a 'settler', sometimes
I am afforded the prefix 'extremist' or 'right-wing'.
I can tell you that I am new at this 'settling'
business. A few months ago I wasn't a settler and if I was killed
it would be partially condemned by oh, let's see.....at least four
or five governments. Today I wouldn't receive even that. I have
moved only a few miles geographically yet a whole world in terms
of legitimacy. I dared to move across the hallowed 'Green-line'.
I am sure the whole world knows what the green-line is and how it
got its name. I am sure they know that it was created by two generals
on opposing sides in war sitting in a tent in the middle of nowhere
attempting to muddle out a cease fire. I am sure too that the world
knows that the only marker they had to delineate the lines of cease-fire
was a thick green marker pen which when making the line on the map
was sometimes miles thick.
That is it, a cease-fire line. Not the borders of
a state not the ending of a peace plan but a line showing where
two armies had finished their fighting and decided on a truce. When
people talk of 1967 borders, they are being factually incorrect.
One can only border a sovereign state.
Which brings me to my next important fact which I
am sure the world knows. There has never been a sovereign Palestine,
ever in the history of man. Never a Palestinian King, President,
ruler. Never a distinct Palestinian language and culture or money.
So where is it I have moved to I hear you ask. I can tell you that
the last Internationally recognized agreement pertaining to this
land was called 'The Balfour Declaration' which was adopted
by The League of Nations in the early part of the twentieth
century which called for a Jewish Home including where I
now live....and nothing since. So at best surely where I live could
be called 'disputed'. I recognize that there is a dispute, there
are two people wanting to claim this land where I live. I do not
occupy it any more than an Arab who lives down the road from me
Speaking of Arabs, the world knows where I stand on
them. Surely, I want them gone from here or dead perhaps and I pray
continually for their destruction. Well I have some news for the
world, I don't hate the Arabs or anyone particularly. I hate traffic,
cold mornings and finding the colour of my clothes have run in the
washing machine, but I don't hate people. I have never hurt anyone
in my life, nor do I intend to. I am not a pacifist, nor am I violent,
I'm just like most people on this planet....a regular person. A
regular person doesn't hate any particular people.
I have been told by many more veteran settlers that
they remember before the Intifada when they used to go to
the shops and Souks of the local Arab towns and cities. They
used to invite Arabs to their homes and celebrations and were invited
back. Yes, these were the evil settlers pouring tea to their Arab
guests of their home and enquiring about the health of their relatives.
These were the abhorrent Arab-hating settlers who would moan about
the weather with the Arab shopkeepers as they did their weekly grocery
shopping. What may surprise many is that most settlers long for
these times again and dream of living side by side with Arabs or
anyone in peace and harmony. Damn they are truly evil!
As a settler I am not allowed in many countries.
I am sure you all knew the declaration of The Non-Aligned countries
in the UN (a very large percentage of the world) that I am barred
from their countries. While the world fights for civil rights for
murderers and terrorists, mine are just shunted aside. But hey,
it doesn't matter. As a Jew I am not allowed in many countries in
the world and am forbidden from owning land in many, many more.
So, yes I am a settler! I make no apology for
it. I never hurt anyone, I never stole anyone's land. In fact the
land I am living on wasn't lived on before I got here, I repeat
no Palestinians were displaced to make room for me. I wanted
to write this piece not to convert anyone to my way of thinking.
I haven't even given my reasons for living here. I just wanted to
give myself and those around me context. I wanted to let you know
that the BBC, CNN, etc. don't know me or want to get to know me,
they would rather shed a tear and try to 'understand' terrorism.
I don't even seek anyone to understand me, I just want people to
understand that there are two sides and to learn about both. To
make a decision about something while only knowing one side is intellectually
unsatisfying and not to at least listen to both sides is dishonest.
So please send this on to as many people as possible,
so more people can at least get the other side.
© Ashley Perry