Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Exacting a Price

Enabus. I was there two years ago, to help with the olive harvest. A Palestinian village south of Nablus. Industrious, lively and hospitable inhabitants. A very steep mountain terrain. Not the most ideal of agricultural lands, but the people of Enabus do their best. They build terraces on the mountainside, plant olive trees even on the most tiny plot available.

This week uninvited guests arrived in Enabus. Settlers. They arrived in Enabus in the middle of the night, burned cars and also a tractor, tried to set a house on fire, threatened inhabitants with their guns. (The guns which had been provided to them by the army for "self defense").

This was not because of something which the Enabus villagers had done. It was because the settlers are angry at Netanyahu's "settlement freeze". When settlers are angry at something which the Government of Israel is doing (or pretends to be doing), they are quick to "exact a price" from the first Palestinians they happen to encounter.

In fact, this is not the settlers' own invention. This method is already centuries old. Historically, in quite a few countries people who were furious with the King's latest decree took out their anger on the nearest Jews. In such places, this was called simply "a pogrom".