The horrific settler attacks on Palestinian villages are the inevitable result of Zionism
On Sunday in the occupied West Bank, we saw the inevitable outcome of Zionist ideology: Israeli settlers destroying Palestinian homes, livelihoods, and lives in an effort to force Palestinians from their land.
In the worst settler attacks in decades, nearly 300 Israeli settlers rampaged through the Palestinian villages of Huwara, Zatara, and Burin on Sunday, burning homes to the ground, lighting vehicles on fire, and injuring 350 Palestinians. At least one Palestinian, 37-year-old Sameh al-Aqtash, was killed, just days after returning from volunteering with relief efforts in Turkey. Sameh was the father of three children, the youngest a four-month-old girl.
During the attacks, the Israeli military not only failed to protect Palestinians from the settler violence, but also prevented ambulances and medics from treating the injured. Video footage showing Israeli soldiers standing by while settlers undertook attacks next to them makes it indisputably clear: The Israeli settler movement is supported and enabled by the Israeli state.
This mass violence is what Zionism has always been leading towards; Zionism has always required the displacement and removal of Palestinians from their lands to make way for a Jewish state.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the current far-right extremist Israeli government is escalating the ethnic cleansing begun in 1948 with the Nakba, when 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their land. Make no mistake — the Israeli government’s oppression of Palestinians and occupation of their land is the root cause of every violent death.
Stefanie Fox, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
“Members of the Israeli Cabinet publicly encouraged the ransacking of Palestinian villages, and the Israeli military actively enabled the settlers’ violent attacks on Palestinians. As U.S. Jews, we cannot just watch in silent horror as the state of Israel perpetuates settler violence. We have to act. We choose the struggle for justice over silence and complicity.”
Beth Miller, Political Director, Jewish Voice for Peace Action
“The Israeli settlers burning down Palestinian homes and attacking Palestinians in the street are supported by the Israeli military and the Israeli government. The same Israeli military that receives $3.8 billion every year from the United States. As long as the U.S. government continues to offer blanket support to Israel, it is also supporting violent settler mobs. The first step to ending this violence is to demand more from our own leaders — we have to end U.S. funding to the Israeli military.”