This is how a case against those pesky settlers is made
Ah! “Settler violence!” That dangerous phenomenon that must be quashed. Biden is holding back licences for selling 20,000 American-made rifles to Israel “on the charge that they would be distributed to ‘violent extremist’ settlers.” The British Foreign Secretary David Cameron announced that the UK is not admitting “extremist Israeli settlers” from entering the country. Where did Biden and Cameron get the idea that settlers are violent?
This is not to say that there are no violent settlers. That would be the same as saying that there are no violent Americans or Europeans, etc. Unfortunately, however, the term “settler violence” seems to imply that the half a million people living in Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley are violent and committing offences against the Palestinian Arabs.
There is only one thing I want to accomplish in this article, and that is to show one instance in which a case against “settlers,” i.e., a group of people living in the Jordan Valley, was manufactured out of thin air. My hope is that you will be as horrified as I am and will examine, in the future, the source of any rumour you hear and see if you can verify a report of so-called “settler violence” before sharing it on social media or in discussion in real life.
I came across this case on the “X” account of Elhanan Gruner, a journalist with Hakol Hayehudi whom I follow. He also wrote it up as an article. Hakol Hayehudi is associated with the settler movement and that may be why this item was not picked up by any other news site.
I will first translate the text of his two-part “X” post, followed by adding supplemental details found in the article he wrote up about it.
Settler violence libel
1: Saturday night at Omer’s Farm in the [Jordan] Valley. They discover a large hole cut in the fence around a date plantation. IDF soldiers and a tracker follow the tracks to a house in the village of Uja, investigate, and leave the place. Not a moment passes and the police receive a call from an extreme left anarchist [claiming that] settlers entered a house in the village of Uja and abused the children… the army explains >
2. that it concerns soldiers and the report is false. The police closed the incident. But the anarchists are already reporting to the high command, the Americans, and the foreign media that the guys from Omer’s Farm ([Omer is] an esteemed [IDF] officer) “abused the Palestinians”. An event that never took place. On the contrary, the event was the cutting of the farm’s date plantation fence …[emphasis added]
עלילת אלימות המתנחלים #1: ליל שבת בחווה של עומר בבקעה. מגלים חיתוך גדר גדול במטע תמרים. כח צבאי וגשש הולכים על העקבות עד לבית בכפר עוג’ה, מתחקרים ועוזבים את המקום. לא עובר רגע והמשטרה מקבלת טלפון מאנרכיסטית שמאל קיצוני: מתנחלים נכנסו לבית בכפר עוג’ה והתעללו בילדים… הצבא מסביר> pic.twitter.com/lvJUYqdRkt
— אלחנן גרונר (@elchangr) December 11, 2023
A note about language: Gruner refers to ‘anarchists’. I call them ‘activists.’ He also does not tell us which NGO these activists belong and it is certain they do belong to one of the NGO’s operating in the area. I will update here if he responds to my request to know which NGO.
I hope that Gruner’s use of the word ‘anarchist’ does not distract readers from the main point, which is the way in which a fake and baseless report against residents in the Jordan Valley was manufactured and used to blacken the names of settlers.
- The cut in the fence is large enough to allow a vehicle to pass through [!]
- From the soldiers’ investigation at the site, the shoeprint in the path between the fence and the village matched the shoe of the owner of the house. The soldiers took his details and released him with only a warning.
- This was a fairly ordinary military event. [Let me add my consternation at this statement. This was an ordinary event because Palestinians Arabs cut a hole in the fence of a Jewish-owned farm and nothing was done about it! Let that sink in.]
- A few minutes later, the police received a report from an Israeli anarchist who claimed that Hilltop Youth from Omer’s Farm were harassing children in a house in Uja. [Omer’s Farm is also called Einot Kedem. It is an educational farm run by Naama and Omer Atidiya; I spoke with Naama on the phone to find out more about it: At the moment, there are a number of adolescents (15-18 years old) living there who did not adjust to regular educational frameworks and find the educational programme on the farm more suited to them, plus young people doing a year of National Service before entering the IDF. Over the years, over 300 young people have spent a year or more at the farm. They all work in the various agricultural branches and there are extra training and educational programmes in addition to their work. These are the Hilltop Youth the report was talking about.]
- The army rejected the claims of infiltration into the Arab town and explained that it was a military patrol that went to the house following the tracks of the fence cutter. As far as the local security officials were concerned, the event was over.
- However, without wasting any time, a report on this “incident”, like all the reports in recent times, was also forwarded to the senior command, to the US and other international bodies. Although the report was not from an authoritative source, these bodies did not bother to check its veracity. And the report supports the narrative of so-called “settler violence” whereas, in this case, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Here you have it! One example of how the fallacy of “settler violence” is created.
Feature Image used with permission.