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I have not seen this diaried yet and feel it's important for someone who supports Israel (which I do) to face reality about stories like this one:

RAMALLAH, West Bank — A Palestinian official says more than 30 Israeli settlers, some of them on horseback, set fire to fields and olive trees and stoned Palestinian cars during a rampage in the West Bank. Two Palestinians were lightly injured.

Ghassan Daglas, a municipal official in the northern city of Nablus, says smoke from dozens of fires covered the eastern and southern parts of the city.

Daglas says Israeli forces tried to stop the rampaging settlers. Israel's paramilitary border police force says it arrested one settler.

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I know Israelis who are just as horrified as I am by this -- I don't fault them or the Israeli forces who may or may not have done enough to stop it (but who are acknowledged as at least trying).  This was the settler's rage was over the removal of an illegal settlement by Israel, which, while not the current Israeli government's avowed policy on most settlements, shows someone there is trying to address at least some of the illegal settlements.

But I do fault the current Israeli government for their overall stand on settlements, which is, in no way, imo, a path to peace.  

More than that, I can't stop the image of those olive trees burning in my mind. For anyone who has ever been to the Middle East, it's important to understand the significance of olive orchards.  These are usually old growth trees that are a source of livelihood.  To burn them is, imo, obscene.

I support Israel.  I don't support settlers who would vent their rage about the removal of an illegal settlement by taking it out on Palestinian farmers. Every culprit should be arrested and restitution should be required from the settlement, including the replanting of olive trees and provision of sustenance until they grow enough to provide fruit.

Just my 2c.

Originally posted to aggregatescience on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 02:20 PM PDT.

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