Friday, December 07, 2007
In the Most Dangerous Place in World History
I feel stressed because I have to finish my engineering report (Parasha Technit) for the Har Bracha settlement and I am not working on it. The place has grown to about 1300 souls and the wastewater treatment system is designed for only one hundred families. I am planning to double the WWTP's capacity and to add a water reuse scheme. The treated wastewater is already being reused in agricultural irrigation, but its quality may be below the Inbal Committee's lofty standards. Also the place has good rainfall, so a reservoir could be built, catching winter runoff as well as excess treated wastewater. The settlement has much land, and it is "legal" in the sense that was not expropriated from Palestinians (in fact, as far as I know, there are no settlements on Palestinian lands, they are on old Jordanian Army Bases like Kedumim, or an abandoned Turkish railway station like Shiloh). The distinction is important to receive development financing. The Har Bracha is on Har Gerizim, the Samaritan community's holy mountain, and includes the village of the Samaritans and I think is legally owned by Samaritan Jews who never left Eretz Israel. The Samaritans are remnants of the Biblical Samaritans, who had strong religious differences with the Jews (In the New Testament, "The Good Samaritan" is pointed out because it is an incredible exception, since for the Jews of the time of Christ, a Good Samaritan was a Dead Samaritan and viceversa) but now are considered part of the historical Jewish people.
The idea I wanted to write down is the following. Prof. Kevin MacDonald, a prominent academic anti-semite (and one I love to read, he writes very well and we share the belief that Jews are very important), wrote that the Zionist movement created in Eastern Europe a century and half ago was a tremendously trascendent and history-changing event. I am not sure if he also wrote that the settlement movement in the occupied territories is also such a historic event (my memory is failing...), but I assume he may have done it. If so, the most dynamic of all settlements - by far - is Har Bracha, sited in the very heart of Samaria i.e. Palestine, overlooking the city of Nablus. Its members are very young divinity students (yeshive bochers in Yiddish) led by a charismatic rabbi (rav in Hebrew), all married at age 18 and with little children. The girls in the settlement are undeveloped skinny teenagers dressed up for a high school theater production taking place in Victorian England. May be Prof. MacDonald is right, this is the most dangerous place on Earth. Future shall tell.