I’m a proud bastard

I would like to extend a big thank you to US Secretary of State John Kerry for putting me in my place.  According to statements made by Kerry in the Middle East this week (is anybody keeping track of how many times he’s been here in Israel vs. perhaps Syria, Egypt, or Iraq?), based on US policy, those of us Jews who live in Judea, Samaria, and parts of Jerusalem are living in “illegitimate” communities.  By definition that would make around 750,000 Jews from Hevron to Gilo to Itamar, and all points in between, ‘bastards.’

But should my irritation really be directed towards the US Secretary of State?  I mean according to Kerry, he is only following US policy.

“The Palestinians believe that the settlements are illegal, the United States continues to believe the settlements are not helpful and are illegitimate,” he told reporters.

My ire is actually directed towards someone a little closer to home – Israel’s Finance Minster Yair Lapid.  This week Lapid essentially echoed Kerry, not by his words – he didn’t flat out call us ‘settlers’ bastards, but by his actions –  freezing the transfer of 105million NIS to communities in Judea and Samaria for their security needs.

The funds ironically had been allocated in order to beef up ‘settlement’ security as a result of certain arrangements under the Oslo agreements (shouldn’t a peace accord lead to a decrease in the need for security not an increase??).

The worst part about the financial freeze according to one security expert I consulted with is that without a doubt the lack of funding will put Jewish lives in danger.

But I guess jeopardizing the security of us bastards is ok, especially when the plan according to Lapid is to throw many of us out of our homes in the context of a peace deal in the near future.

Lapid has repeatedly stated over the past several months that while an evacuation will be “heartbreaking” and something that “will tear us to pieces,” nevertheless, that’s the plan.

I don’t know what is in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s heart, but it’s hard to be optimistic with such a high ranking government official alluding to a Gush Katif #2.

Those who understand the importance of Judea and Samaria remaining in Israeli hands not only for security reasons, but since the land is OURS, need to organize sooner rather than later to prevent yet another expulsion of Jews from their homes.

In the meantime I remain, one proud bastard.





About the Author
Joshua Hasten is the International Spokesperson for Gush Etzion. He is host of the weekly “Israel Uncensored” radio broadcast on The Land of Israel Network, as well as an international Middle East Correspondent in print and on television. Joshua is also a sought-after speaker around the world. His workshops and lectures on pro-Israel advocacy have impacted thousands. Joshua was the CAMERA organization’s 2009 Letter Writer of the Year, and is a member of the Judea and Samaria Speaker’s Bureau. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, he resides in Gush Etzion, Israel.