|The settlement of Beitar Illit (R) creeps ever closer to Wadi Fukin (L)|
The sights we visited were familiar ones – indeed, evoking a nostalgia for the time I spent in Tulkarm in the spring of 2013. The flowers and trees were the same, as were the animals grazing in the fields alongside the road, and the produce in the markets. The difference was – there was less scenery and more settlements that had either appeared or grown in just three years.
Several of the speakers that we heard talked about settlers and the “settlement mentality” that is Israel today. An Israeli Jew, Yahav Zohar, who took us on a “settlement tour” of Jerusalem, explained that settlements are, at least in part, an answer to the Israeli government’s problem: “What can we do with a land that we want and people we don’t want?”
|Settlers in Hebron throw trash into the souk below|