Settlements are far from settling

Each time I hear a commentator say that Israeli “settlements do not impede peace,” I throw up in my mouth a little…for a couple of reasons. First, the land wasn’t “unsettled” like 19th-century western America (which was still kinda “settled”, though, yes, it sounds eerily familiar). These Israeli settlements are developments and neighborhoods, and the word “settlements” is only meant to invoke images of Laura in the “Little House on the Prairie.” These are places protected by $38 billion in US tax dollars spent building up the Israeli military.

Not only do settlements impede peace, they provoke violence. Let me break this down so even our leaders get it.

Settlements equate to displaced Palestinians. Palestinians with no homes means more refugees. More refugees make great “Uncle Sam”, a “Great Uncle Sam.” (He’s a Great, Great, Great, “Uncle Sam” to be historically accurate.) Today’s settlers are not orphans abandoned in the streets of Palestine. They are retired (fill in the blank) that decide instead of Costa Rica, they’re going to Israel. But “The Greater Israel” that they speak of does not exist under international law. As a matter of fact, it is illegal under UN Resolution 252, which it continues to be in violation of.

UN Security Council Resolution 252 (May 21, 1968) – “Deplores the failure of Israel to comply with” General Assembly resolutions 2253 and 2254, considers Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem “invalid”, and calls upon Israel “to rescind all such measures already taken and to desist forthwith from taking any further action which tends to change the status of Jerusalem”.

“Big Daddy” (a.k.a. UN) was so pissed that three months later another resolution passed.

UN Security Council Resolution 256 (Aug. 16, 1968) – Recalls Israel’s “flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter” condemned in Resolution 248 (condemning Israeli attack on Jordan), observes that further Israeli air attacks on Jordan “were of a large scale and carefully planned nature in violation of resolution 248”, “Deplores the loss of life and heavy damage to property”, and condemns Israel’s attacks.

My “cousins” on the other side will have you believe that those resolutions are just proof of anti-Semitism, how far in the past it goes, how mean, and how unfair Big Daddy and all his “friends” are. Yes, Big Daddy is a douchebag who is powerless without Uncle Sam, and ignores Palestinian suffrage, while engaging in anti-Semitism by killing, maiming, displacing, ethnically cleansing its indigenous people, Philistines, native to the land-in the West Bank… “the Semites.”

That wasn’t even the first of them. Just a year before that, the UN passed other stuff:

UN Security Council Resolution 237 (Jun. 14, 1967) – Calls on Israel “to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants where military operations have taken place” during the war launched by Israel on June 5, 1967 “and to facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities”.

And the year before that was so bad that Big Daddy censured the Golden Child it created:

UN Security Council Resolution 228 (Nov. 25, 1966) – “Deplores the loss of life and heavy damage to property resulting from the action” by Israel in the southern Hebron area on November 13, 1966, and “Censures Israel for this large-scale military action in violation of the United Nations Charter” and the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan.”

That was 50 years ago, and that’s not the first violation either. Most recently, in December 2016 there was another tongue-lashing by “Big Daddy” you know, the one that preceded the Golden Child’s temper tantrum, because “Uncle Sam” didn’t come to its rescue like we always have.

“14 Delegations in Favour of Resolution 2334 (2016) as United States Abstains. The Security Council reaffirmed this afternoon that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders.”

Its time for “Uncle Sam” and the $38 billion of taxpayer money that cannot seem to cover the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) to cut the cord. But since Dr. Frankenstein (a.k.a. Big Daddy, a.k.a. the UN) created the monster, “Uncle Sam”  tried to tame the beast and failed. There is only one solution left: Frankenstein’s monster needs to marry his bride and move out of “Uncle Sam’s” basement. It’s time for Israel to get honest and get integrated. If you cannot find a solution, then you must at least agree on the problem. The settlements are a problem.

The truth is out there, you just have to read it… and no it’s not on FOX, Mr. President.

About Shirin Zarqa-Lederman 16 Articles
Shirin Zarqa-Lederman was raised in NJ by her Palestinian Muslim parents and later married her Russian Jewish husband. Together they have five interethnic children who experience the traditional customs of both cultures with their extended interethnic relatives. Shirin is also Licensed Professional Counselor, focusing on Child & Adolescent Psychology, and has written her own children’s picture book series, "The Trotters of Tweeville," which is focused on demonstrating kindness to children. The series is available wherever books are sold.


  1. Settlers and settlements are not the translation of the Hebrew terms, they are the marketing words used. The Hebrew word for settlers is Mitnahlim, which means “victors”. The Hebrew word for the Occupation is Kibush which means conquered.
    If those words were actually used, Israel’s true intentions would be apparent. That is why there is always a non translation translation of every operation and campaign in Israel, one motivational phrase for their racist, imperialist society and a sanitized one for marketing propaganda.

  2. “…the land wasn’t “unsettled” like 19th century western America (which was still kinda “settled”, though, yes, it sounds eerily familiar)…”

    This land now called the United States of America *was* very “settled”. There were over 500 different Indidenous nations here. And they were not all semi-nomadic. If someone wants to tease apart the word “settled”.

    It seems as though you are not very familiar w/ Indigenous people here. Everyone not Indigenous in the States is called a “settler”. And people talk about “decolonization” here now as in Palestine & other places. Which does not mean every non-Indigenous American (& other settlers on the planet) should be forced to move. It simply means the power should be shifted back to the Indigenous of each place. South Africa is obviously the perfect example of how it should happen.

    I’m just shocked by what you wrote. Please get to know some Indigenous people here & study more about the circumstances of their lives. The rapes of Native girls & women on reservations – mostly by white men – who cannot be prosecuted then. The poverty. The racism & persecution. *You* are a “settler” here & so am I – despite my Lebanese grandfather coming here over 100 years ago.

    You are basically a guest here on Turtle Island. It’s rude to insult your hosts.

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