The NYT has a provocative headline today: In 2 West Bank Settlements, Sign of Hope for a Deal.
What are the reader’s immediate thoughts?
1. The headline implies the problem is what these “settlers” may or may not do. As if it is up to them to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2. The picture of Haredim is contrarian. Surely, these people wouldn’t want to live in peace.
What we get is a story about a large group of anti-Zionist Haredim who hate the state and feel no particular attachment to this particular settlement. They say they didn’t know it was a settlement when they first moved there (as unlikely as that sounds, that may be true) and would be happy to leave if the government would compensate them to move.
So let’s roll this up. A bunch of Haredim who moved to a settlement because a) no town wanted them b) don’t work c) take state welfare and d) therefore need subsidized housing from a state they despise would be willing to leave in the future a settlement that they e) didn’t know was a settlement to begin with and f) don’t care much about anyway.
First, this is a very sad commentary on Haredim, who feel they can take money from a state they actively oppose. Second, this is “hope”? This is the best the Times can do for hope? Their standards are so incredibly low for hope?
Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense. Both Haredim and the Times are anti-Zionist, so this “hope” that represents ambivalence about the land serves both their interests.