In 2012, the game became reality: The settlers are the new ruling elite of Israel.
According to all the polls, Israelis will elect an unprecedented number of Members of Knesset (MKs) from far-right parties, even as Likud’s relative moderates have been ousted and replaced by settlers and ex-settlers with radical political agendas.
A settler was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2012, while a former justice declared that the West Bank was not actually occupied territory.
Israel’s fourth estate, too, is partly “occupied” by the settlers. This year, Shlomo Ben-Zvi, a far-right publisher and settler who owns the frankly nationalist daily Makor Rishon, bought Maariv – one of Israel’s three veteran daily newspapers...
The settlers have influenced the national narrative to the point that politicians who talk about peace, the two-state solution and negotiations risk becoming irrelevant.
For all these reasons, +972 Magazine has chosen The Settler as its Person of the Year for 2012.
...This was the year the settler narrative regarding Israel’s control over the West Bank became institutionalized: the Education Ministry mandated school trips to Hebron for high school students. The next generations of soldiers and leaders is being taught that the territory once regarded by the majority as temporarily occupied pending a negotiated solution, is actually part of the Israeli birthright.
...The political power of the settlers has extended to the judiciary, the powerful security establishment, the media and the business elite. They will decide Israel’s future – or perhaps its fate.