Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Everything is a "Settlement"?

Saw this in the New York Times:

Our first date was at the best hummusia in Israel. We sat hillside in a white stone building, while the hummus, soaked with olive oil and topped with pine nuts and Egyptian brown beans, melted in our mouths like clotted cream. We were a few miles from Jerusalem on a scorching desert afternoon, in the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, a town known not only for its hummus but also for its peaceful relationship with nearby Jewish settlements. 

Nearby Jewish settlements???

Let's look at a map of Abu Ghosh and environs:-

Abu-Ghosh is boxed in orange.

I've marked off the former Green Line with two green arrows, in case you think the village in in the "disputed territories".

The Jewish kibbutzim and moshavim and villages are encircled in blue.

Arab villages, or should that be settlements(?), are encircled in pale green.

Okay, so exactly what "settlements" is Ms. Dorris writing about?

Is every Jewish presence on the land a "settlement"?

Yes, she was writing fiction - with a gay theme, an Arab, a blonde American girl and an Orthodox Jew - but nevertheless, the ease of feeling the need of portraying Jewish residency in the Jerusalem Corridor as "settlements" rather than what they are: villages, suburban Jerusalem, small towns or kibbutzim and moshavim, is offsetting.  As if her readers would not understand what she was describing unless she employed the term "settlements".

Or maybe she presumed that if the short-story was to appear in the New York Times, "settlements" is de rigueur?  


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