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Gershon Shafir: Signs of Weakness in Settler Movement


One of our own in The Third Narrative community, Gershon Shafir — Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, a past President of the Israel Studies Association, and author of A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict — has just published “The Israeli Settler Movement Isn’t Much of a Movement,” in The Forward.

He argues that despite heavy government investments in infrastructure and generously subsidized housing opportunities, Jewish settlers still constitute a mere 13.8% of the West Bank’s population, with its annual rate of population growth actually in decline.  In noting the political strength of the pro-settler lobby in proposing legislation to annex part or even all of the West Bank, and in passing a recent law to block tourist visas for foreign visitors who advocate BDS or even a settlements-only boycott, Prof. Shafir wryly observes:

The settler lobby’s bravado gives off the odor of desperation. If things were going well, and colonization was humming, then why invest all this energy on shutting the eyes that see and padlocking the mouths that speak?

Read his entire Forward article here:

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