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June 17, 2009 Permalink

Israeli Settlements in the West Bank

Relations between the Israeli government and the Obama administration have become tense lately over the issue of growing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Nearly 300,000 Israelis now live in such settlements, alongside some 2.5 million Palestinians. The tense disputes over the settlements touch on religious and historical claims, local and international laws, and, of course political disagreements. The settlements range in size and permanence from "wildcat" outposts made of plywood shacks to established cities of tens of thousands. The international community views over 100 of the settlements as illegal under international law. Despite calls from the U.S. for a complete freeze on expansion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, though Israel would not build any new settlements and would dismantle unauthorized outposts, it would still allow building within existing settlements to accommodate "natural growth." Collected here are some scenes from West Bank settlements over the past few months. (37 photos total)

A Palestinian worker walks through a construction site of a new housing project in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim, near Jerusalem, Sunday, June 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

190 comments so far...

#31 sums it up

Posted by bob cruickshank June 17, 09 01:23 PM

Great as always

Posted by Angar June 17, 09 01:25 PM

This conversation won't end well...

Posted by Anonymous June 17, 09 01:30 PM

The 3 religions out of the Middle East have spawn endless fanaticism, wars, hatred, death and destruction. 2000 years of irreconcilable differences. And the latest example, a 50 years fight over a small piece of 'holy' land. The crusade lasted a few centuries fighting over the same piece of land. No resolution came out of it. So how long will this West Bank fight last? My great grand children will be watching it live.
"The are two infinite things. The universe and religious stupidity. And I am not sure about the former." - Einstein, slightly modified.

Posted by The Real Deal June 17, 09 01:39 PM

#31 - Which one is Jewish?

Posted by Anon June 17, 09 01:42 PM

the most moving thing for me is always the pictures of children...there's something very sad to me about that romper gym thing set up next to the demolished will always look to play and make things bearable, while adults fight and threaten their the Pakastani children in the previous feature. they're along for the "ride", no matter where it's awful.
Thanks for the moving pictures, but it's tough sometimes....

Posted by alm June 17, 09 01:42 PM

lovely stuff! :)

Posted by marksy June 17, 09 01:43 PM

murderers and thieves-- that's what the Israeli settlers are. If this isn't the same as white Dutch Boers coming to South Africa and stealing the land from the blacks, then what is this?

Posted by Broomstick June 17, 09 01:44 PM

Unfortunately there are religious fundamentalists on both sides. The worst news is that there are also cynical politicians that are willing to take advantage of this flammable crowd for their own political profit, enforcing control over the masses (if you are a post-Marxist), and establishing their economic and moral views as reality by doing so.
I do feel obligated to emphasize that these minorities don't represent either side of the conflict. These delusional and violent god fearing people are only pawns in a bigger world wide conflict concerning economic powers in the east and west. They are not fighting for a common cause only following blind religious ideology that has nothing to do with humanism and morality.

Posted by dawnbrn June 17, 09 01:47 PM

nice pictures...

Posted by Joao June 17, 09 01:49 PM

Really loving this "Big Picture" style... some great features over the past few days - definitely adds to the dramatic situations when viewing these images larger. I agree, #31 is a great photo!

Posted by Jason June 17, 09 01:57 PM

Religion and patriotism... the worst two passions of humankind.

Posted by Alex T June 17, 09 02:00 PM

29... jewish geeks... LOL

Posted by Wes June 17, 09 02:03 PM

18 bouncy castle and 34 playground - unbelievable.

Posted by Drew June 17, 09 02:10 PM

to me, #13 says it all. Thats the beginnings. Rocks now, gunfire later. . .

Posted by terry June 17, 09 02:18 PM


The one wearing a Yalmuka is Jewish. See:

Posted by Ben June 17, 09 02:20 PM

When mom got tired of you and your sibling constantly fighting over a toy (it didn't matter who was right), she took it away from both of you... of course mom never got hit by a passenger jet because of her views on foreign policy.

Amazing photos, fantastic site. The hard work is greatly appreciated.

Posted by Brandon June 17, 09 02:21 PM

The "settlements" are, infact, not "settlements", they're colonies. And they're not "viewed" as illegal under international law, they ARE illegal under international law.

Posted by Bob Jimmy June 17, 09 02:25 PM

Judea and Samaria. Not "West Bank."

Posted by Slavvy June 17, 09 02:26 PM

Idiots vs. idiots.
No one wins.

Posted by Mugros June 17, 09 02:51 PM

@4 "The are two infinite things. The universe and HUMAN stupidity. And I am not sure about the former." - Einstein.

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views." - Einstein

I will agree with you that religion as a man-made system of belief genders violence. However belief in God doesn't necessarily. Mennonites/Amish believe in God and refuse to bear arms.

Posted by Josh June 17, 09 03:11 PM

@ #4 check out Einstein's ideas on Zionism and an Israeli state over on wikipedia.

Posted by Jason June 17, 09 03:16 PM

This set just explifies why there will never be peace in the middle east. Fighting over stone and slums, even the garabage. You can never have peace if you fight over everything.

Posted by beaker June 17, 09 03:18 PM

As always, powerful and great photos. So sad to see all that misery based on religion.

Posted by Dusan Vlahovic June 17, 09 03:27 PM

I'm a Christian and I work with Muslims, Jews and Athiests. We share neighborhoods and markets. There's plenty of available land for all of them to live on. What's the problem? Really.

Posted by RJ June 17, 09 03:30 PM

Oh boy, these comments are gonna be GOOD...I'm microwaving the popcorn as I write this.

Posted by Otto June 17, 09 03:31 PM

It is time the world recognizes Israel for what it really is, an illegal, genocidal apartheid state that does not deserve statehood or recognition.

The settlements are illegal, the whole notion of Israel has no validity, they have been massacring palestinians for 50 years now. How do you expect them to recognize Israel?

The Israeli people chose a extreme ultra-far right government. They do not want peace, they want the absolute destruction and elimination of Palestine.

One can only hope that Israel will cease to exist soon. It's existence, based on punishing Palestinians for something they did not commit, has only brought war, death and misery to the region. So many wars, so much suffering for 'Israel'.

The Jewish people have adopted and continued the Nazi policies they were subjected to. Just as an abused child will abuse his or her children in the future.

We are seeing improvements as people in the US, specially young ones, the future generations, absolutely despise Israel, AIPAC, and US support of it. The United States has been absolutely crucial in defending Israeli genocide, justifying it every few months by vetoing UN resolutions, and supporting Israel with weapons and aid.

Then the American people are shocked when airplanes crash into their buildings, they should wake up and see what they really are supporting by backing Israel, and how that has affected them.

Thank you.

A South American.

Posted by elpais June 17, 09 03:34 PM

no end in sight

Posted by David June 17, 09 03:40 PM

The biggest robbery in human history and the world is watching and doing nothing, not only that but helping them.
A day will come, sooner or latter that everyone responsible for this will be asked and will pay for it.

Posted by Mo. June 17, 09 03:40 PM

appreciate the photos, but so sad!

Posted by lynette evans June 17, 09 03:46 PM

I have always just loved this mess. In 1948 the Brits, with the complicity of American Jews and Christian fundies, gave the Palestinian's country away simply because it says to do so in the Bible. And, ever since, people in the West have been upset because the Palestinian's object to having their land stolen. The whole thing was illegal from the start, in my opinion.

Posted by bigjohn756 June 17, 09 03:48 PM

None of these pictures seems to indicate the fact that these jewish settlements are ILLEGAL under UN and international law, and are built on land that is constantly being stolen from the Palestinians. This would be like having a non-chalant slideshow of a nazi deathcamp without once mentioning it was a nazi death camp.

Posted by Aristotle June 17, 09 03:48 PM

This is nice and all -- love #34 -- but five in a row and 10 out of the last 12 TBPs have been phenomenally depressing. Maybe time to mix it up a bit?

Posted by Tim June 17, 09 04:06 PM

Religiofreaks invade, corporations build, government supports, army protects. What a f'd up loop. They conquer one outpost at a time... What a tragedy. US barked, they slowed down. Nobody have the balls to argue about the ones that are already built.

Then they talk about law and righteousness.

Then they talk about antisemitism.

Posted by M June 17, 09 04:06 PM

Ignorants vs ignorants.

So sad.

Posted by Jerome June 17, 09 04:09 PM

@ 15 "to me, #13 says it all. Thats the beginnings. Rocks now, gunfire later. . . "
...more rocks later

Posted by Anonymous June 17, 09 04:12 PM

agree with 27 comments.

Just hear what they call a "self defense" during last gaza war : at the end, 3 israelis dead, and more than 1000 palestian dead, emprisonned in Gaza like animals.. That is genocide, no other word exist for that.

Shame on western gouverment to support that, or at least not condemned it publicly.

Posted by soups June 17, 09 04:15 PM

These hills do something to those people. All of them. Something bad!

Posted by Niles June 17, 09 04:22 PM

@ #32, Aristotele:

Maybe the pictures don't indicate that the settlements are illegal. But the text does. The introduction alone unmistakingly states that the
"international community views over 100 of the settlements as illegal under international law."

Posted by Norebrt June 17, 09 04:25 PM

First, It's silly to throw distinctions between 'illegal outposts' and 'settlements'

its all the same. the only difference in that the israeli gov't authorizes 'settlements' and doesnt authorize the 'outposts'

which is all humdrum. the international community and international law reject all the settlements - including those authorized, guarded and subsidized by the Israeli government.

Posted by Aaron June 17, 09 04:41 PM

Palestine being raped by peaceful looking people.

Posted by SaddenedJohn June 17, 09 04:56 PM

Never have I looked at a photo of people mourning the loss of children (#27), without being to feel a single shred of compassion.
Never have I felt so much anger at the ordinary sight of two people in a truck (#17).

Never would I have tought mankind could be so cruel to let stuff like this happen in a global age, supported by the leading nation of the world (the one that likes 'freedom' so much, but apparently only for some people).

Colonialism (and accompanying slave trade) was the first immense shame of man. Nazism was the second. Zionism is the current.

Posted by anonymous June 17, 09 04:57 PM

Opinions are like arse-holes...we've all got 'em. -Me

I really enjoy these pictures. From where ever we sit - it is hard to rationalize everywhere else. These images help.

Posted by kitian June 17, 09 06:02 PM

These are dramatic photographs. If there is to be hope for Israel, there must be hope for peace. And that means that the settlements have to stop.

Fortunately, there are groups like Peace Now in Israel working to bring sanity:

Posted by Noam Shelef June 17, 09 06:07 PM

If everyone in the world cared more about the character of the person instead of the persons race, religion, sex, or political views imagine what the world would be like.

Posted by Erik June 17, 09 06:46 PM

1000s of years before Palestine was even thought of as a place, this was my familie's homeland, the Jews were pushed out and displaced by the its not stolen land. Everyone should be equal and live in peace.

Posted by Smitty June 17, 09 07:13 PM

There are many groups for Jews against illegal settlements in the United States including:

J Street
Jewish Voice for Peace
Meretz USA

I encourage everyone to Google these groups and learn more about what they are doing to stop settlements.

Posted by Shii June 17, 09 07:29 PM

#18 is picture of the year(so far) in my book excellent post..a real eye opener

Posted by jim June 17, 09 07:35 PM

@45 "If everyone in the world cared more about the character of the person instead of the persons race, religion, sex, or political views imagine what the world would be like."

Religion and political views ARE character.

And the Israeli character has been for over 50 years, killing palestinians and stealing their land. That is their character.

@46 "1000s of years before Palestine was even thought of as a place, this was my familie's homeland, the Jews were pushed out and displaced by the its not stolen land. Everyone should be equal and live in peace."

That is no justification for your "families" current massacre and occupation. With that argument, no nation really belongs anywhere. What happened 1000 years ago happened, and there is nothing to be done about it. Repeating the same displacement, occupation, and massacre again is not justifiable by anything.

The Jewish people have become the Nazis with their occupation of Palestine. You have absolutely no support anywhere in the world other than the far-right in the US. Wake up, Israel is the one of the most hated "nations" on Earth.

The israeli government is willing to bring the world to nuclear war over their piece of crap "Jewish state". One can only hope for Israel to disappear one day, or at least to stop their policies (never going to happen).

The only solution for peace in the middle east is the disappearance of Israel. Everybody knows it. There will never be full peace otherwise.

Posted by elpais June 17, 09 07:45 PM

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

... Which season are we in now?

Posted by Kmuzu June 17, 09 07:49 PM


The Jews lost the land in war. Why should they be given the land back now? You say everyone should be equal, yet you speak as though "your people" are entitled to that land. Hypocrite.

Posted by Bobby92 June 17, 09 07:57 PM

#31 is it. Hard to fathom that life, if you can call it that. All in the name of god & Destiny.

Posted by Andrew June 17, 09 08:25 PM

the israeli goverment gives the go ahead to build on palestians land (which is against international law)

if it were the other way round the americans would have probably declared war on them and bombed them

israel calls itself a democracy but sure as hell doesnt act like one

democracy only in name

Posted by isreal democracy only in name June 17, 09 08:41 PM

Yes, Palestine was stolen by the Brits and given to the Jews, but every Jewish child born there has as much right to the land, versus the Palestinians, as any American has to America, versus Native Americans.

Israel shouldn't necessarily be destroyed, we (USA) should just stop supporting them. If we withdrew our financial and military aid, it would only be a matter of time until the Arab world gave Palestine back to the people that have occupied it for almost 2000 years before 1948. The right thing is to let this corner of the world work itself out. This could also ripen our diplomacy with the Arab world.

Oh, and Smitty, @ #46:

"1000s of years before Palestine was even thought of as a place, this was my familie's homeland, the Jews were pushed out and displaced by the its not stolen land. Everyone should be equal and live in peace."

Have you read your own holy book??? Have you ever heard of the Caananites??? Jesus Christ man, your ancestors admit, and PROUDLY too, that they stole it in the first place, all those 1000's of years ago. At that time, though, it was ok, because Yahweh told them to and they did it right, by murdering every innocent, except for the occasional virgin captive, of course.

Judaism, along with its Christo/Islamic demon-spawn, is founded on ignorant racism and superstition. If this doesn't ring true, please Google "genocide", read a bit on it, then reread Deuteronomy and Joshua from the Bible or Torah.

Posted by Christopher June 17, 09 08:52 PM

what are they wearing on their head in 5 and 29?

Posted by david June 17, 09 08:58 PM

It is so ironically that Palestinian has to build fortress for Jews in their land for living.

Jews housing constructions are nothing but citadel.

I am so lucky there is on Jews in my country. They could have claimed my land because it's been mentioned in their Torah.

Posted by Noppon June 17, 09 09:01 PM

Hey, y'all.

WE JEWS were not and are not being born aboard planes, ships and trains heading for our ancient homeland. We WERE at best "citizens" and at worst oppressed dhimmi in virtually every land from which all of YOU are pissing from. Tracts of land in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Morrocco, all through Russia, old CCCP/USSR, most of Europe, much of the Americas ... were once owned and/or held by Jewish people, making a living, producing, educating their families, Educating others Being doctors, lawyers, dirt-farmers, crop-sharers, builders, engineers, entrepreneurs.

And Our Ancestors were either booted, or given the "free pass to leave" any and ever country where we were living. We took hold of that one "Golden Ring" of the ex-British Mandate, and emmigrated ... to Israel. Millions of us have moved, with only the vision of leaving behind our wealth, land, and livelihood, in order to build a new communiity in the almost-God-forsaken land of Israel.

And for this, we are branded ... genocidal, intolerable, illegal, Nazi, apartheid, and every other epithet you can think of. YOU are but armchair liberals - seeing through your rosey glasses, but never haivng been forced to evacuate, to leave your comfey homes of a thousand years to go ... to a land where there is little water, a lot of rock, and not much else.

The settlements are "illegal", only in the sense that the lands are in dispute. The settlers are moving to where there appears to be no authority, and are now being rebuffed. Bravo! .. one might hear you say, but no. It isn't enough. YOU must insist on calling all Jews, all of us "genocidal". Well, study your history, folks. There has been in the last 100 years alone, millions upon millions of fellow Jews, entire families, clans, townships, burroughs ... exterminated. BECAUSE we are Jews. Not because we "owned land" and had any kind of immunity, or held office, or kept much of commerce and and industry going. No.

For that reason alone, I find your comments above puerile, ignorant and strikingly intolerant of the real underlying fact of WHY there are "settlers". There would BE NO SETTLERS attempting to put together their lives in these arid wastelands if we, the Jews, weren't pushed out of everwhere else in the world by the supremely stupid bigotry that your comments show is only still "barely veiled".

UNTIL such time as you, the rest of the world, 'fess up to your complicity in the problem - not in naming your object of ire, but admission that there are settlers precisely because of your national and ethnic intolerance and bigotry, until such time ... you have about as much right to decry the Settlers issue as you do the genocide of teh American Indians, the Central and South American natives, the ethnic dead, lying all around teh globe, forgotten and gone.

Posted by Bob Lynch June 17, 09 10:03 PM

@55: Tefillin, (Hebrew: תפילין‎), also called phylacteries, are a pair of black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Bible

Posted by Larry June 17, 09 10:38 PM

54 is a heartless human being. If more people felt like him, the world would be a even worst place. If we did not help Israel, half of all Jewish people in the world would be exterminated by the surrounding countries. This would be a second holocaust.I love these pictures because they show the idiocy on both sides. Both sides are doing the wrong thing. Personally, I support Israel. If you question the creation of Israel, you are ignorant. Jews were sick of being one of the most discriminated people in history. After 6 million of us were slaughtered and millions more suffered, we needed a state. Israel really needs to just surrender all of the West Bank. We should give that and Gaza to the Palestinians. Harmony must be created.

Posted by I hope both people live happy June 17, 09 10:41 PM

I dont understand the conflict and why its taking place but feel terrible seeing little kids in that situation. I guess they know nothing different but its quite sad.

Posted by Mark June 17, 09 10:49 PM

I like you photo, awesome, no questions of it.

However I'm a bit wonder why all westerners pay so much attention at the middle east. (I wrote from East Asia), for example, CNN etc. Even the National Geography that I subscribe to, I found too many articles from that part of the world. I found recently you have publish photos from that side of the world in a row.

Can any of you enlighten me?

Posted by kinccc June 17, 09 11:20 PM

so the conclusion is everyone has a right to reclaim their land just coz their ancestors used to live there.. right???

Posted by A.Ali June 17, 09 11:43 PM

As a young Christian man I'm saddened to see what is happening on both sides. I believe there is more to this than religion and land rights. And "sorry" isn't going to fix anything. This is built into peoples cultures and sorry isn''t going to break the walls down. Thank God i live in a country (Australia) where people don't judge others by their religon/race. A lot of my friends a muslim and we respect both our different religions etc. This has been going on for thousands of years and it wont stop in 1 week! Once the war ends, how do governements, leaders change peoples attitudes and their cultures. That is the biggest "war" to get through.

Posted by Evan June 18, 09 12:27 AM


The jewish community has a large influence in the western world, especially in the USA. A great part of the media and entertainment industry is dominated be them. So no wonder that the media is focussed to show in "unfairness" the jewish people experience and deliver it around the world.

Being a post-war german (born 1969), critizising jewish behaviour is politically incorrect. "We germans" are supposed to support everything they do because of our history. But what is wrong, should be mentioned. No matter what happened in the past.

The problem is never "the jewish" or "the palestinian". Most of the people just want to live in peace and freedom, seeking prosperity and happiness. The problem is the radicalism and hatred kept alive by some people who are interested in this conflict. This is e. g. the US weapons industry as well as arab religious leaders. These key figures don't want any peace, it endangers their wealth and political influence.

I'm convinced that many (especially young) people in the middle east are tired of war, bombs and conflicts. But they don't have a real chance when billion-dollar-deals are at stake.

The great pictures above show a lot of this hopeless situation.



Posted by Mattes June 18, 09 12:54 AM

the most painful images ever on the big picture

Posted by Waqas June 18, 09 01:27 AM

#1: I love the way the bricks in the column of the window near the center of photo #1 line up perfectly with the rows of bricks on the wall behind the column. It looks like an optical illusion, with the top & bottom of the column visible but the middle section completely blended into the background. :-)

Posted by Choudoufu June 18, 09 01:41 AM

I guess a lot of these pictures just make me sad, and reading the comments makes me even more sad...

If I had responded with some illiterate message like:

"OMG! I is living in Jerusalem so long, I forget what day without a explosion! OMG! My cat just explodez! I go to the well, and push thru da camels to get water! OMG! My Internetz stopped! I'll have to pump some more in!"

I'm sure many of the readers of this page would think it's true that all that happens here (in Jerusalem) is rampaging gunfire, bombs, lots of camels, dust, and no running water. Sounds silly, right?

So please, come and see for yourselves. I'm certain you'll be surprised. It could even be fun!

Posted by Shalom Craimer June 18, 09 01:58 AM

All this is due to UK, they have looted nations like these since 1600, UK was a poor nation before , with famines and people dying of hunger(1315AD). These thugs and theives then thought of stealing other nations wealth to fill their pockets by invading them. This way they increased their wealth and then leaving them divided and in war forever. They did this to Israel and they did this to India (and converted India into India and Pakistan) , they divided these countries and their people and made them hate each other.
UK is the real culprit!!!
UK is the real culprit.!!!
UK is the real culprit.!!

Posted by Brahmin June 18, 09 02:35 AM

You don't steal somebody's land, and you don't go around axing people to death! Why don't these people stop and go do something usefull with their lives?

Great photos, 30 and 31 being my favorites...

Posted by Huibertd June 18, 09 02:37 AM

@ Ben (post 16) I suspect Anon was highlighting that the caption reads backwards. .

Posted by Random June 18, 09 03:00 AM

If you feel so bad for the "Palestinian people" then by all means please take them into your communities. The truth is that nobody wants these "people" because they cause havoc and destruction wherever they go. It is convenient to leave them in the Jewish state of Israel because, for the most part, it is far away from you.
Live next door to them for one day and your opinion will change dramaticly. It is very easy to smile for the cameras. We all know how to do it.
If the Palestinian people are so good ands the jews are so bad then please share some examples of what they have done to help society ever. Wake up people.

Posted by Now, go back and honestly think about what the jews have done worldwide for you. June 18, 09 03:05 AM

Hello to everyone,
I am Agree with 27 and 37.
Don't forget that most of people in world know that israel kills palestineans by name of Democracy and unfortunately USA and Europeans accept their works. Don't forget what happened in Gaza. They are hungry by Un and USA and European countries Force. What happened to us!!!!!!

Posted by Rahim Sadeghpoor June 18, 09 03:23 AM

isn't it stupid to live in such horrilbe places, causing and suffering so much pain, just because your "god" once "said" that that's your land?

Posted by paul June 18, 09 04:10 AM

They deserve each other

Posted by Mikhail June 18, 09 04:34 AM

Some jews seem to have an ongoing persecution complex, which leads them to justify just about anything. But jew-persecuters have evolved, and their new stupidity lies elsewhere.
ie. The reality here in Western Europe is that the Jew was yesterday's scapegoat, now people have moved on ... to a new intolerance. After a brief attack on Catholicism (in the name of a lay republic), now people here dislike Muslims. Tomorrow they'll blame everything on Buddhists, or short people, or people with red hair.

Posted by moddeur June 18, 09 04:49 AM

both sides are idiots!
Screw Religion, I vote for a religion-ban! After 10 years they woudn't be able to tell who is who and the fighting would subside.
they live in the same place so deal with it!

pic #16 is just insane. People barely get around and Israel destroys this guys' water pipe for his crops? I can't believe it.

Posted by Andreas June 18, 09 04:59 AM

Hey #8 get your facts right& dont compere what the White S.Africans did 300 plus years ago when they moved into an almost empty S.Africa as there was very few black people there (Historical fact) at the time the Israelis aren't much better than Fascists the way they treat the Palistinians & thats obvious in their actions since 1948

Posted by West Aussie June 18, 09 05:06 AM

Picture 28

Only place in the world where a civilian is allowed to walk alongside a soldier and carrying a weapon and not be in trouble for it. Just proves that Israelis are allowed to do anything they wish as long as it is to do aganist the Palastinians.

Posted by juan June 18, 09 05:09 AM

The area known today as Israel and Palestine has been ruled by the Muslims from 632 to 1917 (1917 when it was invaded by the British). When was this area a homeland for the Jewish people. If this land is so important to the Jewish people why did they abandon it several thousand years ago and emigrate to Europe. The Palestinians were not responsible for the Holocaust in Germany why should they give up there land to make way for the Jewish people.

Posted by fisa June 18, 09 05:15 AM

Oh my god. The blatant anti-semitism on here is sickening. I had a feeling these pics would bring it out. First of all, the land pictured is in dispute. Second, that disputed land has been sitting there for 1000's of years while no one lived on it because there was no water and it was inhospitable to human life.

If the nearby Pal's had been more interested in perhaps educating their next generations on science, e.g., instead of killing Israeli's, then perhaps THEY could have built settlements there, instead of the Israeli's.

57 above is correct, thankfully someone had the guts to put it all in perspective.

And as for 63, that old line about the Jews dominating the media is a good one. Let's have some concrete exapmles, anti-semite, of exactly which Jews dominate the media, other than entertainment?

Posted by joe June 18, 09 05:23 AM

Whilst not claiming to be a scholar I have always thought that the semitic peoples of Palestine and Israel are the blood descendents of Shem as mentioned in the Old Testament. A book honoured by both Muslim and Jew . Admittedly in the latter case the blood lines have become a little diluted by the passage of time by their stay overseas. Only an ignorant person would deny the significant contribution made to western civilisation by the semitic race. I continue to hope with others that the current participants can show they are still intelligent enough to think original thoughts that can break this ridiculous impasse. If they don't then it may be that the will of God will result in their mutual destruction. None of us really want that do we?

Posted by GORDION KNOT June 18, 09 05:30 AM

#31 just says everything, why this will never work, as long as you shout on each other.

Posted by olj June 18, 09 05:45 AM

The international community considers ALL settlements to be illegal, not just 100 or so. International law on the use of force prohibits the transfer of a state's own citizens onto territory it has occupied, as well as the acquisition of territory by force more generally.

Great photos.

Posted by Alice June 18, 09 05:50 AM

The only sensible thing about this whole mess I've heard in decades came from mr. nutcase colonel Gaddafi: The only (possible) solution is a joined Jewish/Palestinian state.

Not that that's ever going to happen.

Posted by Zoltar June 18, 09 05:51 AM

This conflict is not really a conflict specifically between jews and palestinians, or between religions. The cause is just plain human nature. Using words like "jews" or "palestinians" over and over in certain context(i.e. murderers) creates illusion which seems immanent to certain race or nationality(ironically this illusion can have negative real effects). But in reality the problem is universal, we all(as groups) act similarly in specific conditions.

Posted by kalamari June 18, 09 05:55 AM

The Neverending Story (non-fiction)

Posted by Dimi June 18, 09 06:10 AM

To Broomstick,


Comparing the West Bank to South African Settlers shows how little you know.

The Dutch Boers were sent to South Africa to settle, establish, and protect an important trade route for Western Colonial Society. The whites didn't steal anything, they developed the natural resources and created a stable economy and when things started looking up for South Africa the rest of the continent (not natives of South Africa) decided they wanted a piece of the pie and started pushing south forming communist organizations designed to destabilize economic efforts. With the help of idiots like you, they've succeeded and now the great nation of South Africa has the highest rate of murder and rape in the entire world (including the rape of children.) White South Africans are scapegoats, pure and simple and are now targets of inhumane torture and genocide.

Apartheid in it's entirety was no different than U.S. segregation which is still in spirit a full force in the United States today. You are an idiot.

Anyone else like to prove how f*cking stupid they are? Get your facts straight.

- Joe Mehl

Posted by Joe Mehl June 18, 09 06:51 AM

What a bunch of idiots. Fighting over a piece of land and killing each other while other countries prosper by selling them guns and ammo.

#28 is fascinating, due to the fact that the "settler" is apparently building his home with an AK47. "Settler", my ass.

I agree with poster Mattes on this one, it's an artificial conflict, created by powerful individuals, companies and governments. Religious fanatics are just pawns (very idiotic pawns, but pawns nevertheless). It's the same as with "Croatian War of Independence", so I'm guessing Israel vs. Palestine won't be the last conflict.

Posted by dr. Hannibal Lecter June 18, 09 07:23 AM

#13: primates fighting for territory.

Posted by Alfred June 18, 09 07:28 AM

number 8: completely agree with you...

Posted by gutierrezsocialist June 18, 09 07:31 AM

@ Bob Lynch:

Your rhetoric says enough. '"almost-God-forsaken land", "little water, a lot of rock, and not much else". There were people living there, for God's sake!. People who (and let me borrow some words) owned and/or held the land, making a living, producing, educating their families. But the Jews went there anyway, exterminating Palestinians and ruïning the lives of every one of them, their children and their grandchildren. You make them (and again, I'm borrowing some words) at best "citizens" and at worst oppressed dhimmi in their own land.
The fact that this was done to you does not justify taking their land, let alone terrorizing them (for generations) on whatever land they have left.

Furthermore, you make the same mistake as Smitty @46: you can't blame current generations for what their ancestors did. What happened, happened, no matter how gruesome it is. We can only look back at everything the Jews had to go through and learn from it.
That is why the rest of the world can't be blamed for doing what they did to you, that is why Palestinians can't be blamed for winning a war against the Jews 2000 years ago, and that is, indeed, why young Jews born in Israël can't be blamed for taking the land they live on. But that last category can be blamed for the settlements in Judea and Samaria.

This is one of the current questions: do we see people as 'one nation' or as 'people part of one nation'. In the first case, everyone gets the blame for what their ancestors have done. Then the Jews were right to take their own country, but they were wrong in taking one that was owned by someone else and they are clearly wrong in terrorising the people living there. In the second case (and this is, as stated above, what I believe), the Jews were wrong in taking their own country (and certainly in stealing it from someone else, and current generations are only right in keeping their homeland, not in terrorising each other and trying to steal more territories).
Either way: the Jewish people were, for the largest part, wrong.

As someone else mentioned above: Israël is the most hated country in the world. That should make you think...
Even Iran has people fighting and protesting for what's right.

Posted by Anonymous June 18, 09 07:31 AM

There is a saying that "those who are abused grow up to be abusers". Nobody can doubt the suffering and persecution which the Jews have had to endure throughout history, especially in the last century. However, they have lost any moral high ground which they may previously have held by subjecting the Palestinians of the occupied territories to the same racist discrimination and "ethnic cleansing" which their own Nazi persecutors used against them. When will the US finally stop blindly supporting Israel?...maybe when Israel starts building "concentration camps" for the Palestinians to "work" in? Israel is an internationally recognized state which is acting illegally and in contravention of UN resolutions. Look what happened to Iraq when it did that...can Israelis look forward to being "liberated" in the same way?! Maybe Tony Blair will even persuade the UK to join in the "liberation of an oppressed people" again...oh no, I forgot - he got that cushy job (middle astern peace envoy - ha!) he was after so he doesn't need to go through all that BS again!

Posted by Simon Earl June 18, 09 08:00 AM

I have to ask, why are there so many gaps in the presentation?
Missing images 22, 24+.

Posted by Wolf Bogacz June 18, 09 08:04 AM

Let me get this straight. The Arabs and Muslims control many, many thousands of square miles of the Middle East, and North Africa as well. Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq just to name a few. They feature oppressive governments and economic stagnation except for oil revenues, and trading business in Lebanon. They have driven out Jews, Christians, people of other religions and seculars.
Within Israel proper there live more than a million Arabs, mostly Muslim. In Arab lands most Jews have been oppressed and driven out. And Arab imperialists refuse to let Jews live in any numbers in the West Bank, and most of them want to take the land of Israel iteslf. And yet Isrrael and the jews are the bad guys?

Posted by anti-imperialist June 18, 09 08:39 AM

A few comments:

1) In the intro you say that "The international community views over 100 of the settlements as illegal under international law. "

I think it is important to note that ALL of the settlements are illegal under international law according to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies"

No country can claim to be a true democracy at the same time as being an Occupier - so long that those being occupied do not have the same rights as the citizens

2) @79
To say that the disputed land was not inhabited is incredibly ignorant...and just repeating the old Zionist phrase "A land without a people for a people without a land." This stance completely denies the reality of the 100's of thousands of Palestinians who have been forced to flee since 48 (which the Israeli government recognizes - albeit refuses to allow to return).

Furthermore, I would like to see you make that argument to the family of Rachel Corrie, who was killed by a bulldozer operated by the IDF while trying to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes for further settlement building.

population into the territory it occupies

Posted by Ashraf June 18, 09 08:49 AM

The big picture is proof that the blogs and websites will never be able to do what newspapers are doing today. Thanks so much for this.

Posted by ricky June 18, 09 10:26 AM

All we can do is try to lend support to our Democratic allies in a region full of countries that want to destroy us (USA) and would happily settle for the destruction of Israel. We still must criticize when Israel is doing something wrong, but when they are being unjustly attacked, must defend them as well.

Posted by MemphisBlue June 18, 09 10:43 AM

I won't try to educate the ignorant here; you can wallow in your anti-Semitism and your fake history. But for those pursuing a career in journalism, it's important to note the rules on writing about Jews. Ready? Get your Big Chief tablet and your crayons out (this means you, Broomstick).
Anything built by an Israeli Jew is "an illegal outpost/structure/domicile." Don't question it: if the government says it's illegal, then it's obviously illegal. Seig Heil.
But anything built by a Palestinian is an "allegedly illegal" canal/structure/etc.
Got it? Also, it was built on "his own land." Get it? Any land they claim is there magically becomes theirs. Can we make Boston the Palestinian homeland?

Posted by Don Kenner June 18, 09 10:44 AM

I do so wish the photos showed a comparison of the newly established jewish settlements with the long standing arab settlements in their proximity. How does the quality of life in one compare to the other? How good is the sanitation and garbage removal? How good are the schools?

Posted by hasifleur wagibigit June 18, 09 11:05 AM

Colonies, not 'settlements'. Setting them up is a war crime under international law.

Posted by Doug Tanner June 18, 09 11:42 AM

The israelis should go back to Israel and leave the illegal buildings to the Palestinians to do as they please in restoration for 50+ years of abuse and humiliation.

Also why are civilians allowed to carry automatic weapons in plain day light.. is that completely nuts or what?

Posted by not a happy camper June 18, 09 11:44 AM

What is the man on the left wearing on his head in Pic #29?


Posted by tobias June 18, 09 11:44 AM

#31 sums it all up ... they're not listening to each other!

Posted by Des June 18, 09 11:59 AM

Arabs are Semites. If you want to deny this, please deny the rest of your "holy" books. You would do the world a favor.

Posted by Anonymous June 18, 09 12:12 PM

These hills do something to those people. All of them. Something bad!

Posted by Niles

The Hills didn't do anything to these people... their relgions did it!

Gordon Hill

Posted by Gordon Hill June 18, 09 12:13 PM


Posted by Global Ottawa June 18, 09 12:17 PM

Okay, so everyone who criticizes Israël is an anti-semite or (Don @98) even a Nazi? That's extremism right there.

Joe (@80), let me quote you.
"If the nearby Pal's had been more interested in perhaps educating their next generations on science, e.g., instead of killing Israeli's, then perhaps THEY could have built settlements there, instead of the Israeli's."
Not at all! You say so yourself: "That disputed land has been sitting there for 1000's of years while no one lived on it because there was no water and it was inhospitable to human life."
They only have to live there now because the Jewish people stole the good lands. Ow, and now their stealing the inhospitable lands too...

And MemphisBlue (@97): off course, you are right: all Muslims wants to destroy the USA. Just like there were WMD's in Iraq.

Posted by Anonymous June 18, 09 12:28 PM

to A South American - comment 27

"The Jewish People"? That includes all of us - every single one? I am Jewish, have never been to the middle east, have no desire to go, yet I'm responsible. At a synagogue near me, and all over, and in Israel many Jews protest the occupation.

You know what's responsible is pure racists like you. People are people - get over yourself. Get them away from religion and everybody gets along fine.

Posted by moi June 18, 09 12:30 PM

Simon Earl and others - could you please stop referring to "the Jews" and refer to the actual people doing this? Not all Jews and not all Israelis are responsible.

Is it that hard to figure out? As a Jew whose family suffered greatly in Austria and none of us have ever set foot in the middle east and don't intend to, I resent that. Yes, I support Israel - why? Rampant anti-semitism throughout the world, that's why. "The Jews" indeed. If you want it to go away, it starts with you.

Posted by moi June 18, 09 12:45 PM

Can't we all just get along and live together? We're all citizens of Earth, doesn't that count for anything?

P.S. I'm disgusted at the mass of materials that get destroyed... Ancient civilizations RE-USED the materials into different structures... Either don't destroy it or recycle it.

Posted by jacnpdx June 18, 09 12:48 PM

To Don Kenner + the few here who "get it":

The media fans the flames of antisemitism, now, as it always has. Journalism is the playground of the Liberal, may God bless him and her. Journalism finds its roots and support from Academia, from all those people who sing their Hymns of Should Be, listing rights wronged, listing wrongs magnified, listing underdogs oppressed (who really are the majority), listing old bigotries repaved into nice new gleaming-and-very-PC modern canards.

The Liberal in turn holds dear to her heart that there are good people (oppressed, native, indigie) and there are bad people (profiteers, mendicants, like-minded aggressors, armies + who-knows ... maybe democracy itself). And that the bad people should be fought, decried, harried, thwarted, subjugated to international pogroms, inquisitions, tribunals, possies.

THINK FOLKS: you are "right" in your minds ONLY because you are ignoring the salient points of history itself, you are mouthing the SAID truth, you are using hyperbole and oft-repeated, and just-as-oft wrong rhetoric to propound your revulsion of what is as timeless as civilisation itself: people asserting their right to land, by way of SETTLING on it. There is no older rule of civilisation: the settler who builds an enterprise, who raises a family, at some point inherits the right TO that land they developed,.

NO ONE in any part fo the world "paid" for the lands they commandeered from us when we were forced out, to "ovens" or cattle cars, or to walk thousands of miles to our new, desparately poor, but DRIVIN new homeland. You decry "thousands of Palestinians FORCED out of their provinances", yet millions of Jews were forced from theirs, statistically more likely to die than to make it.

YOU have teh gaul to tell me about the inequity of it. Yes, the inequity is very real, very profound. We built our homes all through non-Israel, and today they are inhabited by millions of freeloaders that never paid a shekel for them. We have long been hated because we ARE very family oriented, because we DO support each other, because we HAVE builty laudible (and many) enterprises out of thin air.

But beware, academia - the Jew-hatred that is so evident here, and around the world (read above, "Israel is the most hated country) - beware. Because history shows that Jew-hatred is really "smart, enterprising and successful" hatred. In other guises heads of Kings have rolled because they had the lock on wealth and success. FACE IT, people who liberally pine after the "oppressed Palestinians" - your mental image of a Jew is ... wealthy, religious, 'different', and LUCKY. Yes, academics, liberals - remember ... your heads have also often rolled into the box under the guillotine as history shows. I can see why you pillory the Jews so loudly, so often, so energetically: to DISTANCE your attainment from the bigoted few upon which then the ire of the populus will focus. Yes, it is that simple.

The media is complicit - by using words that portray the Jews as bad, the Palestinians (proxy to all people who are not Jewish) as good. They're "illegal settlements" because the Israeli government said so. Irony is lost that there IS a government that DOES say so, isn't it? Irony is lost that there IS a fully functional, vibrant, self-supporting, creative, very liberal, very cosmopolitan democracy sitting there right in the midst of the nomads. Irony is lost that it is the JEWS who are leveling the JEWISH settlements, precisely to try to ammend their ways to the force of UN Law. Irony is lost that they continue to struggle to build a civilisation, even by tearing part of their own enterprise down. But not so the (lower case) palestinian, representing all the rest of the Liberal Ideal of the world. No. Its the proletariat and bourgeoisie again, isn't it?

As long as there is a bogey, the world sings itself to slumber.

Posted by Bob Lynch June 18, 09 02:46 PM

The conflict is so hard to solve exactly because both sides have rights to the land.

No it is not the Palestinians fault that the Jews were driven out of their land by the Romans. At the time in fact no such thing as Palestinians nor Muslims even existed.
It was the Romans who as well as exiling the Jews, had also renamed their homeland from Judea to Palestine in an attempt to erase it's Jewish identity.

In the 7th century Muslims invaded Palestine, massacred it's people, converted them to Islam and you guessed it built settlements. They erased the local populations identity to the level that today hardly any of them can recall that before the Muslim occupation of Palestine they were mostly Jews and Christians.

Yet the Muslim conquest and subjugation of Palestine is seen as legal and the Arab Muslim identity of Palestine as natural while the Jews returning to their homeland is fake and illegal. Despite the fact that in all the time since 135CE to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 no other group claimed independence in this land. It was just occupied by a succession of foreign powers.

Jewish rights are completely ignored here, what about the Jewish right to self determination? Denying the Jews this right while claiming it for just about any other nation on earth is anti-Semitic.

The conflict is so hard to solve because of the people denying one another's right to self determination. The settlements aren't helping because they are on land that is needed to establish a national home for Palestinians and Palestinian insistence on denying Jewish rights in the region is not helping Israelis feel safe in giving Palestinians the freedom to build an army.

Claims of genocide against Palestinians are ludicrous, in over 60 years of conflict you'd be hard pressed to find 10,000 Palestinians killed by Israelis and most of those were combatants who died during wars. Yet this claim is used time and again to justify calls for the erasure of Israel. What do you think the people calling for the erasure of Israel intend to do with its Jewish inhabitants? At best they will lose their rights and independence, at worst it will be a real rather than an imagined genocide.

I'd also like to note that while denying Jews the right to live in the West Bank is widely accepted, any idea of applying a similar treatment to Arab Muslims living in Israel would be considered outright racism and ethnic cleansing. Yet when applied to Jews it's OK.

Posted by Z June 18, 09 02:50 PM

@99 "I do so wish the photos showed a comparison of the newly established jewish settlements with the long standing arab settlements in their proximity. How does the quality of life in one compare to the other? How good is the sanitation and garbage removal? How good are the schools?"

What does it matter? If you stole the land, and treat the palestinians like slaves. It is somehow justified because you have a better standard of living?.

Israel has always been on the wrong side of history, and will always be, until its destruction.

There is absolutely, ABSOLUTELY, NO justification for the existence of Israel and the massacre they commit. All these comments "but Muslim/Arab countries are backwards" don't justify anything. The holocaust doesn't justify stealing land and committing another holocaust.

There is absolutely no anti-semitism here, I have nothing against Jews. Only the nationalist Israelies which support Israel and their policies. And it is true that there is such a huge Jewish influence over the US government and media through pseudo-foreign agent organizations like AIPAC, that most of the coverage in the media and government policy is pro-Israel.

Israelies completely own the US government (see Ariel Sharon's comment on it), to the point that Israeli spies working for AIPAC Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman ARE FORGIVEN and not sentenced like they should be. Israel can kill tens of americans by bombing US ships like the USS Liberty, and all is A-OK.

The USA is truly under the control of the Israeli machine. They can have nuclear weapons, and it's ok, they can spy on the US (look up the many cases) and it's ok, they can have concentration camps, torture, use white phosphorus on civilians in Gaza, and it's ok, they can use Palestinian children as human shields, and it's ok.

The US and Israel will pay eventually. Everyone pays for what they do.

Posted by elpais June 18, 09 03:27 PM

I have read alot of the comments not all of them but the one I have read say something along the lines of the jewish have a history on these lands and that as a nation since 1948 have developed these lands and so have a right to them. This is pretty much ridiculous!

It was once said that after the Apocolyspe that when all that is left are the cockroaches, the Jewish cockroaches will hate the Palestinian cockroaches.

I am Irish, as a nation with a long history of emigration and as such development of other lands e.g. Australia, America does this give me a claim on these countries. Maybe I'll give it a try. I admit that 2000 years ago or so the Jewish people lived the area now known as Palestine, it was never a Jewish state with a Jewish government. At one stage the Ottoman Empire ruled the entire area, should the Turks now be the rulers of this land. The Romans once ruled Carthage to England, should Gordon Brown hand over his leadership to the Italians.
This is one of the stupidest conflicts (like ever conflict) ever. Just get over it, live in the same lands get on which other and shut up!

Posted by ns June 18, 09 03:39 PM

I don't get it...its sad to see.....What the hell is wrong with these groups of Jewish Settlers? They are really making the whole look bad right now

The US should pull its teet from Israel's mouth, and let them see how it feels to be truly isolated for a little bit...

Posted by vc June 18, 09 04:30 PM

@ 114 -

Have you heard of King David? Solomon? Hanuka and the Hashmonai revolt? There were periods of Jewish Independence and Kingdoms in the region and even under occupation and after being exiled to Babylon, Jews returned and were the major inhabitants of the region until the 135CE when the Romans forced them out.

No you don't have claim to Australia or America, they should rightfully belong to their indigenous populations and all European colonialist must be erased by the logic of those calling for the destruction of Israel. You have Ireland, you have a nation state where the Irish can live proud and free.

The Jews also deserve such a place and they have much more claim to their land than North or South Americans have or the English in Northern Ireland for that matter.

Posted by Z June 18, 09 04:34 PM

114 - witness N and S Ireland...hmmm

Posted by moi June 18, 09 04:58 PM

#31 "The whole thing was illegal from the start, in my opinion."

That doesn't SOLVE anything. Right or wrong, the fact of the matter is there are people living there. Anyone can sit there and do a recap. What does it SOLVE? What should be done? Exterminate all the Israeli's? The fact of the matter is these people HAVE TO NOW SHARE a part of the world. That is a fact. Finger pointing doesn't solve a god damn thing.

Posted by Penny Lane June 18, 09 06:25 PM

All of you that are so against Israel...tell me. What should they do? Go off and die? People who were born into this mess who didn't choose it, who don't know anything else...what should they do?

I do NOT agree with what European Colonists did to Native Americans but what can I do? Die? Move back to England, Ireland, Italy and every other place I have a drop of blood? The fact of the matter is These people have to learn to live together. And jumping on sides doesn't help anything.

Posted by Penny Lane June 18, 09 06:31 PM

to # 116.. "The Jews also deserve such a place and they have much more claim to their land than North or South Americans have or the English in Northern Ireland for that matter."..
so if you have the right to have a country and a land.. you have the right also to kill Palestinians take their lands threw them out, ..etc???
arent u now subjecting the Palestinian pple (kanaanites) to the same horrors that Jewish pple went threw in the Nazis regime??
what a sad concept.. u kill them treat them like animals then you speak like u are the victims.

Posted by aline from lebanon June 18, 09 06:52 PM

Great photos - strange to see so many Palestinians labourers working on building sites in growing settlements, but I guess beggars cant be choosers.

Whilst its sad to see within these comments a repeated failure to distinguish Judaism from Zionism or indeed Israeli citizenship, its equally pathetic to see so much cynical over-emphasis on anti-Semitism as the root problem to what is a territorial dispute. That argument is a tired and flippant disclaimer; the last bastion of a guilty conscience unable to defend its record with any sort of sincerity, nobility, or actual moral authority. The only thing that is more crass is invoking memories of the holocaust in justification for a defensive mentality, that really is the lowest denominator.

Israel's neighbours are far from being a pragmatic, admirable societies, but that has cost them immensely in goodwill, influence and privilege. Its time the same happened to Israel. The long standing strategy to act, "like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." (General Moshe Dayan) has been exposed for its greed and cowardice, If Israel wishes to maintain any sense of influence in a world whose center is constantly shifting east its would be wise to evolve its medieval mentality to befit its status as a first world nation with first world privileges.

Posted by G K in London June 18, 09 06:58 PM

"All of you that are so against Israel...tell me. What should they do? Go off and die? People who were born into this mess who didn't choose it, who don't know anything else...what should they do?"

Wow what a gross over-simplication that is. The solutions are widely outlined and long standing. 1967 borders, sovereignty and rights to return for refugees. This 'kill or be killed' false reality that Israelis have painted for themselves is a delusional political playing card. There are and have always been other options on the table, but its clear to see for reasons of pride, religious fundamentalism and political convenience these have been down-played, ignored and misrepresented.... Israel needs to come to terms with having a greater population density, the solution to any countries growth can never be to periodically annexe land from your neighbours, and if that is unpalatable then perhaps it should consider retracting its invitation to new immigrants. Its called living within your means, and it involves concessions that should have been made decades ago.

Also can I just rubbish all these comparisons between European colonialists and the original Zionist migrants. The Colonialists were never sent to their destinations with a mandate of peace and a legally endorsed remit to assimilate peacefully, the first Israelis however were obligated to both of those principles, and they ignored them horrendously, defiantly and without any real sense of foresight of legacy. Those were the clouded judgements of forefathers intoxicated by post-holocaust fear and religious ambition, now is the time for the sober approach, an approach that pays regard to the institutions that helped create Israel.

Posted by G K in London June 18, 09 08:14 PM

Picture #34, staged for affect. Sorry to say but the Jews bring their troubles upon themselves.

Posted by Perry June 18, 09 09:36 PM

Completely, utterly and fully agreed with "G K in London" (@121, 122). Best way to put it yet. Read his comments carefully, and if you don't agree: let it soak in - it'll come.

Just one addition. When reading this: "Israel needs to come to terms with having a greater population density, the solution to any countries growth can never be to periodically annexe land from your neighbours", the term 'Lebensraum' jumped to mind. Am I going too far? Maybe not.

Posted by Anonymous June 18, 09 10:27 PM

c'est sans fin

Posted by Alizé June 19, 09 12:36 AM

unbelievable comments.There ARE NO SUCH PEOPLE AS THE PALESTINIANS.The people claiming that name are the poorest of the poor from a land caslled Transjordan,They have no claim to the land of Israel any more than the Norwegians do.They are unfortunates who have been neglected and abused by their Arab brethren in the hope of formenting trouble for Israel.Do you really believe there is no room or money for these people in Jordan? As for this drivel about Israel "killing Palestinians for the last 50 years."Are your memories really so short? Who attacked whom in 1948?Who invented the whole notion of 20th( and 21st)Century terrorism?Whens the last time you heard about an Israeli settler hijacking an airplane? OR going into a SCHOOL and shooting CHILDREN? did anyone notice #27?was there anything even closely comparable being done by the Jews to the Palestinains?

Posted by dougB June 19, 09 12:44 AM

@ KJ -

The only people invoking the holocaust here are those trying to compare Israelis to Nazis.

Settlement has nothing to do with population pressure it has to do with the historical and religious value of Judea and Sumeria to the Jewish people. The places are littered with the places the Old Testament took place at.

And if oversimplification is the subject in hand, casually mentioning the right of return without mentioning that since Jews are in fact a minority, this would mean that their culture and rights would be crushed by the Arab majority and is just another word for destroying Israel. Jews like Egyptians, Irish, Czech or any other nation have the right to draw a line in the sand and crate a Nation State that will protect their rights. How many Nation States are there for and by Arabs and/or Muslims? Yet they insist on taking away the one, pretty small in fact Nation State for the Jews.

It is possible to give the Palestinians the right of return to the West Bank and Gaza, but this is not what the Arab Peace initiative or the Palestinians themselves are demanding.

King Abdullah of Jordan has suggested amending the Arab peace initiative to this effect, I dearly wish him success, but he is quite week in the Arab world and I don't think he made much headway with this so far.

Posted by Z June 19, 09 01:11 AM

who the F*CK cares who's land it is?? Humans just have this need to argue, and this blog is proving it.

Posted by anonymous June 19, 09 01:44 AM

No need to fight all Israelis are welcomed to Dharamshala (H.P) India.

Posted by b-OBBY June 19, 09 01:57 AM

@ dougB - go learn about Hagganah and the Stern army before you start preaching about some mythical sense of virtuous Israeli conduct. Although ultimately you are only engaging in a circular chicken and egg argument that relies on cynically exploiting historical disputes. The only verdicts that matter are those which were composed after the creation of international conventions and the fall of the British empire, this bickering about 'my people' and 'their people' is like talk from the dark ages..... the outcome of who should've justly received what land was made by the must appropriate judiciary
60 years ago, the failure of the original migrants to honour this agreement can only be justified in terms that are as religiously fundamental and deluded as those endorsed by Islamists, seems the two parties have more in common than they would like to admit.

and @ Z . You don't seem to understand the difference between nationality, race and ethnicity and as such its no surprise to see you crudely categorise all of the Arab states in the middle east as the same entity. And this 'right' to draw a line in the sand is a ridiculous notion, history is on-going, there is no line in the sand, unless that is you view Israel's creation as closure for the holocaust in which case why is it in the Levant and not Bavaria ? Religious fundamentalism / Oppurtunism ?

Can I also just say Its appalling yet ingenious the way the Israeli machine has encouraged the resurgence of the term 'Judea and Sumeria' to replace the PR disaster that is the 'west bank' . Provokes an image of ancient entitlement and wisdom.... great branding, I'd expect no less from the worlds most dishonest PR monster

Posted by G K in London June 19, 09 02:23 AM

Funny and sad that fanatics at both sides think the same:
Get these people out of OUR land!

Posted by Lee Smith June 19, 09 02:26 AM

Religion is what is created in peoples minds to replace the loss of their Mothers and Fathers. Praying replaces crying for your parents when frightened of the dark.. Grow up Israel. Grow up Arabs. We're tired of you're juvenile antics. Jews think they're more evolved than Arabs. Arabs think their closer to the source of the natural world. They're both wrong, thus they will suffer as they dwell in their ill-conceived beliefs. One thing is certain, they are all rotten parents.
Jews, learn to share. Arabs, learn to play with others nicely. Mother Earth, be patient, we'll be gone soon..

Posted by Earthrider June 19, 09 02:42 AM

I've been spending much time trying to understand this conflict. As an atheist and a non-Middle-Easterner, I think I have an unbiased perspective. The first question that fascinates me is the amount of attention and coverage given to this conflict. There are much more horrible and violent conflicts around the world, particularly in Africa, but also in parts of Asia. Compared to those, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is pretty minor both in terms of casualties and in terms of the total number of people and amount of territory affected.

Some of the Muslim world makes a lot of noise about this conflict, but much of that is a cynical and hypocritical use of the Palestinians considering how unwelcome the Palestinians were in places like Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, and how they were fought there. The Palestinian case is just used shamelessly to rally the masses in these Muslim countries and divert their attention from what's happening in their own countries.

As to the Western world, it really is hard to explain the obsession of so many in Europe and the US with this conflict, and the relative lack of interest in much more devastating conflicts around the world. It's hard not to get the feeling that if the conflict was between, say, the Yemenites and the Palestinians, no one would care. The fact that it's the Jews somehow makes a difference, and that's a pretty strange phenomenon by itself.

As to the historical context of this conflict, it's important to realize that this piece of land had a very small population throughout the Middle Ages from the time it was conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century and until modern times. Before that, the population was mostly Jewish and Christian. During the Middle Ages, there was an Arab population of about 200K. In modern times, population was still sparse until the early 20th century. It was around 500K in the late 19th century, which is less than the population of the city of Seattle. There was an influx of both Arabs in Jews in the first half of the 20th century as the land was developed during the years of the British Mandate.

At the time of the 1947 UN Partition Plan there were about 1M Arabs and 650K Jews. Some areas had an Arab majority, and some had a Jewish majority (such as Jerusalem which has had a Jewish majority since the second half of the 19th century). The Arabs rejected the partition, and this led to the war of 1948 which was won by the Jews. After Israel was established in 1948, there were large immigration waves of Jews to Israel, which resulted in a large Jewish majority. Some Arabs remained in Israel as Israeli citizens - about 20% of Israeli citizens are Arab. Others (the refugees) left to other countries or to places such as the Gaza Strip.

All this is now mostly the domain of previous generations. People (both Jews and Arabs) of the current generations were mostly born into the current reality.

The biggest thing that hurts the Palestinians in my opinion is that they are entirely focused on fighting. They fight the Israelis and they fight each other (note the unimaginably horrible things that Hamas and Fatah people do to each other). There is no focus at all on productive work such as building their economy or creating anything of value. They really need to change their strategy if they want to get anywhere - stop fighting among themselves and shift more energy toward economic development rather than hopeless fighting against Israel. Why not build hotels and develop tourism on the nice beaches of Gaza instead of putting crappy missle launchers there that don't achieve anything other than getting them into trouble? Their current strategy provides the perfect excuse for Israel not to make any significant further concessions.

Posted by Observer June 19, 09 03:15 AM

In picture 31 an isreali and palestinian are yelling at each other. What do they seem to be accomplishing? NOTHING. Basicall 2 brothers that cant see past there noses. What are the yelling over? DIRT. They kill each other in the name of who? GOD. They will continue to live like this for many centuries in the future. Why, NO REASON BUT JUST TO FIGHT AND KILL BECAUSE SOME ONE ELSE SAID SO. Just a bunch of followers and no real leaders. The big question is, Who is worst? THEY BOTH ARE. Thank goodness i am an american that forgives.

Posted by Kevein T June 19, 09 03:55 AM

I just don't get it, it's crappy land no trees just rocks and dirt. I'm not on either side...just continue to blow each other up.

Posted by pipera June 19, 09 07:28 AM

G. K. in London - the comparisons to European colonialism are in response to Europeans bashing Jews. We're just asking people to stop generalizing is all - we're no different from you. Also, your pragmatic statement doesn't take into consideration the fact that anti-semitism is at the root of all the Israel-bashing. Israel does not have "kill or be killed" mentality. They do claim a right to defend themselves however. As long as the suicide bombings continue what else do you expect? As for the settlements, many Jews are against that as well so please stop generalizing already.

Posted by moi June 19, 09 08:23 AM

I am Jewish and I am often filled with sadness about the settlements and the Palestinians and about the way that Israel turns out and behavees. It's inhuman. Then I get bashed in person just for being Jewish (never even been to Israel) or read stupid comments such as many of these and I think Go Israel!

Posted by moi June 19, 09 08:32 AM

37 got it right
Genocide, that's what it is!
Ironic from those who call themselves the Chosen People.

Posted by Mia June 19, 09 09:17 AM

Israel could learn a lot from the Troubles in Northern Ireland. You can never ever force a group of people into submission. The fighting will never end unless they move out.

Tiocfáidh ár Lá

Posted by redir June 19, 09 10:03 AM

All of them are just stubborn morons.... get over a piece of land. They are so obsessed with it that they ruin their lives and their children's lives...

All major disputes in civilization usually boil down to 1 of two things, religion or land. In this case, its both.

Pathetic really.

Posted by jeff June 19, 09 10:17 AM

Wow, I'm completely blown away and saddened by the childish sentiment expressed here. GROW UP. The world is a hard place; living is a difficult endeavor for everyone. We are ALL ONE. We do not need to kill each other, we should not see race, religion, and gender as traits that separate us, but rather make us similar.

The fact that the Jewish people are in Israel living in and among the Palestinians shouldn't be an issue. There are plenty of countries that embrace multiple races and religions, and EVERY country has multiple genders. When BOTH the Palestinians and Israelis stop acting like spoiled rotten children (albeit children with extremely powerful and destructive weapons) and start cooperating with each other to accommodate differing needs and objectives, this overly long dispute will be shelved as yet another example of really bad behavior in the 20th and 21st centuries.


Five-year olds are better behaved.

Posted by Marie Carone June 19, 09 10:30 AM

Without engaging in an under-informed opinion about the dynamics of the situations captured (as I far too often do in my online articles), at the very least I want to compliment the excellence of the photography by Ammar Awad, Hazem Bader, Dan Balilty, Ahmad Gharabli, Jack Guez, Nasser Ishtayeh, Menahem Kahana, Gil Cohen Magen, Jonathan Naackstrand, Yehuda Raizner, Baz Ratner, Sebastian Scheiner, David Silverman, and Uriel Sinai.

With modern cameras, just about anyone can take a great picture. More than ever, it is now the scene, the story told, and the risks taken that distinguish the fine photojournalist from the good picture-taker.

My thanks to these fine photojournlists.

Posted by Dark Wraith June 19, 09 02:57 PM

@99 "I do so wish the photos showed a comparison of the newly established jewish settlements with the long standing arab settlements in their proximity. How does the quality of life in one compare to the other? How good is the sanitation and garbage removal? How good are the schools?"

What does it matter? If you stole the land, and treat the palestinians like slaves. It is somehow justified because you have a better standard of living?.

Israel has always been on the wrong side of history, and will always be, until its destruction.

There is absolutely, ABSOLUTELY, NO justification for the existence of Israel and the massacre they commit. All these comments "but Muslim/Arab countries are backwards" don't justify anything. The holocaust doesn't justify stealing land and committing another holocaust.

There is absolutely no anti-semitism here, I have nothing against Jews. Only the nationalist Israelies which support Israel and their policies. And it is true that there is such a huge Jewish influence over the US government and media through pseudo-foreign agent organizations like AIPAC, that most of the coverage in the media and government policy is pro-Israel.

Israelies completely own the US government (see Ariel Sharon's comment on it), to the point that Israeli spies working for AIPAC Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman ARE FORGIVEN and not sentenced like they should be. Israel can kill tens of americans by bombing US ships like the USS Liberty, and all is A-OK.

The USA is truly under the control of the Israeli machine. They can have nuclear weapons, and it's ok, they can spy on the US (look up the many cases) and it's ok, they can have concentration camps, torture, use white phosphorus on civilians in Gaza, and it's ok, they can use Palestinian children as human shields, and it's ok.

The US and Israel will pay eventually. Everyone pays for what they do.

Posted by good comment June 19, 09 06:48 PM

Incredible pictures.

Clearly, Jewish immigrants of European origin are behaving rather brutally towards the rural Arabs that have lived here for centuries.

I wish I could blame religion but it looks more like racism from here.

Posted by tommy hosen June 19, 09 07:19 PM

Israel is using the US for its own interests, in no time throughout history have there been two countries whose interests coincided all the time, Israel is now a big burden on the US, already battered and weakened by 8 years of Bush/Cheney reckless adventures and a stifling financial meltdown.

The US didn't commit the Holocaust so why should it see itself entitled to supporting Israel all the time all the way. We did more than we ought too. Let the Europeans clean their shame themselves.

Besides, the land was stolen in the first place so it's the Palestinian we should rather support since he has the moral high ground but somehow we choose to support the wrong guy.

Why do we care, let them settle their own conflicts. We have so much work to clean our own house right now.

Posted by Slim June 19, 09 07:57 PM

# 27 captures the emotion so well - great shots of very interesting stuff

Posted by He is My One Desire June 19, 09 11:16 PM

#113 and many others - hate to tell you this but Israel is here to stay. the continuous extermination and rampant blatant open hatred and legal murder of Jews did not stop until Israel was created. We are hated for having our act together, for being prosperous and smart and industrious. Jewish doctors around the world have saved many lives only to get shot in the head in return. There are plenty of Israelis today who work in defense of the Palestinians, and American Jews who do as well. For some reason all other nationalities who had a hand in the mess in the mideast get off scot-free (I am loving these posts by Britons especailly. Oh yes. GO ISRAEL

Posted by proud of being Jewish June 20, 09 03:46 AM

I want to say that the Jews deserved a compensation for the Holocaust (I'm Polish so I know what they passed through), but what is now happening on the West Bank passes all international standards laid down by international law.
Significant is the fact that the establishment of Israel state was a theft on the Palestinian state, but what the settlers from Israel do, shows the arrogance and false pride of citizens of that country. Instead of being grateful for all that they received after centurys of wandering and suffering, there claims and aggressive expansion raise antipathy for them over the world.
Peace but not at any price. Long live free Palestine.

Sorry for my poor English. I’m better of whit German.

Posted by Simon June 20, 09 09:19 AM

Why Jews are treated so special as a group. There are many new world races that exterminated or subjugated by european colonialism, Romas also suffered heavily under Nazis. Why nobody talks about homeland to those races .Why Jews are given so importance. They always mention their hardship suffered in the history and use it as justification of whatever injustice they do!!!

Posted by Spiegel June 21, 09 01:36 AM

To JoeMehl and Aussie , The white supermacist

according to you guys whatever european did is for some beneficial reasons for the natives. They were on the civilzing mission and discharging white mans burden, what u guys think. you always have convincing excuses to hide your misdeeds.
Last thing I can hear is advocating the colonialism!!
u stupids!!

Posted by dehoon June 21, 09 01:52 AM

@55 and @102 the guy on the left in 55 is wearing "tefilin" (, but instead of wearing a single one on his head, he's wearing two. I'm not certain why, but if I was forced to hazard a guess, I'd say that he's trying to compromise between the two kinds of tefilin.

One kind is "Rashi", and the other is "Rabbenu Tam" (the names of these kinds of tefilin is simply the names of the Rabbis most famous for wearing them.)
I hope that helps :-)

Posted by Shalom Craimer June 21, 09 06:26 AM

The religious guy in picture 7 is screaming at the soldier that he should be ashamed of himself. Instead of protecting his fellow Jews against those that would like nothing more than to murder as many of his fellow Jews (especially soldiers) as possible, he is destroying the houses of people who believe they are doing what his own G-d wants them to do - settle their land as much as possible.

He started out talking nicely to the soldiers there. He only started screaming only from an extreme amount of pain. Why do our own soldiers have to degrade themselves to do the governments dirty work? Because Obama said so?

By the way, the soldier eventually got very uncomfortable and said that he actually didn't want to be there and was disgusted along with the settlers.

The reason I know all of this - I am the person is the picture. :'(

Posted by Avi June 21, 09 07:39 AM

Hey Spiegel - Those races have a homeland already.

Anyway, nobody's stopping anybody else from writing a book or making a movie. And, they have. Plenty of them. The majority of people who were killed were the Jews.

"They always mention their hardship...etc." Or really? Always? As for injustice, all the Palestinians need to do is stop detonating bombs in Israeli streets.

The Big Picture should have expected this with this theme. I wish they'd do something far more important and that would be a picture set about the destruction to the environment, which affects absolutely everybody. We need to stop beating up Jews or somebody else for everything, stop pointing fingers, educate people who live in countries that still behead people for speaking their minds, and start taking better care of this beautiful earth that belongs to all of us.

Posted by proud to be Jewish June 21, 09 09:26 AM

Pic #31 captures the problem perfectly: two sides screaming at each other, neither one listening.

Until the Jews, Palestinians, Christians, and all the other groups in that land look at each other and see each other as brothers, none of this hatred will ever change.

"We're one, but we not the same - we have to carry each other, carry each other..."

Posted by Matt June 21, 09 10:13 PM

There is nothing to be proud... shame on you Israel. Israeli settlements are problem number one in Peace Talks. No justice = no peace!

Posted by from Poland June 22, 09 02:48 AM

Israel survives because arabs sleep, when arabs wakeup there will be no israel.

Posted by king786 June 22, 09 04:46 AM

try explain it all to the baby in pic 34...
so sad.

I have been to Israel and I know that the normal people want and KNOW that there will be eventually a Palestinian state, so the politicians inevitably will have to comply to s just a matter of time.

of course there will always also be those who talk NONSENSE, from BOTH sides, like comment 57 here (Israelis were once in control of all countries??? LOL!!!) and comment 156 (just a reminder, in 1967 Israel beat all of Arab countries in just SIX maybe there will be no Arabs if Israel wants it my friend).

take this advice from a neutral Greek who likes both sides: stop argueing and LIVE IN PEACE at last, you have nothing to divide. build an underground motorway to unite Gaza strip and West Bank and you have a Palestinian state, with its regions connected.

Posted by Christos June 22, 09 08:10 AM

Ugly. The only word that crosses my mind after seeing this. I wish strength to the palestinians.

Posted by vili from finland June 22, 09 09:36 AM

Neither #8 or #16 are bulldozers. 8 is a front-end loader, 16 looks like the arm of an excavator.

Posted by MW June 22, 09 04:43 PM

I am American. I hate the fact that we are always associated with Israel like we have some choice in the matter. I don't know enough about the situation over other than to say my personal belief is that the Jews are wrong for trying to take land that is not rightfully their land. I am sick and tired of our association with and our constant "ass-kissing" of Israel. It gives the United States a bad rap and most of the world hates us just for this alone. They have proven no loyalty to us and do not deserve our support or our respect. I feel bad for what happened to their older generation in Nazi Germany, but it gives them no right to act the way they do now.

Posted by Michael June 22, 09 10:27 PM

One must understand that Israel including the West Bank is a very small country (1/4of NY state) with a growing population and is bursting at the seams.
While I'm no politician and don't know what solution there is for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (if there is one, I doubt it actually), I can't help thinking that the Arab population has million of square kilometers of Arab territories nearby where they can settle, whereas the Jews as such have no other state.
I myself am not Jew, but Christian (and not a believer at that), but I can understand their predicament, unfortunately the settlers are always depicted in the Western medias as nasty bigots, I think it's too one-sided.

Posted by lionel June 23, 09 05:28 AM

What would have happened if any one of the world's leading countries had just given up some of their own land to create a Jewish-state?

Posted by Mike June 23, 09 05:33 PM

Please explain to me what is the difference between the first american settlers & the Jewish ones ? I know one difference: The Jewish settlers return to THEIR land , from which they were expelled by the Romans. this land was occupied by nomade tribes in the last centuries, with no historic roots, contrary to our ones. The American settlers came to a foreign teritory , occupied the land , massacred the Indian native inhabittants, and built settlments that became the beautiful cities of today.
Do you know another differences ?

Posted by Dr. abraham Shampanier June 24, 09 03:43 AM

dr. abraham shampanier,

The Jewish settlers return to THE land , which they lost in war. Quit your crying and move on.

Posted by bob June 24, 09 10:26 AM

I agree with GK. I'd just like to add something for the benefit of DougB et al. In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli-American doctor living in a settlement in Hebron, entered a mosque and opened fire on Muslims at prayer, killing several before being shot himself (There is now a shrine to him in Hebron to which numerous settlers from Israel, Europe and the US flock each year. Go figure).

Neither side has, or ever has had, a monopoly on civilian-directed violence. To argue otherwise is naive.

Posted by Alice June 24, 09 11:04 AM

These settlers are the main hurdle toward peace. They, through some self-devised feigned theological prophecy, presume that any land, no matter where, in the occupied territories belong to them -- because God said so. They grab land from Palestinians and have the full backing of Israeli government then wonder why there is a conflict. Of course, occasionally, the Israeli authorities clamp down on these rogue tribes but they go back a week later just to resettle until a year later, the government send another batch of people to uproot them. Of course by that time, they have aggravated and harmed so many people that their very presence fuel antagonism. Moreover, the Israeli government, through some coercive but supposedly unilateral legal measures, allow thousands of settlements to be built throughout the occupied territories which ultimately stymies the peace process.

These settlements and others are the major obstacle in drawing a "contiguous" and "sensible" Palestinian territories so they can have their own independent sovereign country. But Israelis are no fool, they know how to get a rise out of Palestinians so in return, they would point fingers and felled the peace process and continue on with the expansion of settlements and eventually, have the Palestinians out of the West Bank by the mid century.

Posted by Evun June 24, 09 07:49 PM

I'm happy that the Israelis keep fighting for their slice of territories, and don't give up, because after all is said and done, they are part of the West, and all Western people have been or are being expelled from Africa (see "Zimbabwe" , "Azania", Algeria, etc) and we are constantly criticized because of "colonialism" , "slavery", "the bigotry of the Catholic Church", etc., we should be ashamed to be a Westerner in the Liberal mantra.
And I admire the Israelian pioneer spirit from the "kibbutzim" , it's a nation of pioneers much like the US and Australia, those are courageous people!

Posted by lionel June 25, 09 05:24 AM

1. Not Occupied, but Disputed territories under International law.
2. Jews did not get Israel as a "compensation" for Holocaust. Holocaust happened because Israel was not created earlier - before WW2.
Jews had no place to go and Nazis started to exterminate them rather than deport (it was their original idea) in 1942. No "civilized" or any other country wanted to accept them. British were given rule over Mandate of Palestine by League of Nations after WW1 for ONE PURPOSE - to create Jewish National Home there. They failed. But managed to heat up hatred between Jews and Arabs. Arabs were actually in Support of creating Jewish state back then (see Faisal-Weizmann Agreement for Arab-Jewish cooperation):
"We Arabs ... look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.... I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilised peoples of the world ".

Posted by Natan, California, USA June 25, 09 04:40 PM

There is no such people - Palestinians. There is no such language, such history, nothing of this. The land is for 3.500 years Jewish land. Kings and prophets of Jews lived and died in this land. Every story of Bible is rooted in this land.
G-d will help to Jewish people to free it and live peacefully.

Posted by Michael June 26, 09 03:02 AM

Thank you for bringing these pictures to us. It makes me so sad to see people fighting and the injustice occuring on both sides. I wish that there were no land disputes and that both peoples could live side-by-side in peace to each pursue their rights to live safe, happy lives.

Posted by Holly June 26, 09 01:12 PM

"Picture 28

Only place in the world where a civilian is allowed to walk alongside a soldier and carrying a weapon and not be in trouble for it. "

Not the only forum for the dumb. EVERYONE in Israel has a weapon. Perhaps because the arabs are killing the Jews there already 150 years - long before Israel. Each settlement has a civilian security that cooperates with an army.

Posted by Uncle June 26, 09 02:28 PM

Even when confronted with the pictorial evidence of continued strife, most of the comments don't seem to be made by people wanting to rise above it to live in peace and prosperity.

I don't understand how Israeli and Palestinian people can continue to kill each other over a scrap of land that could be shared. Far be it from me to believe in large-scale conspiracy, but the only reason that makes sense to me is continued prodding of the people to engage in hostilities. This is not a war being fought by armies, but by regular Joes wielding automatic weapons. The will to exterminate a fellow human being can't be so strong.

When the youth of Israel refuse to believe that the Palestinian people wish to destroy them, and when the youth of Palestine refuse to believe that Israel wants to do the same, maybe the two groups will meet and enmesh, accepting the humanity of each other. The only thing stopping them is their agreement to believe the prodding exhortations of their elders, who continue to perpetuate their state of fear.

Posted by Taylor June 26, 09 04:56 PM

If the jews are just returning to reclaim there land then on this lines buddhist from far east and Zoroastrians should create their own country in India!!

Posted by Noah June 27, 09 01:52 AM

Is there any sensible guy who can explain to me as to why on earth anyone should stand with this so called israel?
Why is it a crime to call the fascist zio-israelis criminals when they kill Palestinians by the scores while those oppressed inn humiliated Palestinians are called terrorists when they retaliate every now and then?
Why do we always stand with the wrong side and easily find them excuses for all the wrong they do and go blind against the sorrows and misery we intentionally help to cause against innocent others?
Since when it is just to equal the occupier with the occupied?
Till when are we going to be taken for a ride by our politicians who got away with such big lies as the WOMD in Iraq which we all know now was an intentional lie?
Since when do secular states stand so fiercely with the creation of a religious jewish state? why do not the jews go fight their own wars without forcing tears out of our eyes for the lies they plant everywhere on earth? go on give me the semitic cleche"

Posted by Xavier Odeh June 27, 09 05:12 AM

This story show how hard is it to understand this conflict. It will be wiser to stop this endless war ... life is enough hard without fighting all the time our neigbour.

A mixed country between muslim and jewish isn't possible ?

In this case, knowledge and respect of tradition just cause more dammage to tow nations regardless of their people.

Posted by Armas June 27, 09 08:05 AM



but btw...what do the aim with this "outposts"??

Posted by cas June 28, 09 04:39 PM

israelis take over the land by force, they arrest (kidnap) palestinians by force with no trial and indefinetely, they take crops by force, they cut down palestinian crops, they bulldoze palestinian land, they embargo palestinians, they prohibit them from fishing or trading their agricultural products fairly, they do not allow free movement of palestinians across their own land, they arbitrarily harrass palestinians in checkpoints/their own homes/streets, they BOMBARD palestinians strategically and methodically causing much death and destruction (compare this with 12 israelis dead from hamas´ rockets, in many years)..... all of this with virtually complete impunity.
and then people wonder why palestinians act desperately with anger and vengeance...

Posted by juan carlos June 28, 09 06:15 PM

I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and usually find it to be objective and unbiased, but I was disappointed in this edition. Very few of these photos show the real impact of settlements: the loss of land and liberties by Palestinian families. And in many of these photos, the Jewish settlers are portrayed as innocent victims being bullied by Israeli police when they, in fact, are expropriating Palestinian land to build their settlements. There is no shortage of land to build on in greater Israel; the settlers are simply trying to promote a political agenda by settling in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. As one who has lived in the Holy Land and seen the injustice firsthand, I am disappointed in your biased coverage. For accurate facts on the Palestinian-Israeli coverage, please see

Posted by Kimberly June 29, 09 01:52 AM

I don't think that this is one-side enough. Please, please, Boston Globe, show us more of these "evil Jewish Settlers." Does anyone recall how this area was governed under Jordanian rule? Remember when laundry was hung from the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, when Jordan ruled East Jerusalem?

History is ignored to accommodate terrorists. "Palestinian" and "peace activist" are mutually incongruent phrases. The Palestinian leadership has stated it worships death. Perhaps that's why they haven't developed hotels along the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza. Perhaps that's why they tore down the greenhouses left to them when Israel withdrew.

When has land conquered in war been returned? Only once, by Israel. And all it got them was a cold peace. Boston Globe, give us a break with your one-sided photoessays!

Posted by Joe June 29, 09 12:32 PM

Religion is a mental sickness and probably the number 1 killer in the world. Where is the surgeon general's warning on religious books? sad sad sad.
Great Pictures as always.

Posted by Serge Neri June 30, 09 02:50 PM

How Israel can predend they want peace, when they accept and encourage juwish fanatic religious settlements outside their borders! This is unaccptable. They will pay for that, soon or later. And western countries are not supporting them anymore.

Posted by baudry July 1, 09 04:40 AM

Watch carefully in the pictures, all the building are builded on desert land, on empty mountain.

The "occupied west bank", indeed occupied by the arab judenian in 1948 from israel that release that part of east israel, so you may say now the free west bank.

there is no palestinian nation, language, or culture, that term of new speak only [ask Mr. j. Orwell {erik blair}], Palestine lay over 2000 years from the time of rome exile the jews from israel, do not fall to the lie of palestine, 2000 years of noting and from 1967 "Palestinian" POPUP to the world OUT from the blue.

Teak a look in Europe open your eyes and mind.

good Bless you all.

Posted by miki July 5, 09 04:33 PM

For more information about settlements see in PEACE NOW web site:

Posted by Nurit July 6, 09 04:54 AM

The “Palestinians” exists for a few years now, they were invented when the state of Israel managed (to everyone’s surprise) to survive all of the attacks against it. The “occupied territories are actually just a part of Israel that was freed from Jordanian occupation.
Gaza was offered to the Egyptians when the peace treaty with Israel was signed, but they claimed it is not a part of Egypt, so that too is part of Israel.
One thing you must all remember:
When the Muslims lay down their weapons-there will be no more war.
When Israel lays down its weapons-there will be no more Israel.

Posted by Ahmad July 6, 09 07:58 AM

I LOVE ISRAEL!!!!!! they are the best pepole i ever met. i live there.........

Posted by elisha sasportas July 6, 09 08:33 AM

I love Israel and wish it's citizens no harm, but seriously, f*ck the settlers. If they want to remain in their settlements they should accept to become Palestinian citizens. Why not have a jewish minority in a palestinian state when there's an arab minority in Israel? If they are hellbent on staying there for religious reasons, let them, but not as israeli outposts. Israel would be better off without them anyway, I would hate to have to deal with them as a soldier or police officer. Same applies to Palestinian radicals - Israel is here to stay, move on!
The middle east is a clusterf*ck and religious/nationalist zealots on both sides don't help.
Sorry for the coarse language, this endless bickering starts to annoy me.

Posted by Annoyed. July 7, 09 11:53 AM

picture number 9 tells a deeper story, this man is one of the quietest sweetest men you will ever meet. He Is a Mohel, when a jewish male baby reaches 8 days old they are circumcised that is his job.
On the 6th of March 2008 a terrorist came into the yeshiva (talmudical college) library where his 19yr old son was studying and murdered him and 7 of his piers because he was Jewish not because he was a settler not because he had done anything, he was a child.
The picture in my eyes shows Rav Hirschfeld picking up the remains of his shattered life, the building in the background was a synagogue and place of learning set up in memorial for his son.
that is all we are trying to do live our lives I left England because of the hate I felt from society for being a Jew
I lived for 5yrs in a "settlement" I have never thrown a stone at anybody before in my life, I have seen more stones thrown by people around me after one football match in the uk than I have seen in 8years of visiting and living in settlements. Most of the time the people live in peace.
The only burning of crops I ever saw was by foriegn "peace" activists trying to get revenge on "settlers" for trying to make a living from vineyards which I helped plant on land we bought, for a lot more than it was worth.
When your child falls of his bike you dont take his bike away you let him try again, he might fall off and hurt himself but you let him try and try.
My message to the world
Leave us alone we will make mistakes but we are the only ones who can solve this
you only show the hate and the dis-pare i know this is what sells but why not for once look at the co-existence the people that strive for peace.
I am a Jew, I am an Israeli, I am a settler, I am a humanist, I want peace when we both deserve it

Posted by Yehudi Ge'eh July 10, 09 08:09 AM

These photographs bring a couple of questions to my mind. The Palestian guy who is arrested for building a canal on his own property.. why? Why is he not allowed to build on his own property? Why is he arrested and blindfolded and taken away in a helicopter when Israeli settlers who build settlements forbidden under international conventions have their settlements knocked down, but are not arrested and taken away?
Why are Israeli settlers able to rebuild within hours? Who is paying for their materials? If they can get materials to rebuild so quickly, why does the government forbid building materials to be brought into the Gaza strip, so that the Palestinians can rebuild after the destruction of their homes?
Last thought, beyond the pictures.. Israel is a theocratic state which holds that some of it's citizens are more equal that than others based on the religion they profess. Is it really possible that we can expect peoples to live together harmoniously when there is not equality under the law? Why can Israel not administer justice as a secular society, with the same laws applying equally to all citizens?

Posted by Mary July 12, 09 09:05 PM

Population of Israel = 7.5 million (1.5 million of who are non-Jews)
Area = 23000

Population of PA Territories: 3.5 million
Population of Jordan: 6.5 million
Area of Jordan: 92300 sq. km.

The Arabs of British Mandate of Palestine thus have ~77% of the land for 65% of the population, while the Jews have official control of 20% (State of Israel), while the Jordan harbors almost no Jews to speak of Israel is graceful enough to have 1.5 mi of them.

That the British forsook the Jews in 1920s is well known. The Jews were to be given cis-Jordan (~28000 sq. km) and the Arabs the eastern Trans-Jordan (~93000 sq. km - almost the whole of today's Jordan). Then the Brits went back on their words and created this monster in their typical divide-and-rule policy.

That the so-called Arab Israelis (today's Palestinians) sat on their butts for centuries and did not do anything to develop their lands is not the Jews' fault. The Jews worked the land of Israel and made what it is today, a thriving country in the arid desert, with a modern secular and democratic polity.

Moreover the Muslims have a long history of stealing what is not the fruit of their own labor, starting with the raiding of Meccan trade caravans by their warlord-pseudo-prophet. They suddenly realized the promise of the land of Israel and started coveting it ... just as they had coveted the arable lands of the Indus and the Ganges and those of Europe more than 13 centuries ago.

If anybody is to pay for their treachery and violence, trust me, it is going to be the Arabs and Muslim Arabs in particular. That their so-called elites frittered away their oil wealth and denied them a proper future is solely their problem, you cannot blame others for your not having a representative form of governance. And I don't blame US or China or EU for looking after their own interests (even if they take the false moral high ground) when your own "leaders" are busy looting the land.

May the Righteous live in Peace and the wrath of the Almighty befall the violent and the false of heart.

Posted by N. Chatterjee February 23, 10 08:24 PM


Posted by JOHANNES FRANCISCUS December 7, 10 07:25 PM
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