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How to Talk About Israeli Settlers

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Alan Johnson says the world should distinguish between the fundamentalist settlers and those who would be in Israel proper after any conceivable peace agreement:

Eighty percent of the settlers (excluding East Jerusalem) live in settlement blocs, represent 95 percent of the total population, and both sides understand they will be incorporated in Israel proper—Palestine being compensated by 1:1 land swaps—when the deal is done. Twenty percent of the settlers live outside the settlement blocs, mostly belonging to the national religious sector of Israeli society, part of the “Gush Emunim” (Block of the Faithful) ideological movement and are scattered over hilltops, often dotted along the central mountain ridge, Gav HaHar, on Route 60—the main road running north to south. When Israel makes the deal it is inconceivable that these hilltop settlers will be part of it....

A good start would be to talk of “bloc settlers” and “hilltop settlers” to show they understand that the 80 percent who live along the green line can be included in a deal and the 20 percent dotted about the Palestinian hilltops cannot.

(AP Photo)