Across the valley
After yesterday’s visits to three settlements, we spent today on the Palestinian side. Very shortly after starting from the Husan checkpoint, we found ourselves in Biet Ommar. We stood on a balcony looking over a valley toward the settlement of Bat Ayin.
The lanscape slopes steeply down, arid interspersed with olive groves and ancient walls. The land rises again steeply to where the Bat Ayin houses begin. We could see the American style rustic wood house, and the scrubby backyard from which we had enjoyed the view of a Palestinian town and its white.minaret on the opposing heights.
Stories we heard from our Palestinian hosts about the settlers of Bat Ayin seemed inconceivable, so implausible given our impression of the settler.
Followers of the conflict have heard the stories many times. A farmer goes to work the land, and settlers charge down the hill and beat him. Family land going back generations boldly confiscated. Water supplies cut off, while the setllers build swimming pools.
We are nonpartisan and will continue to listen to both sides. Surely we can be criticized for this commitment to objectivity. If one side is purely criminal, how can you give both sides equal weight?
All human beings have “equal weight.” Villains and heros make for stories. Let’s hope that they’re both worth watching for 80 minutes.