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Karnei Shomron

We visited the town of Karnei Shomron in Samaria last week during the holiday of Sukkot. Samaria is the northern part of the West Bank.

Karnei Shomron is one of those pesky Jewish settlements. These settlements cause all the trouble. If these West Bank settlements didn’t exist, Moslems would happily live side-by-side with Jews, world peace would sweep forth, and cotton candy would fall from the sky like rain. It would be wondrous, but you and your family cannot experience this because of Karnei Shomron.

Given all of this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did know, however, that to get to Karnei Shomron I would have to cross the Green Line into the West Bank and travel through two Arab towns. The first town was the “friendly” town. We were advised not to stop even though it probably was safe.

Here comes the "friendly" Arab town

Because I was driving, I missed the local action. I was surprised when several of the passengers shrieked. Apparently we drove by a butcher who was in the process of doing his job.  Clean up is a lot easier when you are near the road side.

Why are you shrieking? What butcher?

The settlement of Karnei Shomron is quite nice. It looks like a typical community in the south-western region of the United States. There is nothing temporary about these settlements. We had pizza at a local pizzeria and attended a barbecue with some friends. It was all very normal.

We also did some hiking which also seemed quite normal.  Finally, we visited a couple of Jewish outposts.  The outposts are not quite normal. They are temporary communities composed of a handful of families. The Jewish outposts are established to prevent Arabs from creating their own outposts. It is like a chess game to see these hilltops and the locations of Jewish and Arab settlements with outposts positioned to prevent the encroachment of the other.

An outpost guarding The Land

You often hear in the news about “illegal” Israeli outposts being dismantled. I found out something interesting about these “illegal” outposts. To set up an outpost, the settlers are supposed to present a plan to the Israeli government. After the plan is approved, construction can begin. Inspections are conducted as the construction reaches various milestones. Finally, when the construction is finished, the site is inspected again and there is a final approval by the Israeli government.

The construction is not “legal” until the final approval; therefore, it is “illegal” until that final approval. In other words, illegal outposts are not created by a few rogue troublemakers — they have an approved plan that (I guess for political reasons) is never given a final “legal” status.

The Jewish settlements and the Arabs villages are all built on hilltops — the better to see each other.

We visited one outpost located on the highest hilltop in the area. From this location, you can see both Tel-Aviv and Jordan. We also found a partially constructed building. It was going to be a synagogue for the community, but it could not be completed because of Obama’s wonderful construction freeze. Interestingly, the land is privately owned, but the building still could not be completed because of the freeze.

The construction freeze forces the halt of this shul on private property

Categories: Israel Tags: ,
  1. Connie
    2010-10-04 at 2:03 am

    Isn’t it amazing that Obama can stick his nose in everybody’s business and then he, “his royal highness”, can dictate to the entire world what they can and cannot do.

  2. Shana
    2010-10-05 at 8:42 am

    “According to information received, the police are expected to arrive at El-Matan tonight or tomorrow morning in order to seal off the shul.”

    This is the shul in the first outpost that we visited.
    The latest update is that it is expected to happen over the next couple of days.

    • 2010-10-05 at 5:19 pm

      “Seal off the shul.” What exactly does that mean? Does that mean the shul will be off limits? Why? Is the whole outpost at risk?

  3. Shana
    2010-10-06 at 4:11 pm

    here’s the latest news on this issue. Like you said – if you don’t get that last signature, then the whole thing is in jepordy…

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has swung to the side of nationalists and ordered Defense Minister Ehud Barak to halt plans to carry out a court order to seal the El-Matan synagogue in Samaria.

    The Prime Minister ordered that an alternative solution be found after the High Court approved a left-wing petition that the synagogue be destroyed, despite a United Nations declaration that holy places must not be harmed.

    The issue of the synagogue in Maaleh Shomron, part of the Karnei and Ginot Shomron complex and less than 20 minutes from the metropolitan Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Saba, has become a cause célèbre for nationalists because the government simultaneously has allowed a nearby mosque to be built illegally.

    El Matan resident Esther Kriz told IDF Army Radio Tuesday that leftists claim the synagogue “interferes with the future development of Arab villages that are not even in the vicinity.”

    The last-minute decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu pleased Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon, who said that “sealing a synagogue is not a Zionist or Jewish” act. The order from the prime minister came as residents already had placed large boulders and barbed wire on the road to the synagogue in an effort in stop the expected arrival of security forces to carry out the court order.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu’s intervention, which came at an Inner Cabinet meeting Tuesday evening, was part of a two-step move in favor of nationalists. He said that contrary to media speculation, the session with the senior ministers did not discuss the American and Palestinian Authority demand that Israel extend the 10-month building freeze that expired 10 days ago.

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