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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

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Categories: Israel Tags: ,
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