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I do not mean the shame of the "settlement freeze", rather i refer to the shame of the lack of building in the Arab village, Hirbeit Zacharia, just two km. from my home.

The news is that some settlers (including municipal officials) not only are beginning to recognize the plight and discrimination but may actually be doing something about it.

At a blogpost of mine at www.ipeace.us I wrote about a meeting some settlers of Gush Etzion had with their Palestinian neighbors at Hirbeit Zacharia. This meeting and the shift in settler attitude towards human rights of and mutual relationships with Palestinians were reported in Haaretz.

Will this change be of real significance? It is not clear. But this awakening of consciousness is important in itself. I believe that if it is encouraged and spreads it will lead to a better future in any scenario that may arise.

Recently Eliaz Cohen of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, wrote an article about the situation in Gushpanka, the Gush Etzion Regional magazine, and drew a response from Regional Council Head, Shaul Goldstein.

Attached you will find both English (PDF) and Hebrew (JPG) versions of the article and reply.
The Shame of the Building Freeze.pdf (English Version)
eliaz gushpanka.jpg (Hebrew Version)

Deeper contact is developing. Here children and mothers come together at the village.

Residents, Arab and Jewish, at the site of the "unfinished mosque"


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