By Martin Love 

The zealot at Hamra Checkpoint: a prime world danger

February 26, 2018

NORTH CAROLINA - Twelve years ago I found myself at a place called Hamra Checkpoint deep in the West Bank at the western edge of the Jordan River valley.

I had flown from New York to “Israel’s” Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, and there a Palestinian driver met me and took me to Hamra Checkpoint along a circuitous back road route that avoided the primary highways upon which only Israeli vehicles are permitted to travel in the West Bank. The driver could go no farther than Hamra. There, some 20 Israeli soldiers were guarding a military gate of sorts preventing travel up to my destination, the town of Tubas in the lovely, rolling hills overlooking the Jordan Valley. And 100 meters farther on, on the other side of the checkpoint, stood an elderly Palestinian gentleman, my host in Tubas and the headmaster of a school that had recently been established by a Palestinian native of Tubas who lived in the US and who had made a fortune as a medicinal drug developer and businessman. He was giving back to his hometown with the new school, and he had had wanted me to go to Tubas and evaluate the school and stay for a couple months with his parents and siblings, too. It was an invitation I readily accepted.

The school’s headmaster was waiting patiently for me beside his dilapidated car beyond the checkpoint. My driver from the airport departed and I was alone, almost, at the checkpoint but for the soldiers and a few Palestinian workers trying to get somewhere themselves. It was a cold February morning with clear skies, and waiting with my bag in the middle of the road I was questioned by a couple of the soldiers. Where was I going and why? But I had a couple questions myself for them, especially for a porcine Israeli soldier whose English was excellent. I asked him where he was from. He said “Israel”. But I knew better, having looked him over and heard him speak, and I asked forthrightly: “No. Where are you REALLY from?” Perhaps I had startled him, because he did blurt out an answer and said: “New York”.  He was, in fact, just another young Jewish immigrant to “Israel” from the US serving out his mandated time in the IDF. I wanted to tell him he had no business there and to return to New York, but did not. I wanted to move on.

And then I noticed someone else standing alone on a hill beside and overlooking Hamra. He was clearly neither a Palestinian nor an IDF soldier, and he seemed to be, by his posture, cradling a weapon and wearing civilian clothes, something I figured out fast enough: a Jewish “settler” living somewhere in a nearby illegal Jewish “settlement” in the West Bank. He also seemed to be the primary authority at and around Hamra Checkpoint, because a while later he spoke from a distance with the soldier I had queried, but in Hebrew, and then he seemed to wave the muzzle of his rifle in the direction I wanted to go.

Yes, after an hour’s delay, I was permitted to join my host and travel on to Tubas. Perhaps I should have been grateful to this apparently authoritative civilian that I could then head to Tubas, but I was not. It dawned on me that this settler (and many others like him) completely dominated the Likud government in “Israel”, and the illegal territorial expansion of the state was THE prime motivation of the Zionists and their government. And not just a “settler” he was, but an extremist and religious zealot that, if more organized and funded, was every bit as malevolent as the terrorists who just a few years later flooded in to nearby Syria, supported by the US and the Saudis and some other Persian Gulf Arab regimes, aiming to topple the Assad government and sow further chaos in the Middle East.

And later, I thought, oddly enough, of something called “Exter’s Pyramid”, an inverted one, that in the world of finance pictorially represents the financial risks of various asset classes. At the very bottom of this pyramid, representing the least risk, is Gold. (At the top, the unfunded liabilities of governments, such as those in the US, as the most dangerous in terms of default) If one were to create a similar pictorial image of various entities representing the greatest danger and malevolence geopolitically, one might readily rank Jewish settlers like the man at Hamra Checkpoint as the worst, with the US Military Industrial Complex a close second.  (Up among entities of little risk to humanity in general would have to be Iran, even though the corrupted Western mainstream media would have you think otherwise.) It seems that Jewish settlers, anyway, because they control the actions of “Israel’s” government, and “Israel’s” leaders grip and feed US foreign policy in the Mideast, that these “settlers” may, to an gross extent, hold the fate of the world in their hands: Because the Middle East is more combustible than ever with both Russia and allies and the US and allies in a face off, particularly now in Syria, that could erupt in to World War 3.

I have never forgotten the weapon toting Jewish civilian “settler” at Hamra. I had had an encounter there with a religious zealot who represented, when you boil the equations down to their essences, the purest threat to world stability one can now encounter, I believe.

I did, 12 years ago, enjoy weeks with peaceful and oppressed Palestinians in Tubas at the new school, which sadly no longer exists. I can’t ever forget that, too, as I ponder with astonishment Trump’s vilification of Iran. And that vilification seems to be based solely on the fact that in 1979 in Iran there was a revolution that threw off a largely US-British puppet regime that no one in Iran was happy with. Iran, we know, has never offensively attacked ANY country in centuries, and plans solely to try to defend itself if attacked. It’s a demonstration of how twisted and moronic any Western hostility to Iran is, and if it were to abate, geopolitical sanity might prevail as well as political sanity in the US. But we remain a long way from it.

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