The August 28 print issue of The New York Times dismisses several established Israeli farming communities, terming them “settlements” as if they are somehow an impermanent incursion into the territory near Gaza.
Sporting a headline that reads “In Israel’s South, Families Worry About the Future of Settlements Near Gaza,” the August 28 article in the print version of the paper talks of how Israelis that live in the farming town, or kibbutz, of Nahal Oz are worried by the current actions between their country and the terrorist group Hamas just over the border in Gaza.
Yet using the dismissive term “settlement” to describe Nahal Oz near the Gaza border is a bit much for a town that was established more than 60 years ago. After all, how many decades does it take before the Times deigns to consider a town a real town and not just a “settlement?”
Nahal Oz also has history. The town features prominently in Israeli history, having become a symbol of national pride when Egyptian soldiers briefly invaded the community in 1956, killing farmer Ro’i Rutenberg. Rutenberg’s funeral served as the stage for one of Israeli leader Moshe Dayan’s most famous orations.
Israeli communities such as Nahal Oz, Sderot, and Netivot along the border with Gaza are not mere “settlements.” These communities have long ago eclipsed such an appellation as “settlement” and have been fully functional towns for decades.
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