This reporter knows and she writes of
Americans living at crossroads of Mideast diplomacy
...Michael left a comfortable apartment in Sherman Oaks in suburban Los Angeles just over a year ago to make his home in the West Bank Jewish settlements and outposts that are considered illegal under international law.
"The rest of the world, including the U.S. president, feels like they can tell Jews where to live. I'm an American, but I'm a Jew first. It is our duty to settle this historic land," Michael said.
Michael is among the more conservative members of the settler movement, the nearly 500,000 Jews who live amid 2.4 million Palestinians on land that Israel conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War.
..."The administration's policy on settlements is very clear," said a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. "The U.S. doesn't accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlements, and we view the expansion of settlements as illegitimate."
American citizens, however, are major political and financial supporters of the settlements, emigrating to live in them and funneling tens of millions of dollars to them through tax-exempt nonprofit organizations such as the New York-based Central Fund of Israel; The Hebron Fund, based in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Christian Friends of Israel, the U.S. branch of which is based in Charlotte, N.C.
The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics said that as of 2008, there were 36,700 North Americans and Europeans living in West Bank settlements. The Israeli political group Peace Now, which opposes settlement activity as an obstacle to making peace with the Palestinians, says the percentage of Americans in West Bank settlements is "significantly higher" than the percentage living in Israel.
Hagit Ofran, the director of Peace Now, said that Americans have always played a key role in the settlements. Among the movement's prominent leaders are David Wilder from Bergen County, N.J., and activists Baruch Marzel of Boston and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman of New York City.
The so-called "price tag" policy, in which Israeli settlers take revenge for actions against them by attacking or destroying Palestinian property, originated with a group of English-speaking settlers in the northern West Bank. [???]...
I think there are more Arabs who are US citizens.
Baruch is from Chicago. Rabbi Waldman, I think, was born in Petah Tikva but his parents moved to the States when he was young. I'm from the Bronx, where I was borm and Queens, where I grew up.
And I wonder which Americans are the originators of the "price-tag" policy.