All the Lies

The most inventive of all our lies - its inventor should be awarded a prize for his life's work - is the silk thread that will be so difficult to break: "natural growth."

Precisely 42 years ago today, a certain country went from freedom into slavery. A small and promising nation that had established itself in the promised land forfeited all it had in six days. Ever since, it has been unable to find either itself or what it lost.

Yet neither its hands nor its feet are tied; it can set itself free at any moment if it chooses. Neither handcuffs nor shackles fetter it, but only a web of lies. It could tear them apart and set itself free with a single stroke. But it feels good inside this web.

On June 5, 1967, a defensive war began. But it soon metamorphosed into a war of occupation and expansion. Evidently, defense is the best offense. The ancient lie soon started spreading, and like an industrious spider, it spun a web of fraud around itself. It is not clear whom we deceived more - ourselves or others.

The "defensive war" was followed by a long list of popular deceptions: the "Nahal outpost," the "archaeological camp," decisions guided solely by "security needs." And on "state lands," as opposed to private property, there is no infringement on human rights - except those of a neighboring people: These expropriated lands encompass most of the West Bank.

The spider never rested for a moment; it incessantly wove more webs to trap its prey. "Areas of jurisdiction" and "master plans" covered the land - Ma'aleh Adumim alone is larger than Tel Aviv. And then came "the evacuation of unauthorized outposts," as if the other settlements had been set up by law. As if Sodom did not have laws of its own.

Lie followed lie, and over the past few years, the lies have been updated again. And for a moment, it seemed as if we were living in a fool's paradise. The system worked and the fraud was successful. Even America got used to it, as if it liked being given thin air to drink, an empty bottle of "we are not building new settlements" and "we are building only in the large settlement blocs."

The most inventive of all these lies - its inventor should be awarded a prize for his life's work - is the silk thread that will be so difficult to break: "natural growth." That is the genetic code by which the settlers clone themselves like sheep. It turns out that the world's highest natural growth rate is found in neither Africa nor India, but rather here, in the West Bank, where the Jews sow their seed like the sand of the sea and not according to nature. And what, after all, are we asking for? That they be allowed to close in a porch, add a room, so that their little children should not say they have no space.

That is the catch that has clinched the matter until now - just one small room in a settlement. And only that President Barack Obama refuses to catch on. They send Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak to try to persuade him, but God hardens Pharoah's heart. We will spread the lies, and we will keep the truth to ourselves: that there is no real difference between Benjamin Netanyahu and Peres and Barak. That, we will not tell them in Washington.

Are our president and prime minister and defense minister trapped in the lies of their youth? Just as the miracle worker does not recognize his miracle, so the one who tells tall tales does not see their falsehood; he is used to them. For so many years, they have been tied by an umbilical cord to the settlers and the settlements. They have given them a hand, shut their eyes, abased themselves, forged rotten compromises, surrendered both willingly and against their will. And now, they are no longer capable of severing the cord and breaking away from the web of lies.