In what appears to be a misinterpretation of the aims of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Israeli settlers in an encampment near Nablus announced today, “…our solidarity with Occupy Wall Street by occupying the West Bank.” Ari Barak, a spokesperson for the group, which has named itself Gush Aleph, added that, “We are the 99% and we won’t take it any more.”
Certainly, questions of translation arise, but at the same time, the group’s proposals are a clear effort to adopt the language and strategies of a political movement that has global support, in contrast to widespread, negative views of the Israeli occupation.
A carnival atmosphere prevailed in the encampment with rides, snacks, and games. Songs could be heard late in the night and continued on through morning.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Occupy Wall Street movement has disavowed all ties to the Occupy West Bank movement. “The irony has an appeal,” one leader said, on the condition of anonymity, “but that’s about it.”