Only In Israel

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Settlers.

The settlers, like the Israeli population are as diverse as hell, have different motives, opinions and ways of life. And generaly, not what you've expected.
I know, that in the western media settlers are largely portrayed as lunatic religious nutjobs, living in trailers on deserted hills demanding IDF troops to defend them and saying that they're there in the name of god. I'm sure such settlers exist, I've just never encountered them. The place I serve in have a few kinds of settlers.
First, there are the settlers there for their "way of life". They live in large houses, mostly with gardens in nice, clean neighbourhoods. Sometimes they're religious (as in traditional, you know, don't drive on Sabbath and the girls wear dresses), and sometimes completely agnostic (I've witnessed hundreds of kids (literally) on Yom Kippur driving bikes, skateboarding and rollerblading on the empty roads. Just like back home. These people are there for cheap, suburban housing which is close to everything. Half an hour drive to Tel-Aviv city center, 25 minutes to the sea, 20 minutes to Jerusalem. Basically, suburbia. Most of those settlements are right after the green line, a mile or two near it, and they'll probably be on the "Israel" side of the anti-terrorism barrier they're now building there. The few that aren't would surely evacuate for fitting compensation, I don't see anyone making any troubles with evacuation. They aren't there for ideology, they're there for the conditions.
Second, there are the Idealist type. Those are settlers who are quite religious and believe in settling entire Eretz Israel with Jews. I really don't understand those, but all of them, in the region I serve in recognize the importance of Israeli democracy, and will therefore move, if the government tells them to. Some of them had good jobs, and big houses in the center of Tel Aviv, they moved to the west bank to live according to their principles, and they aren't fond of leaving.
And third, the type I don't understand at all, are ultra-orthodox settlers. I'm talking about the guys who populate Kiryat Sefer, AKA Modi'in Illit. These guys are ultra-orthodox Jews (you know the kind that wear black clothes and those giant fur hats that look as if they have some roadkill on their head), who don't serve in the military, but live in the west bank. I can't describe how much it pisses me off to defend people who never served, and never will. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with defending settlements, I believe in the right of Jews to live on land they bought from Palestinians in the west bank. But endangering my life for people who don't serve in the army, don't support the Israeli democracy, seek to force religion down other people's throats, and on top of it all, don't even treat us soldiers well, is a little too much. I mean, as I said, I'm in a mixed battalion, where girls do combat service as well, and you should just see the looks on people's faces when we enter that town. It almost feels like they're gonna stone us to death for having to look at pretty girls, wearing pants and armed with big guns. These settlers are also the biggest troublemakers out there, I mean they enter Palestinian villages, for cheap prices on fixing their cars, furniture, ETC. It's all nice, till some mechanic will put a bomb inside their car and all hell will break lose.
As I said, the settlers are a diverse bunch, some of them (especially the first and second kind) are good, nice people which treat the troops around them very well. The third kind, I'm less fond of. And weirdly enough, the kind described in the media (deranged lunatics searching for a messiah by blowing up Al Aqsa mosque), I haven't seen. Not to say they don't exist, just that I haven't seen them.
With all that's going on, when "refusing" to evacuate settlers is being advertised on bus stations (you can't imagine how much it annoys me to wait for a bus home in a bus station which has a giant ad saying "commander, that - I can't do" calling on me to refuse to follow orders), I have to admit that it would hardly bother me to evacuate most people around there. Nor do the guys and girls in my battalion.
Oh, almost forgot thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you PizzaIDF for making nights at the checkpoint a much much nicer experience.

2 Comments:

  • You are wasting your time trying to defend zionist settlers - they are scum, pure and simple.
    You are also a liar - if you served in hebron, you WILL have encountered many israelis who are 'deranged lunatics' - illegal squatters in a place they have no right to be.
    Who pays you to write this crap ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:29 PM, January 06, 2005  

  • Who pays me to write this crap? Naturally the Mossad. It's all part of an evil Zionist conspiracy to take over the world. Get your tinfoil hats ready.
    Seriously now, The Hebron settlers, if anyone have a right to be there. The Hebron Jewish community was one of the oldest one in history, it goes back to the times of the Temple. Hebron had an ancient Jewish Yeshuv, that predates Israel, British Mandate, Ottoman rule, and Arabs populating the town and translating it's nime from the Hebrew Hebron to the Arabic Al-Khalil.
    The Hebron Jewish society was largely destroyed by the 1929 massacre.
    The Jews living there have a bigger right to be there than anyone else. I can understand the criticism against settlments in general, but Hebron is one of the places where Jews have lived for millenias.

    By Blogger OnlyInIsrael, at 12:35 AM, January 11, 2005  

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