2 thoughts on “A Settler Prays for ‘Lesser Israel’ and ‘Greater’ Israel-Palestine – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I really appreciate Myron’s answer here and also the fact that Richard took the trouble to solicit it. It reminds me again how insufficient are our stereotypes. When I was in the West Bank earlier this year the Palestinian villagers I spoke with definitely differentiated between the good settlers and the bad settlers. It seems that they lived in relative peace with the older settlement blocks. The newer ones seemed populated by ideologues, Arab-haters, people who harrassed them for pleasure and stole their trees and crops. With the older settlers they had relationships of a sort.

    I do not mean to imply that these villagers assented to the settlement process or accepted the appropriation of Palestinian land. Just that, on a day-to-day level, relations were better with some settlers than others – and this seemed to reflect the culture of the particular settlement.

    I think it’s also true that these tensions do not stop at the Green Line. My mom, who travelled extensively in Israel before 1967, remembers a similar ambivalent relationship between Jews and Arabs. There was mutual interest and respect, but also hostility borne of competing interests. Whom one calls a settler, I suppose, depends on one’s own history and perspective. For Arabs displaced from homes in what is now Israel, the Jews there are all settlers.

    In any case, my thanks, again, to Myron and to Richard. This will be food for thought for a good while for me.

  2. Thanks very much to Myron for his thoughts and to Richard for posting them. My aunt has lived in a settlement (Ofra) for 25 years and it hasn’t been easy to know what to do with that. I’ve been there to visit four times and I see how important her community is to her, and how afraid she is of losing her home now. But I don’t see how things can improve if the settlers stay, yet it’s so complicated. I’m glad to be able to see the thoughts of a more open-minded settler, and look forward to some discussion here.
    -Jess

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