The Settlers

The Settlers

DVD - 2017
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A comprehensive look at life as a settler in Israel's controversial West Bank settlements.
Publisher: [New York, New York] :, Film Movement,, [2017]
Branch Call Number: DVD 956.942 Settlers
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (107 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.
digital, optical, rda
video file, DVD video, rda


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Nov 20, 2018

Interesting documentary about the people who choose to live in the occupied territories. There are a variety of people who choose to live there and many of them are not there for ideological reasons. The documentary says close to 80% which I found surprising. It seems most settlers come to take advantage of the government benefits, lower taxes, better home prices and, at least according to one, the minimal police presence (but the army is usually there protecting you from Arab neighbors). And yet, the video focuses mainly on the religious settlers. I suppose they are more interesting.
No end in sight to this mess...

Nov 08, 2018

Israeli production shows continuing 50-year Zionist campaign to drive Palestinians from the small slivers of West Bank still left to them. Jewish settlers believe that the many Old Testament commands to exterminate Gentiles are really God's word. (Eg God rejected Saul for sparing one Amalekite after slaughtering all the rest.)
--- Likud founder Menachem Begin claimed Palestine belonged to Jews exclusively, and waged terrorism vs British who had sponsored Jewish immigration. His book, THE REVOLT, shows 1920s Zionist map calling for armed Jewish seizure of all Palestine and Jordan. Begin bragged of pre-emptive attack on disorganized Arabs in 1948; Jewish troops in field outnumbered Arabs because Arab leaders feared rebellion at home. Around half the Palestinians were driven out or killed.
--- Film blames Nasser for 1967 Israeli blitzkrieg that seized West Bank (using French planes). For correct account, see book 1967 by Israeli historian Tom Segev.
--- As Israeli Prime Minister, Begin feared assassination by ultra-fundamentalist Jews.
--- Yitzhak Rabin was first Israeli PM to be born in Palestine; predecessors were Zionist invaders. Yet Rabin opposed West Bank settlement. Rabin made peace deal with Arafat, but was murdered at peace rally by Jewish fanatic (shortly after Netanyahu had condoned cries of "Death to Rabin!" at anti-peace rally). Netanyahu then took power and renounced the peace deal.
--- Israel has held the remaining Palestinians in harsh subjection for generations. Outside the US and Israel, this is seen as an appalling anomaly of colonial oppression.
--- The settlers want Jordan and all the land from Nile to Euphrates. They seek to replace current Israeli system with outright theocratic dictatorship. They exert pressure on Israel's government, which controls Israel lobby here, which largely controls US policy in Near East (not "Middle East" which is India).
--- Jews supposedly descend from the Kingdom of Judah led by the Hebrew tribe of Judah. In fact however (despite misused term "antiSemitic"), Palestinians are Semitic but modern Jews predominantly are not. (Compare many blue-eyed Jews from Eastern Europe; see Koestler, THE THIRTEENTH TRIBE.) There is probably more blood of the ancient Hebrews in the Arabs of Palestine, Jordan and Iraq than in the European Jews who established Israel.
--- The many US billions spent arming Israel could have made West Bank and Gaza comfortable for Palestinians (if settlers kept out), winning Arab gratitude and harmony. Instead we fund fanatical Zionist drive to remove Palestinians, destabilizing the world.

Apr 27, 2018

A serious and honest look at the so-called "Occupied Territories" that have evolved into Israeli settlements. The issue of settlements has been a controversial one not only in world affairs but surprisingly within Israel. Of course, not all of Israel is supportive of this and sometimes different administration have divergent policies. Take for example the late, Ariel Sharon alone. Initially, he was supportive of them but later on changed his policy by giving up the Gaza Strip in exchange for peace (?).

The settlement started immediately after the surprising victory of Israel in the aftermath of the Six Day War over its Arab hostile neighbors - Egypt, Jordan and Syria. With that, Israel has enlarged its area more than twice its original size but ultimately giving up the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in exchange for peace (and of course Gaza later). The strategically located Golan Heights remains still with Israel and would definitely stay with it owing to its defensive importance. The initial days of its victory started a trickle of "soft' settlement until it mushroomed into bigger ones which totally altered the demographic make-up of the West Bank. The question of giving up these conquered territories presents a big conundrum not only in the UN body but more so in Israel since it has created some king of opposing factions within the country itself. I am not so sure whether it is suicidal for Israel to give these up knowing the deceptive mentality of its neighbors once they have the upper hand (military superiority). It is of common knowledge that the Palestinian cause wants to obliterate Israel from the map if it has the might to do it and that basically, is the crux of Israel's dilemma. Had it lost in that June 1967 war, could Israel still be at its 1967 boundaries or worse, a country that doesn't exist anymore?

This documentary provides an overview of the settler movement in territories occupied following the Six-Day War. How it metastasized from a small orthodox religious endeavor held at arm's length by various Israeli governments to a sprawling officially-backed (though often "off the books") behemoth that shows no signs of let-up. Which is a big problem for all of us because, as the film documents, the new generation of settlers have their sights set on not just the West Bank but Jordan as well. Everything from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq. Our endless Middle East wars will indeed be perpetual.

Feb 13, 2018

I wouldn't go as far as Uri Klein's cutting review in "Ha'aretz" but this film is indeed limited by Shimon Dotan's narrow perspective. Perhaps that's because Dotan is himself, in a real sense, a settler, too. Born in Romania, Shotan moved to Israel when he was nine years old and seems stuck in a Left Jewish Zionist perspective. This is most clearly seen when he engages with West Bank settler Pinhas Bar-on.

Bar-on tells Dotan that the task of Jews is to clear the land (and for some of the settlers interviewed this means from the Nile to the Euphrates and beyond) of non-Jews. Tellingly, Dotan doesn't respond by decrying or critiquing this attitude. His focus is not on the real, suffering victims of these attitudes, harnessed as they are to violence.

Instead Dotan asks Bar-on if he isn't afraid of being called a racist. Bar-on unapologetically asserts that he (Bar-on) is in fact a racist. Thus, Dotan reveals himself to be a typical Left critic of the settlers--one whose criticism is driven by concerns of appearances rather than substance, except for the real long-term threat that some see the settlement movement as posing to Israel's long-term future.* It is as if Dotan were a 19th century, Yankee critic of slavery who's not mainly concerned about what slavery does to the enslaved.

Despite all this Dotan's film sheds important and all-too-rare light on some of the history and present-day reality of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It's definitely worth a watch. While not featuring him, the film also gives the lie to Jeff Halper's persistent falsehoods denying the relevance and vitality of Zionism in Israeli Jewish society.

* As Dotan told "The Daily Beast" last spring, "I find the settlement enterprise the most threatening element to the well-being, to the existence of the state of Israel”.

Jan 10, 2018

Six-Day War 1967, Sharon relations with stabilizing Israel, Geneva, Oslo, West Bank and Settlements. An understanding from beginning to present one must interpret both sides. Strongly affected by a 'Supreme Right' expected from Jews. All religions are entitled to Our Holy Sites and not exclusive to Zionists. Are Zionists entitled to land according to their interpretation of the Bible. The ideology of the Bible as interpreted by Zionists to land rights.
Whose lands are whose?Sacred to all religions and not owned by Zionists solely. Religious sites belong to 'All' and NOT whom; specifically? Answer, follow according to Peace to all.


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