Thursday, May 27, 2004

Goldberg's "Settlers"

According to the PR hype:

In "Among the Settlers," in the May 31, 2004, issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Goldberg gives a comprehensive account of the daily life of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza, of the beliefs that drive them, and of the profound effect they may have on the future of Israel. "The most hard-core settlers are impatient messianists," Goldberg writes, "who profess indifference, even scorn, for the state; a faith in vigilantism; and loathing for Arabs. They are free of doubt, seeing themselves as taking orders from God, and are an unusually cohesive segment of Israeli society. Hard-core settlers and their supporters make up perhaps two per cent of the Israeli populace, but they nevertheless have driven Israeli policy in the occupied territories for much of the past thirty years"—and may, Goldberg argues, drive Israel itself to destruction.
·In the end, Goldberg writes, "the borders of Israel, in the view of Jewish religious nationalists, are drawn by God, and one does not negotiate with God. So the settlers have, golem-like, risen against one of their creators, and pledged to stop any attempt—including Sharon's provisional attempt—to disentangle Jews and Arabs."

I do not know whether to be happy or sad. You see, Goldberg spoke to me when he was here researching this story. He was in my office in Jerusalem and I have his business card to prove it. I wouldn't call what we did as an "in-depth interview" although we did about an hour or so. He promised to get back. I do not know if I appear in his essay.

I would have thought that I may have provided him with some balance despite the fact that I live in the hills of Samaria in what I would call an "ideologicaly hard-core" community and perhaps did not jive with perhaps pre-conceived notions. Not only balance but rational thinking, if you'll excuse the lack of humility.

But we will have to wait to see the full text.

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