Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eve Harow Explains Why

My friend*, Eve Harow,

who stopped blogging (see here although she maintains a web site, Am Hanetzach, where she updates he Arutz 7 interview programs) was interviewed herself for a periodical of the United Arab Emirates.

Settlers live better than average Israelis

...The 5,500 Jews who chose to move to the West Bank in 2007 bucked the overall trend of Jewish emigration from Israel. Though there are no official figures, it is believed that since the outbreak of the second intfada, at least 20,000 Israelis have been leaving for the United States or Europe each year.

Other figures from the survey have surprised observers, especially given the recent coverage of the clashes between settlers and the Israeli army and the condemnation of the settlement enterprise from within Israel and internationally.

The findings show that 92 per cent of settlers are satisfied with their lives, 10 percentage points higher than in Israel. Family income is also noticeably higher than the Jewish population in Israel, and settler children do better at school.

The figures also show that 91 per cent of settlers report their health as good to very good, compared with 73 per cent of Israelis.

...Regarding the Sasson report, Haaretz concluded that, despite large cuts in services and welfare payments to Israelis in Israel, “a glorious welfare state is flourishing” for the settlers.

Many settlers themselves, however, have a different explanation for the appeal of their communities.

Eve Harow, a 47-year-old mother of seven, moved from Los Angeles to the settlement of Efrat, between the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem and Hebron, 20 years ago. She denied that most settlers were drawn to the West Bank by the material advantages.

“People here have a strong sense of purpose and a very supportive network of families around us who share our ideology,” she said. “We know we are protecting the rest of Israel and that there would be a terror state here if we were not here. We’re stopping another Holocaust.”

She also believed most settlers were by nature optimistic. “Otherwise we would not be able to stick it out here.”

The satisfaction of the settlers contrasts starkly with a recent poll of Palestinians that found 40 per cent wanted to leave Gaza and 25 per cent wished to emigrate from the West Bank.


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