100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

July 16, 2009 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-07-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

World

EXTREMISTS

Internal Foe

Radical Jewish settlers are turning against Israel.

Dina Kraft

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Yitzhar, West Bank

T

he Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in this
Jewish settlement looks more like
a well-fortified auto repair shop
than a house of learning.
Located in an industrial neighborhood,
the yeshivah has a drab aluminum exte-
rior and tin roof, surrounded by a metal
gate. A small guard house sits out front.
The teenage boys wearing oversized,
thick-knit kipot and their teachers have
become the face of radical Jewish nation-
alism in Israel.
They are a key part of a movement of
settler youth, rabbis, leaders and sup-
porters determined to hold onto the West
Bank at any cost. Radical settlers rampage
against Palestinians and Israeli soldiers,
sometimes hiding their faces behind black Yisrael Ariel stands above the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.
ski masks or scarves. Confident they are
God's will," said Moshe Fumberg, 16, who
movement, and their precise number is
following the word of God, they call for a
studies
at a yeshivah at an illegal outpost
unknown.
But
vigilante
violence
against
Torah-based theocracy that they say will
near
Yitzhar.
Palestinians
and,
increasingly,
against
one day triumph over the State of Israel.
Fumberg's friends boast they represent
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, a teacher at Od Yosef Israeli security forces, have fueled debate
a
new,
bolder generation of Jewish settlers
inside
Israel
about
the
settler
movement
Chai, says Israel has lost its way with its
ready
to
use violence to keep West Bank
as
a
whole
and
about
the
threat
radi-
willingness to cede parts of the Land of
Jews
in
their
homes.
cal
settlers
pose
to
the
state

in
part
Israel, the Jews' biblical birthright.
"We
want
them
to be afraid of us
because
the
mainstream
settler
leadership
Ariel is a disciple of the St. Louis-born
because
maybe
then
there won't be any
has
not
come
out
forcefully
against
them.
head of the yeshivah, Rabbi Yitzhak
,
'
one
of Fumberg's
more
evacuations'
Roy
Sharon,
a
journalist
for
Israel's
Ginzburg. Considered a spiritual heir to
friends
said
of
Israeli
security
forces
who
covers
the
settlers,
says
Ma'ariv
daily
the late Meir Kahane, Ginzburg gained
charged
with
evacuating
illegal
outposts.
the
division
within
the
settler
movement
notoriety — and some jail time — in
Geographically
isolated,
the
youths
about
how
to
deal
with
the
radicals
is
1994 after penning an article praising
consume alternative media, including
not about principle — all believe in the
Baruch Goldstein's killing of 29 Muslim
newspapers, Web sites, radio stations and
unalienable
right
of
settling
the
Land
of
worshipers in Hebron.
synagogue pamphlets, that feed into their
Israel — but about practice: how exactly
Ginzburg preaches a messianic brand
sense of alienation and betrayal. In their
to
achieve
that
aim.
of Judaism that views Jews as superior
"The Yesha Council" — the main settler synagogues, rabbis rail against cooperat-
beings and violent revenge attacks on
ing with a government that supports West
umbrella body — "thinks that it is not the
Arabs as justified by the Torah. He is one
Bank withdrawals.
right time to build and settle on all of the
of a small group of rabbis who provides
"If the State of Israel is criminal and a
Land of Israel, but the radicals think there
the theological and ideological underpin-
sinner, then the role of true believers is
is no such thing as the 'right' timing and
nings for radical settlers.
to correct its ways',' explains Motti Inbari,
there is no need to take into account poli-
The foot soldiers in the movement are
author of the upcoming book Jewish
youths who grow up or study in places like tics and policies," Sharon said.
Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount.
Dror Etkes, who works for an Israeli
Yitzhar. Some go on to seize and establish
"This is pushing people into radicalization
illegal outposts on lone West Bank hilltops. group called Yesh Din that promotes
and into the idea of a post-Zionist state."
Palestinian rights in the West Bank, esti-
Like its predecessors, Benjamin
Over the last year and a half, radical set-
Netanyahu's government has taken limited mated that there are up to 1,000 active
tlers have defaced Muslim tombstones, set
radicals. Posters hung in recent days at
steps to dismantle the illegal outposts
fire to Palestinian olive groves, assaulted
— notably in the weeks since Netanyahu's bus stops across the West Bank calling on
Palestinians, slashed tires of Israel
supporters to "defend" against evacuation
meeting with President Obama in May
Defense Forces vehicles and thrown acid
of West Bank outposts say there are 2,000
— but the youths return almost as soon
at Israeli soldiers. It's all part of a strategy
people living in 26 outposts.
as they are forcibly evacuated.
"I feel the state has separated itself from the radicals call"price tag': which aims
Radicals often are dismissed as rogue,
to greet every move by the government
me and is no longer going according to
fringe elements by the mainstream settler

A20

July 16 •2009

against illegal settlements with mayhem
and violence. Radical youth, encouraged
by a small number of veteran settler lead-
ers, are at the forefront of this effort.
Via text messages and with special
phone lists, they spread plans for specific
activities. Sometimes, the message is as
simple as three words: "Price tag now."
Settler violence quickly follows.
There is no apparent centralized
leadership in the radical settler move-
ment, which by its nature is somewhat
anarchic. Among its most outspoken
proponents, however, are figures such as
Daniella Weiss, the former head of the
Kedumim settlement, Hebron's Baruch
Marzel and Nadia Matar, head of Women
in Green.
Both Matar and Weiss head groups that
signed onto the posters calling on settlers
to defend the outposts. Matar, who says
she is against violence, understands why
the youth have decided to "fight back."
"They have seen the adults capitulate
— their rabbis and teachers and parents
who tell them to turn the other cheek," she
said. "There is rebellion of youth who are
sick and tired of seeing the adults caving
in and letting the government trample us.
The more adults show real leadership and
stick to our principles, the less they will
feel a need to rebel." E

This is the third and final part of a Jewish

Telegraphic Agency series.

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan