See, Daum (self-admittedly) lives in a "lightweight settlement" in Gush Etzion...and (self-admittedly) misrepresents the Yitzhar settlers as well. (Perhaps he misrepresents them by the very title of his article, that he attempts to find the good qualities of the Jewish Olive Tree Uprooters?")
This must be like the Yiddish aphorism; "May your enemy get a hernia by dancing on your grave" No Jewish compliment can be unblemished without some sort of backhand backstab?
At least he writes honestly:
It is not difficult to speak ill of the Yitzhar people. It is home for settlers who believe that the Yesha Council is a leftist organization, going through a troubling post-Zionist process.He does have some heart warming things to say...
They do not pray for the State of Israel, they do not really believe the Arabs have a right to exist in their vicinity, they consider homosexuality a mental disease, and are very strict about modesty edicts, which can easily be viewed as outright chauvinism. Even I have a hard time with them. Oh, yes. Disputing brothers will forever carry emotional burdens.
Yes, I know, it is hard to separate the two. It is hard to separate the warmth and love I found in the Yitzhar synagogue from the way the very same people treat the IDF soldiers who guard their settlement. It is hard to separate the authentic joy of those worshipers from the most troubling fact that the settlement where my nephews live has no fence around it because it does not match the settlers' ideology.But why does he have to talk about uprooting Olive trees?
It is not hard to see only the weaknesses of the Yitzhar dwellers. It is very easy to speak ill of them and fan the flames of the already prevailing public hatred toward them. Even if they are wrong, even if they think differently, there is a lot of beauty and kindness to be found in their midst. I believe it is important to remember that. It is important for me to remember that.
I donÂt know why it is so important for me to convince you that the Yitzhar residents have lots of fine qualities. It must have something to do with the fact that I too forgot that over the past six years. I have grown used to thinking of them as olive-tree uprooters, and forgot their finest quality - the one that every Israeli should study thoroughly and deeply.Is that really the firstthingg that comes to mind when thinking of Yitzhar residents? And why the generalization? It's not like every Yitzharian does that for fun (if any do at all).
In my particular yishuv, the grey-shirted Yasam police have been wandering around lately, just itching for anyone to dare to look at the local Arabs picking their olives at the edge (and in) our yishuv. We, the settlers are their target, despite the fact that there were 2 serious IDF warnings of planned terrorist infiltrations over the past 2 weeks. We don't bother the Arabs or their trees -- but someone is trying to send us a message by sending the Yasam policemen to our neighborhood.
And they are far from Israel's finest.
Perhaps if Daum would stop reusing the sterotype that "Settlers are Olive Tree Uprooters", things would be better for everyone -- even if he has some nice things to say along the way?
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael