The June 26 special report regarding “radical settlers” included articles each more negative than the next. In fact, it seemed that the entire settler movement was guilty by association. Is it wrong for a few aggrieved Jews to take matters into their own hands when faced with Arab violence and Israeli ambivalence? Perhaps. Is it wrong for some Jews to threaten the soldiers and leaders who plot their violent and undemocratic expulsion from Judea and Samaria? Perhaps.
However, the real cause for what is perceived as “radical settlers” is the marginalization that they have been subjected to by the Israeli body politic. After being actively solicited to settle all of the liberated parts of the land of Israel and having been raised with the history of the Zionist movement, they have now had that support abruptly removed. They have been inculcated with the belief that Jews living in Judea and Samaria is religiously and historically correct; now due to political expediency they are being sacrificed to satisfy the American administration and the world. And all the while, they are subjected to random Arab attacks on women, children, and the elderly. What is even more bizarre is that while Israelis view 260,000 Jews as “settlers” the United States now views over 600,000 Jews as settlers – as this now includes all Jews living in the Jerusalem neighborhoods annexed by Israel after 1967. And the Arab world considers there to be 6,000,000 settlers, as all Jews are temporary residents as far as they are concerned.
As such, I side with the settlers – secular and religious, dovish and radical, Ashkenazi and Sephardic. Jews have the right to live in the land of Israel and it is the responsibility and imperative of the entire Jewish people to support this. It was the same during the Persian and Roman times as it is now. Nothing has changed – certainly not this essential truth.