The Settlers

The Settlers

DVD - 2017
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A comprehensive look at life as a settler in Israel's controversial West Bank settlements.
Publisher: [New York] : Film Movement, c2017
Branch Call Number: DVD 956.94204 Se788 2017
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (110 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,rda
video file,DVD video,rda
Language Note: In English, Arabic and Hebrew, wtih English subtitles for Arabic or Hebrew dialogue

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This documentary provides an overview of the settler movement in territories occupied following the Six-Day War. How it metastasized from a small orthodox religious endeavor held at arm's length by various Israeli governments to a sprawling officially-backed (though often "off the books") behemoth that shows no signs of let-up. Which is a big problem for all of us because, as the film documents, the new generation of settlers have their sights set on not just the West Bank but Jordan as well. Everything from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq. Our endless Middle East wars will indeed be perpetual.

m
MichelleinBallard
Feb 13, 2018

I wouldn't go as far as Uri Klein's cutting review in "Ha'aretz" but this film is indeed limited by Shimon Dotan's narrow perspective. Perhaps that's because Dotan is himself, in a real sense, a settler, too. Born in Romania, Shotan moved to Israel when he was nine years old and seems stuck in a Left Jewish Zionist perspective. This is most clearly seen when he engages with West Bank settler Pinhas Bar-on.

Bar-on tells Dotan that the task of Jews is to clear the land (and for some of the settlers interviewed this means from the Nile to the Euphrates and beyond) of non-Jews. Tellingly, Dotan doesn't respond by decrying or critiquing this attitude. His focus is not on the real, suffering victims of these attitudes, harnessed as they are to violence.

Instead Dotan asks Bar-on if he isn't afraid of being called a racist. Bar-on unapologetically asserts that he (Bar-on) is in fact a racist. Thus, Dotan reveals himself to be a typical Left critic of the settlers--one whose criticism is driven by concerns of appearances rather than substance, except for the real long-term threat that some see the settlement movement as posing to Israel's long-term future.* It is as if Dotan were a 19th century, Yankee critic of slavery who's not mainly concerned about what slavery does to the enslaved.

Despite all this Dotan's film sheds important and all-too-rare light on some of the history and present-day reality of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It's definitely worth a watch. While not featuring him, the film also gives the lie to Jeff Halper's persistent falsehoods denying the relevance and vitality of Zionism in Israeli Jewish society.

* As Dotan told "The Daily Beast" last spring, "I find the settlement enterprise the most threatening element to the well-being, to the existence of the state of Israel”.

k
koszalin
Jan 10, 2018

Six-Day War 1967, Sharon relations with stabilizing Israel, Geneva, Oslo, West Bank and Settlements. An understanding from beginning to present one must interpret both sides. Strongly affected by a 'Supreme Right' expected from Jews. All religions are entitled to Our Holy Sites and not exclusive to Zionists. Are Zionists entitled to land according to their interpretation of the Bible. The ideology of the Bible as interpreted by Zionists to land rights.
Whose lands are whose?Sacred to all religions and not owned by Zionists solely. Religious sites belong to 'All' and NOT whom; specifically? Answer, follow according to Peace to all.

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