The Self-Loathing Settlers

By | Nov 14, 2008

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

The New York Times runs a piece today on settlers who don’t believe in the settlements. Yes, that’s right:

While the vast majority of settlers vow never to abandon the heart of the historic Jewish homeland — these ancient and starkly beautiful hills whose biblical names are Judea and Samaria — thousands of other settlers say they want to move back to within the pre-1967 borders of Israel.

Thousands? Really???

There are 280,000 settlers in the West Bank (200,000 more Israeli Jews live in East Jerusalem, also captured in 1967), and the vast majority are firmly committed to staying and oppose a Palestinian state here. But 80,000 of them live beyond the barrier, and surveys indicate that many would leave. If they did, others might follow voluntarily.

“We did a survey three years ago and again last year, and the results were the same,” said Avshalom Vilan, a Parliament member from the left-wing Meretz Party. “Half the settlers beyond the barrier are ideologically motivated and do not want to move. But about 40 percent of them are ready to go for a reasonable price.”


Well, in any case, they should take their place among the non-Jewish Jew, the self-loathing egoist, and other characteristic personality conflicts that make the tribe oh so intriguing.

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One thought on “The Self-Loathing Settlers

  1. jgillick says:

    It’s true that plenty of settlers live beyond the Green Line for non-ideological reasons. It’s hella cheap! And the Israelis could definitely help convince the Palestinians that they’re serious about peace if they start paying the non-ideological settlers to leave. America could even help foot the bill. But there’s still the problem of those who won’t leave…and it seems like the logical first step should be to stop building new settlements.

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