Trump’s Plan Backs Israeli Settlements. So Why Are Settlers Unhappy?

Trump’s Plan Backs Israeli Settlements. So Why Are Settlers Unhappy?


Ora Tubi, 44, a Yitzhar resident who runs spiritual workshops for women and sells health products, said her family from central Israel doesn’t visit much because they are already afraid of the drive through the West Bank. Her daughter, 10, recites a special prayer every night that she composed herself, Ms. Tubi said, because she once heard of a settler girl who had been murdered in her bed.

Historically, she said, she considers the Palestinians “guests” but that “good guests” — those prepared to peacefully accept the settlements — should be treated well.

Itamar, another would-be settlement enclave southeast of Nablus, has had its share of bloodshed. Its vulnerability was exposed in 2011 when two Palestinian teenagers from a nearby village slipped into a home and stabbed five members of the Fogel family to death in their beds, including a 3-month-old baby. At least 20 residents have been killed in attacks since the settlement was established in 1984.

Moshe and Leah Goldsmith, both 56 and Yamina voters, were among the first families to move in. Born and raised in Brooklyn, their living room window looks out onto Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, the mountains framing Nablus where, according to the Bible, the Israelites delivered blessings and curses.

“Any plan with a mention of a Palestinian state is a tragedy,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “We want peace, but we are not willing to commit suicide and we will never agree to something like that, giving up our homeland.”

Ms. Goldsmith described the Jews here as a “stiff-necked people,” borrowing a biblical phrase for stubbornness, and said they were not going anywhere.

Itamar was only growing, she said, and life had only gotten easier, with two new shopping malls opening up in nearby Ariel in the past 18 months.



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