What It’s Like to Grow Up in an Israeli Settlement | Op-Docs

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[music] Tel Aviv. As Israel grows
more nationalist, Tel Aviv is the
last stronghold of our nation’s liberals. It is a supercool
cosmopolitan city and the place I call home. In 2016, I decided to
say goodbye to Tel Aviv and spend the summer
with the Israelis that I disagree with
the most: the settlers. Since Israel’s ongoing
military occupation of the West Bank
that started in 1967, Jewish settlers have moved to
the Palestinian territories into settlements
that are illegal, according to the
international law. As Israeli society
polarizes around views of the occupation, I
found myself increasingly curious about
Israelis my age who grew up in those
settlements, who were born into this reality. I ended up in one of the
oldest Israeli settlements, called Tekoa, which
was founded in 1977. About an hour drive
from Tel Aviv, it is a world apart,
isolated in the Judean hills and surrounded by
Palestinian villages. I rented a small apartment
on the corner of Hospitality Road and Joy Street. And I thought to myself,
these are two things I’ll definitely need here. After all, it’s not every day
that a liberal from Tel Aviv moves to a settlement. Once I settled in, to make
myself feel more at home, I set up a small cafe
and waited for company. Well, apparently coffee
is not in demand in Tekoa, as well as a liberal
with three cameras. For a while, it seemed
like the only locals who visited my table were
flies, a cat, and my only new friend in town, Matanya. But being stubborn
eventually paid off. Unlike Tekoa,
which is considered a moderate settlement,
the Jewish settlement in the Palestinian
city of Hebron is the most extremist
of all, where extreme settlers
live in the midst of a large Palestinian city. Moriya grew up there. It seems like we grew up
in totally different worlds. While I knew Palestinians come
in and out of the settlements every day to work, building
more of the buildings that they will never
be allowed to live in, seeing them line up
to enter settlements that represent their
oppression with my own eyes was very unsettling. Her uncensored lack of
political correctness definitely shocked
me, but also made me want to hear more. Despite a peace and love and
the hippie vibe of Tekoa, sometimes the complexity
of the tension here slaps you in the face. My next door
neighbor’s family was attacked in the shooting
ambush, killing her father, and leaving her mother
and two siblings wounded. Her cry and weep
across our shared wall when she first got the
message tore my heart apart. In January 2016, a
Palestinian teenager stabbed Tekoa resident
Michal Froman at the local thrift shop. She was four months
pregnant at the time. Most of the people
my age I chatted with were honest about the negative
effect of the settlements on Palestinians,
who are repressed as long as they are occupied. I wondered how they still
choose to live here. On my last day
in Tekoa, Matanya stopped by for
a farewell chat. [music]


  1. Looks like my comment was lost here….Interesting Idea…I was not clear if you learned anything from the interviews? it seemed as though you didn't ??? not sure a complicated subject …but not as much as the Media turns it into watch Cory's video below for another view ..and Arab view

  2. She came with pre conceived. Thoughts and she was upset or at least not happy what is going on. I think that know one is happy about i
    But if she grew up there and saw her friends or family get killed by there side how would her view be then. Libs what can you do

  3. The Jews in the settlements look at the Arabs from a position of superiority? Maybe they do. But how do you you think the entire Muslim world views Jews? Like pigs and dogs is how. Every tribe views their own culture as superior. Only naive, cosmopolitan leftists think otherwise.

  4. As an Aussie, I found this video remarkable. The journalist spoke to people that had grown up in a settlement, very different from those jews who were sent/landed there. Awesome perspectives.. tyvm

  5. "When you meet individuals behind faceless groups, you see things in a more complex way". Exactly, which is why dehumanisation must be fought at all times.

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