Jewish Journal

Introducing…The Settler

by  Orit Arfa

July 24, 2013 | 12:33 pm

My new blog (formerly “zAngel”) is called “The Settler” because that’s exactly what I became ever since I moved to Ariel – the City of Samaria from my hometown of Los Angeles in May 2013. “Settler” is the term used, often pejoratively, to refer to Jews living in the West Bank/Judea & Samaria. And how appropriate that I became a “settler” just as I launched my debut novel, The Settler, about a young woman who finds escape in Tel Aviv nightlife following the traumatic withdrawal from her home in Gush Katif, Gaza in 2005.

The word “settler” has been so bastardized that one would think it’s a badge of shame, a description to run away from. Settlers, after all, are blamed for lack of peace in the Middle East even as Arab-Islamic civil war drenches the region in blood. They’re stereotyped as messianic, religious colonialists. They’re non-human to some, worthy of uprooting, caricature, and hate.

To me, being a “settler” is a badge of honor.

One of the purposes of this blog is to reveal what Jewish life is really like beyond the green line, in Judea & Samaria (aka the West Bank). How do Jews and Arabs live together in one of the most contested places on earth? Enter this world so that you can get past stereotypes and understand that “settlers,” after all, are people too, with thoughts, dreams, hopes, and ideas for Israel that could actually lead us on a true path of peace.

Cross the line with me….

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Orit Arfa is a writer and author of The Settler.

A native of Los Angeles, Orit’s works are informed by a deep connection to the ethical dialectic that flows from her Jewish...

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