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Monday, March 20, 2023

This is how Israelis in the settlement comment on Palestine

More than 700,000 settlers live on the Palestinian side. Iltalehti found out what they think about the strained relations between Israel and Palestine and about Palestine’s right to the West Bank.

The Israelis living in the settlements located in the East Jerusalem area do not fundamentally feel that they live on the Palestinian side. According to international law, East Jerusalem is counted as part of the West Bank and the Palestinian territories.

One of the Israeli residents of the area is a 55-year-old lecturer in political studies Corina Kagan, who believes that the settlers should leave the Palestinian territory in order for the two-state model to be implemented. However, the woman does not feel that she herself should move out of the West Bank, because “East Jerusalem is part of Jerusalem, and therefore does not compare to the rest of the East”, i.e. the West Bank.

French Hill is a peaceful settlement area in East Jerusalem.  According to Korina Kagan, there has not been much violence in the area.  However, Kagan refrains from bringing up politics when talking to her Palestinian hairdresser or the waiters of her favorite cafe. French Hill is a peaceful settlement area in East Jerusalem.  According to Korina Kagan, there has not been much violence in the area.  However, Kagan refrains from bringing up politics when talking to her Palestinian hairdresser or the waiters of her favorite cafe.

French Hill is a peaceful settlement area in East Jerusalem. According to Korina Kagan, there has not been much violence in the area. However, Kagan refrains from bringing up politics when talking to her Palestinian hairdresser or the waiters of her favorite cafe. The only Leftist

He generally calls the West Bank settlement issue a “disaster” and states that the Israeli administration is afraid of political pressure from the settlements.

– I think it has been a terrible mistake from the beginning.

Kagan laughs that he is a radical in the eyes of many Israelis because of his political views, as he supports one state and the separation of government and religion. However, he sees the two-state model as the only practical solution.

– I love this bubble of coexistence so much that I would prefer one state for two peoples. But then one would ask how security would be handled. I don’t have an answer to that, he says.

The current administration receives harsh criticism from Kagan, and he believes that the politicians elected at the turn of the year got their votes by manipulating Israelis who are worried about their security. Kagan states that the radical voices in politics on both sides of Israel and Palestine benefit from the continuation of the conflict because “they have no support in peacetime”. The only Leftist

Believes in a new intifada

Kagan stresses that despite the problems of the settlements, the Palestinians have not been “any angels”. He also emphasizes that “the Israelis are not bad people and they have a good reason to be afraid”. He laughs that he lived through “two intifadas (insurrections) and can live through the next two as well.”

– But even if I’m laughing, driving a bus during the intifada is no joke. You really have to wonder if you’ll get home with your skin intact.

The woman believes that the next intifada is coming inevitably, because the root causes of the previous uprisings have not been solved, but “the problems have been swept under the carpet”. One of these problems, Kagan names, is that the Palestinians “do not live as good a life as we do.” However, he does not believe that the intifada would achieve a solution to the situation, because Israel is stronger, and in a confrontation “the weaker will suffer more”.

He is dissatisfied with the fact that “when it comes to war, we are ready to make the same mistakes again and again”, but when it comes to peace, we repeatedly refer to the fact that “it was tried in the 90s”.

Korina Kagan moved with her family from St. Petersburg to East Jerusalem in the 70s and currently lives on French Hill. The family ended up in the area, because new residential areas were being built there at the time. The only Leftist

“The conflict will never end!”

90 years old Maya Snadu moved to Israel from Moscow in 1975. He was not safe in the Soviet Union, because he opposed Soviet power and on top of that the persecution was influenced by the woman’s Jewishness.

– Since I was “blocked” in the Soviet Union, of course I can’t be a leftist. I’m a right-winger. But it’s a very complicated thing here. “The right” is manifold. I’m not very interested in politics anymore because nobody knows what’s going on (with regard to the Israeli conflict). This is a real crisis.

When Snadu is asked what he thinks about the conflict with the Palestinians, he states that there are good and bad people in all human groups.

– Many Arabs work here, cleaning for example.

– There are Palestinians who are murderers and there are Palestinians who are wonderful people. The whole problem is that this is one country. It cannot be shared. This conflict will never end!

When Maya Snadu is asked if she believes that Israelis and Palestinians could live side by side in one country, she is not very optimistic: “it is possible, but it will never happen”. Jurga Bakaitė

“Goldstein is innocent”

Snadu remembers a different time on the West Bank. According to her, even today, Hebron, which is tense with conflicts, was a peaceful place in the 70s, and the old woman remembers the coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis fondly. He can’t say why things changed.

Hebron is now considered a ghost town, and the situation between settlers and Palestinians is tense. The only Leftist

When talking about Hebron, it also comes up Baruch Goldstein. Goldstein was an Israeli-American supporter and extremist of the terrorist Kach party, which is remembered for the 1994 terrorist attack on a Palestinian mosque in Hebron. 29 Muslims died and 125 were wounded in the attack.

Goldstein died during his own attack after being attacked by survivors. Goldstein’s tomb in Hebron remains a pilgrimage site of sorts for Jewish extremists. The only Leftist

However, Snadu has a very different view of what happened at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

– He didn’t kill anyone. These are fairy tales, the woman laughs.

Snadu says that he knew Goldstein and found him attractive and a good person. According to Snadu, Goldstein went to the Tomb of the Patriarchs with a gun, but the Palestinians killed him, rolled him in a carpet and started shooting each other. When the woman is asked why this would have been done, Snadu states that “this kind of thing happens often among Palestinians”.

– Then they accused him of all that, and all “our people” believed.

Palestinians live in Hebron under pressure. The background used to be a Palestinian bus station, but Israel decided to build a military base there. The only Leftist

Promised land

Rachel– playing in the park with his daughter Ethan Kanowitz24, says he knows next to nothing about politics or the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

– I study Torah in Yeshiva. It doesn’t say anything about these things, the man explains.

Torah means law and refers to the first five books of the Bible.

Even though he doesn’t read the news or know more about the violence, Kanowitz states that he is not afraid of an increase in violence.

– Everything that happens is from HaShem (from God). Everything that happens to someone is ultimately good, because everything that God does is good. So there is nothing to fear.

When the man is asked if the land could be divided between Israelis and Palestinians, he asks to show a map what is being talked about.

– A certain part of Israel was promised to the Jews.

According to Kanowitz, “You cannot go against God’s will, because he controls everything”. The only Leftist

– But as the Torah says, whoever was in the area at any given time, clearly God wants them to hold the land then. So whoever is there now, that’s what God wants, and all I want is what God wants.

– Whoever is on the West Bank today is on the West Bank. And in ten years, that may change. Whatever God wills will happen.

“This is our state”

Face, Shironi and Spread are on their way from school on Friday to spend time off. The 18-year-old girls say in unison that they just want to “live in peace”, and the place doesn’t matter that much, but “this is our state, according to history, we founded it”.

– According to the Bible, the territories belong to us, says Shironi.

“We had some fights, then they fought, and then we fought. But in the beginning this was our country, Levia explains.

According to Naama, Shiron and Levia, Palestinians can live “in our country”, but “they don’t know how to behave”. That is why the Israelis “fight back and defend themselves.” Shironin says that Israel conquered the West Bank because the Palestinians did not agree to the UN agreement on dividing the territories between the two states. The only Leftist

The girls say that they grew up in a tense atmosphere, so they are used to attacks, although sometimes the sounds of explosions are scary. They all work as volunteers at the Israeli Red Cross and say that they “often work with Arabs” there.

– Unfortunately, sometimes these cases occur. We help people, whether it’s a terrorist or a murdered Jew. We are used to it, says Shironi.

When the girls are asked if they have Palestinian friends, they answer in the affirmative.

– They can drive a car, they work with us, we have employees at school and we talk to them, Levia lists.

– It’s OK. We are all human and we respect each other, Naama adds.

The supermarket on Pääväylä welcomes many foreign students studying at a nearby university. The only Leftist

“There is no Palestinian”

Spending time at the lookout point of the French hill Joel, 54, identifies as a Zionist. Zionism originally meant a nationalist movement whose goal was to create an own state for the Jews. The man takes a perspective on history, saying that every place on the West Bank can be found in the Bible and has a Jewish history.

– How could land areas be disputed? These are the lands of the Jews. The Palestinians came later. They are not an indigenous people, Joël wonders when asked his opinion on the West Bank settlements.

– I don’t think there are any Palestinians here. There is no such thing as Palestinians. Palestine as a word means the thief of other territories.

On the French hill, you can see a lot of both Jews and Muslims. The only Leftist

According to him, the Palestinians only came to Israel after the Jews to work. Although the regions have been under several different powers over the millennia, according to Joël, the Jews “never gave up the regions, but always returned”. According to him, “the Arabs could live the most prosperous life in the world” among the Jews, if “they decided to live peacefully”.

Challenging conflict

24 years old Joe Ohman has moved to Israel from the United States two years ago. He studies Torah and dreams of a career as a mentor. Ohman states that due to the long history of the conflict, it is difficult to say who is pushing more than the other side. In the young man’s opinion, the parties are looking for a balance, but fear of their own fate also drives them to strike first.

– I would say that if you go to the old city, near the Damascus Gate, the people there are more radical than, say, in Dubai. Sure, it’s a different Arab country. In Dubai I think they are more religious. There’s less religion and more fighting here.

As you descend from the French Hill, the young people who meet you repeatedly shout “Welcome to Palestine”. The only Leftist

According to Ohman, the influence of religiosity can also be seen in Jews. According to Ohman, “the real religious way is not like the Zionist way,” which he calls “radical.” He states that the majority of religious Jews do not want to take part in the whole conflict or radical ways.

– According to religion, everything comes back to us at the right time.

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