How many American Jews are moving to the West Bank?

Jewish American blogger Richard Silverstein points out a piece in Details magazine from last year that discusses the role of American Jews moving to Israel and becoming settler fundamentalists:

Later this year, 21-year-old Ephraim Khantsis will pack a couple of suitcases, say good-bye to his mother, leave his home in Brooklyn, and move to Israel. On arrival in Jerusalem he will enroll in a yeshiva, or religious school, that is popular with Americans. After a few months he will make his way north, to a place this young American feels is his true home: the Jewish settlement of Kfar Tapuach.

Perched on a hill just off Route 60, the main north-south road in the occupied West Bank, Kfar Tapuach is known as a particularly hard-line community. Home to about 600 people, the settlement has a history of welcoming American immigrants whose beliefs and acts raise alarms among Israeli intelligence agencies, leading them to monitor it as a haven for suspected terrorists.

Khantsis, who is in the process of applying for Israeli citizenship, will fit right in. Like the assassinated Brooklyn-born rabbi Meir Kahane, the man some in Kfar Tapuach consider their spiritual leader, Khantsis believes that all Arabs and Palestinians should be forcibly removed from territory controlled by Israel, including the West Bank.

“It’s the most humane way to solve the situation,” Khantsis—who has just graduated from Stony Brook University, on Long Island, with a degree in computer science—says, sipping a soda in an Israeli-run kosher pizzeria in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, this past June. He acknowledges that he is advocating ethnic cleansing.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common