Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The "Face" of Judea and Samaria

The “Face” of Judea and Samaria

Lately, many visitors from outside of Israel have been visiting Judea and Samaria. From US congressman, European members of Parliaments and governments, the who’s who and who’s not have been making their way over to attempt to get a better understanding of what’s going on over here. Indeed, we have been seeing a rise in support not just from our own in Israel, but an increasing amount of visitors have come around to the thinking that Judea and Samaria is truly part of Israel and not to be given away like a used car.

I have also been observing various individuals who are portrayed to be the “face” of Judea and Samaria, be it produced by the media or self promoted.

One of the biggest misconceptions of Judea and Samaria is the makeup of our population, the stereotype and generalization of those of us who live in these parts.

For too long have we allowed the media to show one type of Jew who represents the over 300,000 people who live here. We all know the picture, big Kippah, Payot (sidelocks), usually a beard, this is the general image of the population of our heartland. Usually devout, sometimes “Messianic”, angry, yelling, cursing an Arab or fighting off an IDF soldier, yup, that’s a “settler”! At least that’s what the media would have you believe makes up the core of Judea and Samaria.

Does this person live in Judea and Samaria? Yes, he does, he also lives in Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Haifa and Kiryat Shemona and more. Is this an accurate portrayal of Judea and Samaria? Not in the least.

The majority of Jews in the world do not look like this… the majority of Jews living in Judea and Samaria do not look like this either, so what gives?

For many years opponents of a Jewish presence in it’s historical heartland have been trying to maintain a separation between not only the physical territory, but also the populous and the rest of Israel and Jews of the world. You could not find a better way to do this by presenting an image that most cannot relate to. It has proven to be a successful marketing strategy, both here and outside of Israel.

Blame must not only be put on the media, but also our leadership here in Judea and Samaria. When we have sent out our emissaries to the diaspora, whom did we send? Representatives of ALL the Jews living here? No, not at all. Mostly those who matched the media ‘s portrayal, at least in physical appearance.

Is there a single image or representative of ALL Jews of Judea and Samaria? No, there is not, do you know why? Judea and Samaria is as diverse as every other part of Israel, various levels of religious observance and non-observance, of political right and yes, even left. There are long hairs, short hairs, cool folk, geeks and nerds, intellects, simpletons, brave and courageous, even frightened people. Liberal, Conservative, Professionals, Artists, Professors, Sanitation workers, the list goes on and on….just like everywhere in Israel and the world.

Something for everyone…but that would mean that the people living there are normal…just like you, and that is not on the agenda.

How can you expect “Diaspora Jews, be they Observant, Conservative, Reform, Traditional or non-observant Jews to relate to a Jew living in Judea and Samaria when he is shown a limited version of the people living there? How can we expect people to think that we are diverse when they think that only “Avraham Fried” is the choice of music out here in the hills? I have Hendrix blaring on my speakers, down the block Idan Raichel is playing, someone’s got hip-hop wreaking havoc on their system, and John Coltraine is cooling his way at one of the area restaurants where the fine wine and gourmet food is being served (produce of Judea and Samaria).

In the same breath, there is Torah being taught in ways few thought possible, in so many institutions, by Rabbis with beards, without beards, by the young and old, men and women, and children.

All types, all options, the full spectrum. But you wouldn’t know that from the media, or the “Mainstream” Jewish Federation trips and educational programs to Israel.

The common glue between the Jews living in our heartland… a fierce love of Israel, the land and the people.

The web to trap so many, being continuously spun by the impostors, the media and our own, who claim to seek truth and peace, only keeps our people and especially our children separate and divided, and thus, weak and susceptible to their lies and misinformation.

It is up to all of us to tear this web of danger down, before we loose more of our people.

The “Face” of Judea and Samaria? No such thing, public or private, there are the “Faces” of Judea and Samaria, and they are the same and different as the faces of all of Israel, of all of the Jewish people, (that is those that are not anti-Israel).

The “Green” line only separates the ignorant.

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