Daily Israel Report

Kibbutznik, ‘Hilltop Youth’ Sit to Talk

‘Hilltop youth’ meet far-left kibbutz leader. ‘I don’t accept their behavior, but they exist,’ leftist says.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/26/2013, 10:54 AM

Outpost (illustrative)
Outpost (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

An unusual meeting took place in Jerusalem last week. Yoel Maharshak, the left-wing leader of the Kibbutz Movement, sat down to talk with the “hilltop youth,” creators of unauthorized outposts in Judea and Samaria.

Maharshak told Arutz Sheva that he had met two “hilltop youth” girls while visiting outposts after a solidarity event in an Arab village. During that meeting he and several youth agreed to meet later.

“I don’t accept their behavior, but they exist,” Maharshak said. The chances of reaching an agreement with the hilltop youth are slim, he said, but dialog and persuasion are the only way to deal with them.

Maharshak did not reveal details of the meeting, but noted that he and the hilltop youth disagreed on every subject they discussed, from ownership of the land of Israel to treatment of other peoples in the land to forms of protest.

Hilltop youth have often - and unfairly - been linked to “price tag” vandalism, in which IDF or Arab-owned property is damaged in response to Arab terrorism or the destruction of Jewish outposts.

Maharshak called for the youths’ families and local educators to get involved. “Someone has to think of what to do, not to ignore them,” he said. The hilltop youth could pose a threat if not dealt with properly, he warned.

He added that while he may not be best suited to persuade the youth to change their approach, there are dozens of organizations, and one must be able to work with the youth and educate them.