What does an Israeli 'settlement' look like?

Tuvia Brodie,

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צילום: ערוץ 7
Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.

I live in Israel. I live in a beautiful city.  But around the world, many say I don't live in a city at all. They claim the place I live is only a 'settlement'.

You know what a 'settlement' is, right?  It's a collection of half- permanent, half-temporary dwellings that's closer to an encampment than anything organized. It's a place built where only recently there had been nothing. It's crude. It's primitive. It's an attempt to start a community--but isn't one, yet. 

The only real difference between a 'settlement' and an 'outpost' is size and location. 'Outposts' are smaller than 'settlements', and placed in more remote areas.

For Israel, the world says 'settlements' are built outside Israel. They're built for only one reason: to displace Arabs. 

That's wrong. 

Jews don't build 'settlements' outside Israel. We have no interest in what lies outside Israel. 

Instead, we build on our own land. That land is our ancestral Jewish homeland. We settle there in order to fulfill the Divine command to possess, occupy and dwell in our Promised Land. 

Our Torah tells us what are the borders of our Promised Land: from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Those are also the current borders of modern Israel. That's where we are to build and dwell.

Of course, this Jewish homeland was repeatedly ripped from our hands by foreigners. Our ancestral homeland has been repeatedly conquered. 

But in the end, only we--the Jew--has survived.

Now, we are back home, We are the only nation in history to have experienced such forced exile--and such a miraculous return. We are the only nation for whom all of this was 'predicted' and recorded thousands of years ago--in our Torah. No other people in human existence has had such a history.

Those who hate us cannot abide such a Jewish accomplishment.  They don't want to see Israel succeed. They want to see Israel destroyed. They demand it. 

In their attempt to kill us, they repeatedly attack us. Like an insane person, they keep trying that over and again, expecting a different result each time. Each time, they fail.

Now they use law to attack us. They call us illegal. They call us 'illegitimate'. They say our cities aren't cities. They say many of our cities are merely 'settlements'--eyesores which dot the landscape only because Jews aim to establish an illegitimate presence on someone else's land. 

These modern enemies of the Jewish people do what Jew-haters have done for centuries.They come into our land. They attack us. They seek to rule over us. They aim to de-legitimize us.

These Jew-haters now gather at the United Nations. They rail against us. They call to dismantle us in the name of 'peace'. 

In a world where genocide is perhaps the most horrible crime against humanity, they call for genocide against us. They absolutely insist we have no right to exist.

I don't care what they say. This land is my land. The deed for this place is in our Torah. It's there for all to see. It's always been there, for more than 3,000 years.

What part of "Jewish land" do these haters fail to understand? It's very simple: G-d gave this Land to the Jewish people. G-d gave us this Land as an everlasting gift.

One last point: when you've been to Israel, you can see that these 'settlements' Jew-haters hate so much aren't encampments or outposts or temporary Jew-attempts to mark the land with some kind of illegal Jew-print. They  aren't places that offer little comfort and much travail. These 'settlements' are cities. Some are more beautiful than any place you inhabit.

Take a look at my own 'settlement'. It sits in the barren Judean desert. Take a look at what Jews do with that desert. Judge for yourself:

First, a look at our desert:


courtesy of: jerusalempost


courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh


courtesy of: aliyahpittsburgh

Now, a brief look at what we do with this desert:


courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh


courtesy of: aliyahpittsburgh


how 'settlers' live in the desert--courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh

Then, our city, our life:


our Jewish 'settlement' courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh


our 'settlement' shopping courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh


a view from one of our 'settlement' streets courtesy of: israelandstuff

a winter view of one neighborhood from the desert courtesy of: 123rf


the 'settlement' home where I once lived courtesy of:aliyahpittsburgh

Yes, my home-place is in the desert. There's nothing temporary about it. My so-called 'settlement' is a real city with more than 40,000 residents. 

The homes within my Jewish home-place don't have paper-thin walls or tin roofs. Our walls are more than 13 inches thick. Our homes are fully air-conditioned. They are modern in every way. 

Our 'settlement' exists to demonstrate that, after nearly 2,000 years of forced exile, Jews once again settle this, our ancestral homeland. This Jewish 'settlement enterprise' is not illegitimate. It isn't illegal. It's our right. It's our home.

It's our Land.

If you haven't been to Israel, come. If you don't yet live in Israel, come home. There's plenty of room for you.