Your program scared me. You have done well again.
Here are a few things which I think about and urge for the extremist Jewish settlers to consider:
1) If God wanted you to kill the Arabs then how did he allow your plot to blow up the school and hospital fail?
2) Which do you think is more important to God, where you live or how you live?
This is a very well done documentary, par for the course for Frontline. It reveals in stark terms the fundamental problem for Israel: It was founded on the basis of extreme identity with being Jewish. In such a context there will always be people who are extremely extremely identified with being Jewish. And some extremely extremely extremely identified.
This situation does not exist in a vacuum. The realities of the entire planet are rapidly changing. Due to environmental factors and resource depletion, especially fossil fuels, the economic and social relationships that evolved during the Industrial Revolution will soon be rearranged.
Israel's chief sponsor, the United States of America (and its treasure), is not going to be able to continue with its sponsorship. We will be plenty busy with our own troubles.
The future of the human species is in peril. The neurotic identities of a relatively small number of people in a not so hospitable corner of the planet are not going to have much sway either in that corner or elsewhere. And being really, really, really Jewish is not likely to matter much when you're scrounging for your next meal.
The simple and obvious fact that must be faced by the Israelis is that no matter how brave the Jewish people are – and they are very brave, they must come to understand that their true security can only be built on their acceptance by their Arab neighbors. Does this mean that the Israelis will need to make further concessions to their Arab neighbors – no, it means making retribution for the death and destruction caused by the Jewish settlers who shot their way into the neighborhood. The question now is: Do the Israeli people and their political leaders have the courage to overcome their fears, prejudices and visions of an ever greater Israel, to right this wrong?
As A longtime viewer of your programs I waited with much anticapation for this particular show. It did not dissapoint. I, however, disagree with most who have commented.The "extremists" could not possibly be more correct in thier view of what Isreal should be like.
God did not give the land to anyone, except the jews. The prophets from the older testements are considered to be God fearing , steadfast in their belief, to be admired. The church shows them in bible study etc.. to be great men of faith. Is it any different now? Did God suddenly change, or become politically correct? Of course not. These people are doing exactly what God has commanded all jews to do; have faith. To build the temple is a command right from the bible. No muslims have a right to be on the temple mount. They should be expelled by whatever means are most effecient. Destroying the dome of the rock would be a good start. While I am not jewish, but an evangelical christian, (yes, the hated right wing), I fully support Isreal in any way possible to bring about such change.
Why did God choose the jews? Why are they the "apple of Gods eye"? Only God knows this. And if God wants it that way, far be it from this man to disagree. The day is coming, very very soon when all these events will come to a head ,so to speak. It would be wise, to say the least, to be right with God as the end of this age comes upon us.
For some time I have been aware that there was an element in Israel that was determined to destroy all that was non-jewish in their country. This documentary gave me some valuable information as to the scope of this ideology. As an Atheist I am keenly sensitive to the disease of religious extremism. I see the Christian variety often in our own government and it disturbs me. However, these maniacal Jewist cultists are particularly dangerous being situated atop the powder keg of humanity. Thanks for the story.
Thank you for the excellent program on Jewish extremist in the Israeli settlements. The US media in general seems to ignore this side of the Israel/Palestine problem.
I took an interest in the Mid East and the Israeli-Palestine conflict only after our 911. After a year of researching the history of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, mainly through the British records going back to the 1890's, I had to conclude that Israel is no innocent in this conflict and practiced their own terrorism in Palestine even before the UN establishment of Israel. It was an eye opener for me to learn of the former Irgun and Stern gangs terrorism against not only the the Palestines, but the British themselves, during the inital years of Jewish immigration into Palestine.
Speaking as an American, neither Jewish nor Arab, I find no difference in the mentality of the Muslim and Jewish fanatics, or of the Christian fanatics here in the US for that matter.
As Americans we are responsible for much of the violence going on because we finance at least the Israeli part. Without the American taxpayer's money and the political favortism involved this would have been settled long ago. We need to start demanding our politicans exercise some evenhandedness and fairness in this conflict.
Thank you again for a wider look at one of the elements of the problem.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: israeli extreme
it's very hard to argue with people who believe they speak in the name of god.
The solution might be for Israel to remove all the security forces and let God help them.
Frontline spent an hour on five or six way out there –over zealous Israelis who have become terrorists. Why did the show fail to mention that there are six million Israelis who are law abiding and have served in the Israeli military and have been fine with it.
Has Frontline ever had the guts to broadcast a show about the highest form of child abuse in the Middle East? Yes, that would be a show on Yassir Arafat and his 20 years of incitement and brainwashing of Palestinian and Arab children. Thousands of children who are now teens or adults who have become terrorists. And who can't wait to kill us. And when I say “us” I mean Americans, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists anyone different from them. And this incitement goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week in most Arab countries---media outlets and in the schools.
How about a show on how Saudi Arabia capitulated to their religious extremists and made the state religion Wahabism. Again, another group whose motto is “Our way or the highway.” This was done over 20 years ago so we now have terrorists all over the world—London, Malaysia, Turkey. We the free world, are surrounded by people who want to kill us.
In addition these Kahanist guys (who were convicted) will go to jail for a long time. But Palestinian terrorists were never arrested, tried or convicted of any of their crimes against humanity? And the few times some went to jail, they were immediately let out. Of course not ---those terrorists killed Israelis—and who (said sarcastically) cares about them? Certainly not any international groups who care about humanity.
I never thought I would give kudos to CNN, but that cable company aired the “Sbarro” documentary (albeit two years too late) in which Israelis civilians—children, women, grandparents were brutally blown up because they went to a pizzeria for lunch.
And Frontline is wrong about how many civilians were killed since September of 2000. It’s not in the hundreds, the number is over 1300 and over 7,000 injured, maimed, blinded, and crippled (see www.onefamilyfund.org for more information on statistics).
I myself have interviewed a man who was paralyzed after being shot at point blank range by a Palestinian. The man I interviewed was simply sitting in his car in the front seat with his father – who also was shot.
When you throw around terms like “cycle of revenge” you distort the truth. Israelis are in a war. A very unusual war where civilians are targeted. It’s interesting that you called these extremists “terrorists” when most media outlets refuse to call any Arab suicide bomber a “terrorist.” (see Reuters).
Also the idea of rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount. This is such an extreme idea to you? Again you have not done your homework. The Arabs built their Dome of the Rock on the Jewish Temple Mount where Abraham from the Old Testament tried to sacrifice his son Isaac. I guess Frontline never read the Torah either.
Beverly Hills, California
The scariest part of these Hilltoppers, or Hamas, or any extremist, is that they are absolute in their belief that they know exactly what God wants.
Anyone who tells you they know God better than you do, and that doing God's work involves violence and murder, is a danger to peace. Peace leads to prosperity, tolerance, and the respecting of one another's rights.
Patchogue, New York
Thank you, Frontline, for providing us with information that is rarely ever shared with the American public. I hope this program will open people's eyes to the fact that there are extremists on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Settlements are illegal by international law, and I suggest that people remember this point in their discussions of this program.
San Diego, CA
There is no excuse for promoting violence against innocent people (i.e. the students in the Palestinian girls' school). However, the concerns of these "extremist" groups should be addressed by the Israeli government and society (and the rest of the world) in this regard: traditional views of Judaism should be given more respect. Why is it acceptable to want to protect Islamic holy sites and Muslim sensibilities but not give the same protection and respect to Jewish ones? The documentary (rightly) mentioned that the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aksa mosques are the third holiest site in Islam. But, it failed to discuss that the Temple Mount (upon which they rest) is THE holiest site in Judaism and that Jews are forbidden to pray there. Where was the media when the tomb of Joseph was detroyed by Palestinians a few years ago? If this had been a Muslim holy site, the whole world would have been in an uproar. Also, by emphasizing the "ideology" of the members of this movement, the film may have led people who are unfamiliar with Judaism and Jewish history to believe that any strong belief in Judaism and/or Zionism is equivalent to violence and extremism.
I applaud Frontline for showing this documentary. I arrived home a month ago from living in East Jerusalem/West Bank amongst the Palestinians for a year. During this time I became aware of the negativity that the Palestinians recieve in the America.
I am happy to see that someone has the boldness to show the "other" side of the story... that this conflict is not just the Islamic extremest palestinian groups that are causing all the problems, but that there are also Israeli jewish groups that are doing the same. I thank God that the trailor bomb planted by the two Jewish extremest was not successful, because during my time in Jerusalem i befriended a couple familys and their daughters went to that school.
Thank you again for showing America the other side of the story.
You have given us a chilling portrait of Jewish fundamentalism, and a reminder that all those who believe they are taking their cues directly from "god" often exhibit a complete indifference to the lives and well-being of non-believers--the very definition of a political or religious fanatic. What is lacking, however, is the connection that exists between the looney fanatics and the supposedly "rational" thinkers who are at the helm in Israel and the US.
The settlers could only hold on to their turf with the connivance of the Israeli state, and the latter can only operate with the support of the US. Does anyone really believe that there will be peace in the Middle East through a "peace settlement" confining the Palestinians to Bantustans a` la South Africa--territories which are completely economically unviable? Unending, "low-intensity" war is what's in store for us if the US doesn't pressure its client state of Israel into ridding the West Bank of the settler population.
I applaud (somewhat half-heartedly) Frontine for this documentary on fundalmentist right wing groups within Israel. It certainly is important to understand that religous fundalmentism has no ethic or political boundaries.
Still this documentary leaves the very strong impression of a few radical right Israel groups held firmly in check by an ever vigilant Israeli government. I'm not sure that is entirely accurate. According to Dan Setton, the creator of this documentary, the "latest polls show that 30 percent of the people in Israel support the idea that the land belongs exclusively to the people of Israel, to the Jews, and that the state should be exclusively Jewish."
I would recommend that everyone read "A Chronology" on this web site which outlines quite clearly the chronology of the Israeli settler movement.
As an American, with no ties to Israel or Palestine, I do believe we have a very biased approach to the Israeli -Palestinian issue. I think it is without question we favor the Israelis in this matter and this has long delayed a much needed peace process. There is a lot to dislike about the Palestinians with their use of terror but there is ALSO a great deal to dislike about Israel and the government supported settlement movement (which has been an Israeli policy for quite some time). Sadly the documentary focussed on a few radicals in Israel rather than looking at the much broader policies of the Israeli government, which via tax incentives and other means has encouraged these settlement movements and used the settlers as a proxy to increase the overall territory of Israel.
I applaud Frontine for at least touching on the issue of the Palestinian-Israel debate. The entire topic has largely been avoided in the US media. But this problem will not be solved until an honest and frank discussion can emerge within US political circles where politicans are not only free to discuss the horrid violence/excesses of the Palestians ---- but also the excesses of the Israeli government.
As a college student in a very conservative area of Michigan, I find myself surrounded by radical christians which can be just as frightening. As I prepare to head to Israel this summer for the 13th Annual Women in Black conference on Women and Peacemaking, I hope to continue my work as an agent for peace.
Certainly, these extremists DO NOT speak for the Israelis organizing my conference. Just as the few extremists here in American don't speak for the rest of us.
Amy Lynn O'Connell