September 9th: Gun’s and Moses

Praying settler in Yanoun

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Today we had two settler visits in Yanoun. First a car with three armed men drove up to our house, just to stop in front of our door and then to turn around after they saw us.

Then just a couple of hours later a single man, armed with an automatic gun, hanging over his shoulder, entered the village heading to the well. There he stood for a couple of minutes, took out his Bible/ Prayer Book and sank into prayer, totally ignoring us standing 15meters away taking pictures.

After finishing his prayer the “Torah Trooper” continued on his way through the village, passing us and ignoring a friendly nod not even taking eye contact. In the same way he passed by Rached, the major, who was working infront of his house and dissapeared in the hills over the village in one of the outposts of the religious settlement of Itamar.

With the jewish holidays of Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and the Simchat Torah coming up this month we expect more incidences like this one to happen.

It is a strange combination – the “peacefull” religious devotion and the massive automatic weapon. And were the men entering the village today really afraid that they would get attacked and would be in need of defending themselves? And what would be the purpose of their visit then?

It seems almost like they are lost in a Wild West game. A strange combination of Gun’s and Moses, like a tourist t-shirt sold in Jerusalem says. Praying and fighting become the sole elements of a persons identity; there is only good and bad, they and us, and not a chance to look into the eyes of a stranger, to notice a friendly nod or share a “shalom” or “salam”.

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1 Response to September 9th: Gun’s and Moses

  1. Birgitta Risberg says:

    If possible, I would like to be on your mailing list acc news from Yanoun. I was an EA in team 39 and was back for a brief visit last spring. Your questions and remarks reminds me of ours. Wishing you and your team all the best for your work in Yanoun. / Birgitta (in the village some knew me as Um Yacoub if you would to greet them from me)

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