The Mistake of Settlements

(Cross posted to Israpundit and Mystical Paths.)

Ted at Israpundit wrote about whether the time has passed to call good sized Jewish towns “settlements”. Why settlements in the first place?

The answer comes straight from the Torah and Gemora…the mitzvah (positive commandment) of “Yishuv Ha’Aretz” – the commandment of Settling the Land. So, as you can deduce, this is simply a religious language issue. As the Jews set up towns, they called them ‘yishuvim’, the plural of settle in hebrew, which is…a settlement.

The mistake is doing a literal translation without taking into account the political impact. In Israel there are Jewish cities, suburbs, towns, and villages. Some of them are specialized, such as the kibbutz (the collective) and the moshav (the cooperative), some are ancient (Safed, Jerusalem), some are less so (Tel Aviv, Netanya, Petach Tikvah), and the group in the Shomron and Yehuda (West Bank) are only 20 years old or so, including cities such as Ariel, Maaleh Adumim, towns such as Bet El, Eli, Kedumim, and villages such as Elon Moreh, Itamar, and Shiloh.

Just describe them as such and help change a mistaken impression.

January 16, 2007 | 5 Comments »

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. Well, the Arabs in the region and their supporters world-wide have been very successfull with changing the meaning of words and of facts. We should be fighting back by creating new meanings too. I agree “settlements” has an unfortunate connotation for Israel.

  2. The term “settlements” carries a sense of impermanence, an idea the antisemitic Communitarian globalists want so when they can con people into thinking they can remove the Jews out of their place. The term “Palestinians” was a British idea if I recall…and thereafter we saw the sun fade on the British. Empire. Changing the meaning of words is a typical ploy. The same double-speak pervades the UN and all other parts of the new global management system. Example: Three Sets of Meanings for Educational Buzzwords

  3. The fact that “They” call themselves “Palestinians” upsets me to no end! They are Arabs originating from Arabia! The romans did that!The Jews that live in not the west bank but Judea and sumaria are citizens not settlers!I wish my fellow brethren would not be so apologetic when it comes to people who are trying to kill them! I have negative sympathy for those Arabs!

  4. Excuse me, what in the heck is a ‘settlement’ in English? If some builders go and buy some farm land and build some housing complexes on it, that’s a town. Maybe a small town, but a town. If it has none of it’s own governmental services, it’s an ‘unincorporated town or village’. When the people collectively decide to form a local government, then it’s an ‘incorporated town or village’.

    When I go out to the West Bank and drop 10 temporary dwellings, that’s an uncorporated village. When I build 50 permanent homes, that’s a town.

    Please tell me what differenciates a ‘new’ town in the US or Canada versus Israel? Why isn’t that new housing complex in the US a settlement? “Disputed” land? Talk to the Native American’s about that. Length of time in existance? My mother lives in a Florida complex of 500 homes dropped in the middle of farm land, 20 miles from anywhere else. The Seminole Indians of Florida would say they have a historical claim on that land.

    So, does my mother live in a US grey haired settlement?

  5. Akiva, the settlements in the territories are not yishuvim, but hitnachluyot.

    Ted has correctly translated them as settlements. (which doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be there)

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