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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV346 2005-01-20 10:14:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

SNAPSHOT OF A WEST BANK AMCIT SETTLER

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					UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000346 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR NEA/IPA, CA/OCS/ACS/NESA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC SOCI KWBG IS ISRAELI SOCIETY ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS SETTLEMENTS
SUBJECT: SNAPSHOT OF A WEST BANK AMCIT SETTLER




1. (SBU) On 12 Jan 2004 Conoff spoke with an American
citizen resident of the West Bank settlement Neve Tsuf, also
known as Halamish. The applicant was making an inquiry
regarding the report of birth of her American citizen child
but was willing to discuss the broader subject of life in a
West Bank settlement.



2. (SBU) The American citizen is a 36 year-old married
woman with three children. She immigrated to Israel from
the US when she was about 20 years old. She is a stay-at-
home mother, but her husband, a graduate of the Technion
Institute (an elite Israeli technical university), works in
Tel Aviv. She says Neve Tsuf is a settlement of about 200
families. It is located approximately six miles north of
Ramallah and six miles east of the Green Line. The small
Arab village of An Nabi Salih is little over half a mile
north of the settlement.



3. (SBU) As a resident of the West Bank she is
technically within the consular district of the US Consulate
in Jerusalem. However she said that she did not wish to
travel through East Jerusalem streets "surrounded by Arabs"
to get to the Consulate. She would go there only if
accompanied by her husband, who is usually armed. When
asked why, if she fears East Jerusalem, she is willing to
live in a settlement in the heart of the West Bank, she said
that she thinks of Neve Tsuf as a suburb of Tel Aviv. She
feels secure at home and is comforted by the presence of
Israeli soldiers in her settlement and on the roads. She
does not feel that she is in any more danger in Neve Tsuf
than she would be in Tel Aviv. (Comment: The Consulate
General in Jerusalem, which cleared on this cable, observes
that while many Jewish American residents of the West Bank
and Jerusalem have fears about coming to the Consulate
General, the majority still choose to come to the Consulate
rather than go to the Embassy in Tel Aviv for service. End
comment.)



4. (SBU) She considers herself religious and cited
ideological reasons, not financial incentives, for moving to
Neve Tsuf. She believes that the God-given land of Israel
includes the West Bank. However, she also cites practical
reasons for wanting to live in a settlement. She says that,
whereas within Israel she would live in an apartment, in
Neve Tsuf she has a house. The proximity of her settlement
to Tel Aviv is another important factor. She also cited the
closeness of community life in Neve Tsuf, where she says
people help each other. (Comment: On 14 January 2005, the
Israeli daily Ha'aretz, English edition, reported that 4
percent of American immigrants to Israel in 2004 settled
over the Green Line, according to Nefesh B'Nefesh, an
organization which fosters the immigration of Americans to
Israel. According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics,
approximately 1,700 Americans immigrated to Israel in 2004,
roughly the same number as in 2003. End comment.)



5. (SBU) She opposes the disengagement plan and the
creation of an independent Palestinian state. She said that
there are "21 Arab nations, and they don't need another
one." In a tone more sheepish than strident, she said that
the conflict in Israel and the territories is part of the
biblical struggle between the Jews and the "sons of
Ishmael." However, she said that she is not an "Arab
hater." She stated that an Arab built her house. In her
opinion, most Arabs would prefer to go back to the pre-
intifada days, when they had employment opportunities in the
settlements. Regarding Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen),
the recently elected president of the Palestinian National
Authority, she said he does not "talk peace." She knows him
as one of the founders of Fatah and does not believe he
brings any greater prospect of peace.

KURTZER