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Colonizing South Lebanon? A Fantasy of Messianic Israelis to Be Taken Seriously


After the conference organized on June 17 by the organization Uri Tzafon – Movement for the Colonization of South Lebanon (name inspired by a Jewish hymn, Uri Tzafon, which means “Rise, O North”), many journalists felt that this event was not worth covering. It was simply a group of about 200 Jewish messianic activists discussing a subject that was apparently disconnected from any reality.

Except that the instigator of the debate, Professor Amos Azaria, brought together several panels to discuss the “Successful models of colonization and lessons to be learned for South Lebanon”.

The most edifying panel included Daniella Weiss (former mayor of the Kedumim settlement and founder of the Nahala (“Heritage”) movement), and Yehudit Katzover (president of Uri Tzafon and niece of Benny Katzover, a pioneer of the settlement of Samaria (the biblical name for the northern West Bank)).

This messianic movement is certainly completely uneducated when it comes to the history, topography, toponymy and sociology of Lebanon. But its very existence should remind us how a small group of determined and organized activists can change the course of history, in this case that of the State of Israel.

The precedent of Gush Emounim

In the 1970s, Daniella Weiss and Yehudit Katzover were among the leaders of Gush Emounim (“Bloc of Faith”), the pioneering religious nationalist movement that would launch Jewish settler colonization in the West Bank, with the support, among others, of personalities such as Shimon Peres, then Minister of Defense laborist.

Daniella Weiss recalled the time when Gush Emounim attempted, fifty years ago, to establish its first settlement in Sebast.

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Source of the article

Ha’Aretz (Tel Aviv)

The first newspaper published in Hebrew under the British Mandate in 1919, “The Country” is the newspaper of reference among Israeli politicians and intellectuals.

Today located in the center left, Ha’Aretz has always cultivated a liberal editorial line independent of the labor movement (which has long had its own dailies) and even more so of the nationalist right. The sobriety of its layout serves an editorial policy centered on analysis and debate. Its sabbatical edition is embellished with two essential political and cultural supplements.

The Hebrew site offers the entire printed edition of the daily, augmented with its own sections (flashes, thematic files, etc.). Less extensive, the English site also reproduces the English printed edition, also augmented with its own sections.

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