Life beyond the veil
by Anat Gopstein for Eshet magazine
“How do you, a right-wing extremist settler, not get angry at these girls who choose to go with Arabs and betray our people?” I have been asked more than once. Yes, I am a settler, live in Kiryat Arba, city of our forefathers and also on the right side of the political map. Just like Avraham Avinu the Hebrew, from one side while the rest of the world was on the other side. While everyone is talking about coexistence, we refuse to socialize with the enemy, and we insist on Jewish labor. And together with this, we bring these girls closer, help them and return them to the Jewish people.
True, it’s disturbing to see a girl going with a terrorist. A hater of Israel who is happy when there are attacks. One who would not have let his sister go with Jews and who calls us racists. But how can one get angry at a girl who is disconnected from herself, who has erased herself and her personality, who is suffering from physical and mental violence? A girl who is living in fantasy and who does not know how to distinguish between love and abuse? These are girls who can be bought with compliments and attention. Innocent, naieve girls who don’t have the tools to cope in the world. Damaged girls who think that a knight on a white horse is coming, who is then discovered to be a monster, and even when they change their religion and convert to Islam, as it were, they are still regarded by him as “the Jews”.
When I was a young girl in National Service in Kiryat Arba, I met the children who were removed from the village and arrived at a “Yad LaAchayot” apartment set up by Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D. I was impressed by the devotion of the community to those who had left the village. I have seen these children over the years, they have flexibility and know how to adapt to a new reality. But when the mother is unstable and when the children grow up and get married, the question of identity and roots eats away at them from the inside. They need strong motivation to survive. Today we are coping with the third generation of assimilation, and trying to give them answers.