I'd Like To Settle Down But They Won't Let Me


The Jerusalem Post goes searching for the fugitive Avri Ran, whose Hilltop Youth movement represents some of the West Bank's most militant Jewish settlers. In one of those wrinkles that confounds easy stereotypes, Ran is a bit of an old hippie: His settlement supports itself with an organic farm, and his wife tells the Post that pesticides, caged animals, and genetic engineering "are not Jewish." His friends quote The Truman Show, his wife studies alternative medicine, and—lest this all sound too charming—there's also this:

Palestinians from the towns on either side of the Gideonim ridge…would cross to get from one set of villages to another. Avri set rules, making sure the Palestinians knew they were not welcome. More often than not, it was a conversation, sometimes more. The villagers of Yanoun, a tiny hamlet beneath his farm, once vacated the village, so persistent and violent were Ran and his boys' attacks.