In an early section of this riveting and informative documentary, Israeli director, Shimon Dotan asks residents of the West Bank, "What is a settler?"
One declines to answer and another confidently asserts, "I am in the land of my forefathers." An angry man laments, "That's how the media and leftists define me." A Jewish zealot proudly proclaims, "I am a settler, yes, I love this land, and I hope to be buried in it."
With the ease of a veteran documentary director, Dotan mixes archival footage and contemporary interviews with settlers and academics. Nearly 500,000 Israelis live in 200 settlements in contested territory taken by Israel in the Six Day War (1967) from 2.7 million Palestinians; their presence there is a violation of international law.
As we see in speeches and sermons by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, an Orthodox Rabbi, and the late Rabbi Moshe Levinger, founder of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, many are convinced that their actions are but a prelude to the coming of the messiah and the establishment of world peace. This Divine purpose has been applauded by American evangelical Christians visiting the settlements who have proven themselves to be loyal supporters of this movement.
Racism is evident in the anger of an extremist who is part of a band known as "hilltop youth" and in the behavior of Israeli government officials who have secretly supported the settlers. Journalist Akiva Eldar has wisely criticized Israel politicians who "didn’t see what we see now: a monster of half a million people standing in the way of peace."