January 28, 2011
This is a heads up. Louis Theroux has made a documentary set in Judea and Samaria where he spends time with some "ultra Zionists" and gets to know them. It will be aired on BBC2 on the 3rd of February.
My initial reaction to this when I saw the trailer was the familiar sinking feeling I get whenever I hear about this kind of "exposé" into Israel. It also occurred to me that the timing seems to be calculated given everything else that's going on at the moment and the political war that is being fought against Israel and in particular the religious Jews that wish to live in Judea and Samaria in spite of the dangers.
However, I'm an optimist. Whenever I've watched Louis Theroux's documentaries before I've been impressed by his ability to show a very human side to issues which to most people are abstract, black and white. His shows are normally heart warming and enlightening and if anything increase peoples' understanding of situations. He also usually tells the truth, without agenda.
So this may be a positive - the much demonised settlers being given a chance to show their side of the story and show it how it is. In which case I'm sure the "anti-Zionists" will hate it and accuse Theroux of bias. Or, it may show things which people find unpleasant and it may increase pressure on the Israeli government to take action against the settler movement. But as long as it's truthful then I think knowledge can only be a good thing. It may even relieve some of the tension, as I'm sure there are some people in the UK whose image of settlers in their imagination is far, far worse than the reality.
Incidentally Louis Theroux is very popular in Israel, so this show should also give Israelis an opportunity to have a greater understanding of the situation on the "frontier".
There is a website here by the makers of the programme with more information - worth a read.
What do you all think? Something to be happy about or not?
Let's all try and watch it and compare notes after the show.