16 Jun 2015

Meet Israel’s ultranationalist settlers

Since Israel’s election handed more power to the country’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish Home, the voice of religious, nationalist settlers has grown, as Inigo Gilmore reports.

Jewish Home is a hardcore party that advocates annexation of parts of the West Bank for Israeli settlements – widely considered by the international community to be illegal.

Following Israel’s March election President Benjamin Netanyahu formed a government with Jewish Home and other political parties, giving a stronger voice to Israel’s ultranationalists.

And this louder voice was evident on Jerusalem Day last month – a celebration of Israel’s victory in the 1967 six-day war. Ultranationalist settlers, bussed in from settlements, took to the streets to chant, and also start fights.

“Every single place, every little spot is the Jews, not a single piece for other people, only for us,” one Jerusalem Day celebrator said.

“We won’t give to anyone else, just for us. That is what we believe.”

Human Rights Watch has said that since Netnayahu took power in 2009 Israel has begun construction on more than 10,000 housing units.