Professor Kaplan Speaks at 'Challenging Conversations About Israel'

Friday, May 13, 2016
J WEEKLY -- The two-hour program began with a history of Jewish settlement in the West Bank by historian Eran Kaplan, Rhoda and Richard Goldman Chair in Israel Studies at San Francisco State University. His talk focused on the growth of the settlements following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War of June 1967, and the country’s subsequent occupation of the West Bank. Most settlements were created in the six years following the right-wing Likud Party’s first ascent to power in 1977, Kaplan said, and contrary to popular belief, a majority of settlers then were attracted — as they are now — to the bucolic vision of living in spacious homes in the West Bank rather than the crowded apartment blocks typical in Israel proper. Early government slogans did not push the messianic vision of Jewish redemption that appeals to national religious settlers, Kaplan said, but instead celebrated that a certain settlement was “Five miles from Tel Aviv!”