The settler at kibbutz Karmya

Division and friendship on disputed territory. The reconstruction of two family histories, their ideals and disappointments, which together tell the story of the sixty-year-old state of Israel.

Gill lives together with his wife Moran and their five children on a kibbutz just a few kilometres from the border with Gaza. Gill was born there more than forty years ago, lived for a number of years near Tel Aviv, but returned to the place where he had grown up: kibbutz Karmia. He is now head of the kibbutz council and finds himself confronted with a problem: the integration of more than forty settler families evicted from Gaza (Elei Sinai).

Since Menachim Begin brought the Likud party to power in 1977, the inhabitants of the kibbutz are no longer the chosen children of Israel, leading the way forward. That role was allocated at the beginning of the eighties to quite another kind of pioneer: the settlers who became Israel’s outposts in the occupied territories. Until they too seemed to become a hindrance, which resulted in the evacuation of the Gaza settlements by the Israeli army in the summer of 2005.

The evicted settlers had to be housed elsewhere. That was done partly in new settlements but also by placing them in six kibbutzim, one of which was Karmia. There they now sit together, the pioneers who were originally the embodiment of the secular, idealistic and egalitarian Jewish state, and the pioneers of the liberation of the biblical holy lands of Samaria and Judea. The two archetypes of Jewish nationalism, both brushed off by Israeli politicians as "useful idiots", now in isolated and remote settlements and condemned to finding a modus vivendi.

Director: Rudi Boon
Interview: Eitan Wetzler
Research: Eitan Wetzler en Henneke Hagen
Editing: Christine Houbiers
Editor in chief: Jos de Putter en Doke Romeijn