The Hebron Hills — where Jews from ‘Lucifer’s Farm’ attack Palestinian shepherds to force them off their land

on 20 Comments
Ishmael Al Adra
Ishmael El-Adra, Palestinian shepherd injured in settler knife attack, in Bir El-Id, near Hebron, photo by David Kattenburg

The other day, the State Department refused to condemn Israeli actions in the occupied Hebron Hills. What are those actions? Well, they include the settler attack on Ishmael El-Adra, above, aimed at forcing him and his fellow villagers to leave the land and move into the nearby city of Yatta. His village is Bi El-Id. One of the settler outposts that neighbor his village is called “Lucifer’s Farm.”

This violence is documented by Canadian journalist Dave Kattenburg in an audio documentary at his Green Planet Monitor site focusing on: Israeli home demolitions, evictions, and settler attacks in the South Hebron Hills, and on the apparent death of the Two-State Solution. The documentary (accompanied by text and photos), features the voices of Rabbi Arik Ascherman and a couple of lawyers from Rabbis for Human Rights, Ezra Nawi (Israeli human rights activist), several residents of the Hebron Hills cave village of Susya, Jeff Halper (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions), and Ha’aretz columnist Amira Hass.

Also included in Kattenburg’s audio doc: some interesting clips from a pair of Jewish settlers, and the frank views of Yigal Orgad-Cohen, Chancellor of Ariel University of Samaria, regarding the future of the Two-State Solution (no future at all, Orgad-Cohen assures us). One settler in Kiryat Arba says, “Jewish people are not violent. All the time it is a reaction.” Another rabbi from the West Bank says that he can’t restrain the violent actions of young settlers, who are “dropouts… anti-bourgeois, they rebel against their parents and live in the hilltops”–and memorialize Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks.

Documentary runs about 38 mins. It begins and ends in the Hebron Hills, with the voices of two Jewish settlers, Amira Hass, Jeff Halper and Yigal Orgad-Cohen (chancellor of Ariel University) in the middle.

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20 Responses

  1. seafoid
    January 18, 2013, 12:29 pm

    “dropouts… anti-bourgeois”

    And who pays the salaries of the soldiers who make their biblical fantasy possible?
    The Tel Aviv tax paying middleclass.


    • Mooser
      January 18, 2013, 4:07 pm

      “And who pays the salaries of the soldiers who make their biblical fantasy possible?
      The Tel Aviv tax paying middleclass.”

      You expect them to go out and do it themselves? What do you think they pay taxes for?

      • seafoid
        January 19, 2013, 1:46 am

        Maybe they are Republican and believe taxes infringe their God given rights under the second amendment.

        The only confiscation they could morally accept would then be that of Palestinian land.

      • W.Jones
        January 19, 2013, 3:55 am

        Good point. But then they wouldn’t be anti-bourgeois.

        Don’t they sound more like P.E.P.s in action?

  2. Avi_G.
    January 18, 2013, 2:16 pm

    When I see the word “shepherds”, I think nomads, mobile, not belonging to one particular area, temporary, can pick up and leave at a moment’s notice. That’s the Western stereotype, isn’t it?

    So when you include that description, Phil, is it possible that it could be self-defeating?

    I mean, why not simply call them, “Palestinians”? Why is it important to tell the reader that they are “shepherds”?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 18, 2013, 3:43 pm

      avi, i’m not sure where you got this impression. a shepard is simply someone who tends sheep for a living. it’s a profession which lends itself to a lifestyle but doesn’t imply they necessarily don’t have homes.

      Still in other societies, each family would have a family member to shepherd its flock, often a child, youth or an elder who couldn’t help much with harder work; these shepherds were fully integrated in society.

    • Bumblebye
      January 18, 2013, 3:57 pm

      I don’t think it’s a Western stereotype, Avi. Here in Blighty, we might think of “One Man and His Dog” (bbctv, several years worth of series of sheepdog trials(!)), with his shepherd’s crook, whistling as he instructs his dog to herd them from one feeding place to another (or off to be shorn -or worse), but not nomadic.

    • Ellen
      January 18, 2013, 5:56 pm


      No, not at all.

      You are projecting your stereotype or prejudice and perhaps ignorance of Westerners? That’s the Western stereotype, isn’t it?

      There are lots of shepards around me (one cares for my animals when I am away) and they live in farms with families and have for generations, have fields and hay and all that, and herd sheep. They are shepards.

      Nothing nomadic about them!

    • mcohen
      January 18, 2013, 6:41 pm


      sheperd is a christian thing what with flock and all and tents…anyway chomsky is back for the earthquake wearing his brown shirt..there will be many tents even one over the rock

      • MHughes976
        January 19, 2013, 11:04 am

        The Shepherds of Israel are the ruling class or leading elite in some biblical passages. It was in frustration with them that Zechariah broke his beautiful staff.

      • W.Jones
        January 19, 2013, 9:21 pm

        Good point. David was a shepherd. And don’t Ezekiel and Zechariah refer to the Messiah as a shepherd? That would make sense, because David was seen as a prefigurement of the Davidic Messiah.

      • Ellen
        January 20, 2013, 6:00 am

        Yes, the “Christian thing” is the symbolism of the Shepard as the care taker and protector, one can follow.

        Nothing at all of Avi’s projections and imaginations of “not belonging……temporary….”

    • Avi_G.
      January 19, 2013, 2:35 am

      Annie and Bumblebye,

      I think everyone who’s been paying attention in recent years has come across a variation of the racist and denigrating commentary that usually views the people of the Middle East as either “Goat herders” or “Camel Jockeys”, especially in reference to Iraq and Afghanistan. And with that comes the caricature-like imagery of a nomadic lifestyle.

  3. W.Jones
    January 18, 2013, 2:43 pm

    They need to stop demonizing themselves.

  4. Kathleen
    January 18, 2013, 2:59 pm

    These are the hills that CPT member Art Gish spent at least a decade going out to live with these Palestinian shepherds to help protect their land. Oh the stories most are in his book “Hebron Journal”

    Will watch the documentary later… illegal settlement called “lucifer farm” if it is true at least they are admitting they are doing the work of the devil, darkness, evil.

  5. seafoid
    January 18, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Charlie Manson would have been at home in Kiryat Arba.

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 18, 2013, 8:15 pm

      “Charlie Manson would have been at home in Kiryat Arba.”
      Where Baruch Goldstein would be the local butcher..

  6. Stogumber
    January 18, 2013, 10:48 pm

    The latin “Lucifer” would be in Hebraic “heylel”, a word which is to be found just once in Isaiah 12,14-15, designing a Babylonian king, and which thereafter was used to design a fallen angel. But is that really what the settlers named their outpost after?

    • W.Jones
      January 19, 2013, 4:03 am

      Good question. Nof Nesher is the name of the outpost. Nesher means vulture, I think.

      But then, why are the settlers calling it “Lucifer Farm” in English?

      I want to make clear that Lucifer Farm is a name the settlers themselves use, not some nickname the Palestinians came up with… It was founded by Yaakov Talia, who, according to David Shulman’s book “Dark Hope”, is a South African who converted to Judaism at the end of apartheid, and moved to Israel.

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