כ״ט באב ה׳תשע״ג (August 5, 2013)
The Settler [Kindle Edition] by Orit Arfa
Like the thousands who made their lives in the rural settlement of Gush Katif in Gaza, college freshman Sarah Dakar didn’t believe the Israel Defense Force would dare kick Jews out of their homes in Gaza.
“Jews Don’t Expel Jews” she cried along with the Zionist activists seeking to stop what they called “The Expulsion.”
Once she is dragged out of her home by the Jewish army she had once idolized–and to which her brother lost his life–she decides: Screw it. Screw God. Screw the country. Screw the Jewish people. She sets off for Israel’s big city, Tel Aviv, seductively fertile ground for a religious rebel.
The colorful lights and sizzling music of Tel Aviv’s world-famous nightclub, Atlantis, ignite her love for dance. Despite herself, she is drawn to its charismatic, liberal owner, Ziv Harel. He’s intrigued by the prospect of transforming a “religious settler” into a nightlife queen.
Their tortured romance forces both to confront their deep-seated values, but how far will Sarah go to question who she is and what she believes—and at what cost?
“The Settler” is a compelling novel that tells a story that has largely been hidden, i.e., the trauma of the forcible expulsion of Jewish families from their homes in Gaza in 2005. The description of the actual events as they unfolded is searing and needs to be read by those who want to understand the effects of forcing people from their homes on the lives of those who must endure it. The author does an excellent job in weaving the fictional story of a young woman who matures under difficult circumstances, including her romance with a morally dubious older man, around the political realities and conflicts that are part of Israeli life. This novel is interesting, heartbreaking and politically relevant. Those who read it will have a lot of material to argue about.” (Steven Goldberg – Amazon review)
Orit Arfa can aptly be described as a Renaissance Woman. A writer of fiction, non-fiction and music, a painter, Orit’s interests span many media.
A native of Los Angeles, Orit’s works are informed by a deep connection to the ethical dialectic that flows from her Jewish tradition. Her father was born in a DP camp in Germany after his parents survived Auschwitz, while her mother was born in Iraq on the eve of the mass Jewish emigration from the country in the wake of anti-Semitic pogroms. Orit led a free Jewish life in America, but the restless soul of a free spirit led her to tailor-make her educational journey.
While most college-age students were bar hopping, Orit went college-hopping in search of “The Truth. After stints at Columbia University (her mother will never forgive her for dropping out), Stern College for Women, Bar Ilan University (junior year abroad), and UCLA summer school, she graduated with a BA in Jewish studies and a minor in Journalism from American Jewish University, where she also served as editor of the undergraduate newspaper.
Her journalism career began in New York, where, as a student at Stern College for Women, she interned at the prestigious Jewish daily Forward, then under the editorship of Seth Lipsky. She has renowned Israeli mentalist mentalist Uri Geller to thank for kick-starting her interest in journalism. Her profile of him in the Forward got noticed by The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, where she has been writing ever since.
She moved to Israel in 1998 and worked in more “9-5″ capacities as a communications professional for non-profit organizations. Subsequently, she pursued journalism full-time and wrote about politics, society, lifestyle, travel, nightlife, and dining for a variety of publications, most notably The Jerusalem Post, Israel21C and Israel Insider. To catch-up on the bar-hopping she missed in college, she pioneered the nightlife section of The Jerusalem Post.
But she also left room for some depth. In 2003 she completed her MA in Bible and Jewish Thought at the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies (where she managed to finally uncover “The Truth”).
Her experience covering the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 had a profound impact on Orit’s view of Israel and Zionism. It was then that she began to develop her first novel, The Settler, which explores the aftermath of the controversial event through the eyes of a 21-year-old evacuee from the Jewish bloc of Gush Katif.
She currently lives in Ariel, Israel.
“The Settler” by Orit Arfa [Kindle Edition] is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad with free Amazon app (download app – here), get Amazon app for BlackBerry – here, for Android – here and for PC– here
File Size: 607 KB
Print Length: 303 pages
Publisher: Little Light Press (July 4, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Price: $4.72 (Buy now)
COMMENTS ON THIS POST