How a U.S.-born Rabbi Became the Nemesis of Radical West Bank Settlers

Rabbi Arik Ascherman has been patrolling Palestinian fields to keep settlers’ flocks from grazing for over two decades, and has the scars to show for drawing the radical factions’ ire

Rabbi Arik Ascherman on patrol in a field in Deir Jarir last week.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman on patrol in a field in Deir Jarir last week.
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

The bruises from the last beating are still visible on his arms, but Arik Ascherman is determined to stick to his routine. He knows the young West Bank settlers will be waiting for him again – armed this time perhaps with something more lethal than sticks – but that doesn’t deter him. So with a quick goodbye to his wife, the 61-year-old rabbi gets into his dilapidated car and heads east, way beyond the Green Line, for his regular patrol duty shift, which is probably the best way to describe what he does.

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