We often hear about the conflicts and tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, but how often do we hear about the conflicts and tensions within the Israeli community itself? Adam Hootnick's documentary Unsettled is a remarkably focused, yet diverse, look at several young Israelis who find themselves on different sides of a recent and very controversial issue: Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of the Jews there, accompanied by the demolition of their homes.
The withdrawal took place in 2005, five years after the Second Intifada began sending a steady stream of suicide bombers into Israeli communities, and there are occasional nods within the film to the violence that has become part-and-parcel of Israeli life. Lior, a lifeguard on the Gaza Strip's "Palm Beach," is happy to point out that life in the Gaza Strip is not just about people shooting each other: look at all the hot young Israelis who go surfing, sit around campfires and play Beach Boys songs on their guitars. But in the middle of one interview, a loud noise is heard in the distance, and the filmmakers asks if that was an attack. Yeah, shrugs Lior, that was a mortar shell. "It's normal," he says. "It's the reality, we surf in the morning and eat bombs in the night."
Lior's breezy beach-bum attitude is nicely offset by his friend Meir, who has a more religious sort of attachment to the land. While Lior and his parents, who have lived in the area for 20 years, have pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that the government is compelling them to leave their home and move somewhere else, Meir points to passages in the Bible where God promised the land to the Israelites and instructed them not to give the land away to their neighbors. ...1