This essay is the latest in RHR’s series of ‘Kolot: Voices of Hope’ profiles of Israelis and Palestinians furthering the cause of peace and equality and is also presented as part of their END THE EXPULSIONS matching grant campaign from June 1 to June 30. With only one day left in RHR’s campaign, please help them to reach our goal and double the impact of your gift by giving now.
On the 21st of January 2022, Palestinian and Israeli activists gathered together at the West Bank Palestinian village of Burin to plant olive trees. Roughly corresponding with the holiday of Tu B’Shvat, olive tree planting in Palestinian villages as well as participation in the Palestinian olive harvest are longtime Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) traditions. While the activists were working, settlers from the Givat Ronen settlement descended down the hill, threw rocks at them, attacked them with clubs, and torched a car. This attack was carried out in the name of Judaism—or, should we say, in the name of a distorted version of Judaism that, among other things, subscribes to the belief that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews, and the Jews alone.
Education – RHR’s Education program brings Israeli gap year students to Jerusalem to learn about human rights & Judaism on the ground. Credit: RHR
Volunteers and employees from Rabbis For Human Rights were attacked not long ago by settlers from the Itamar settlement, while the volunteers were assisting Palestinian farmers harvesting their olives in the village of Awarta in the West Bank.
The attackers who arrived on foot and on “tractoronim” (small tractors used for racing) sprayed pepper gas at the harvesters. One of the employees of RHR was hurt and needed medical assistance. Volunteers with RHR reported that there was an army presence at the time but that the soldiers barely intervened. Continue reading →
Led by Rabbis Sylvia Rothschild and Alexandra Wright, Co-Chairs of the British Friends of Rabbis for Human RIghts, over 30 British Rabbis have sent a letter to the Israeli chargé d’affaires, Sharon Bar-Li, urging the Israeli Government to abandon its plans unilaterally to annex West Bank territory as a “travesty of Jewish teachings”. Read the full letter here.