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
How is hatred born? What is the human mechanism that creates such a harsh feeling? Is it jealousy that causes hatred? Perhaps it is the difference or specialness of the other, that I lack, that arouses the hatred. Is it the absence or neglect of a significant person who arouses love that causes hatred? Perhaps the past difficulties and memories of the father are reflected in the relationships of his children. We are referring to hatred amongst brothers.
The 2021 Olive Harvest is RHR’s way to move human rights forward! From the virtual world to the actual world, RHR is busy making human rights a reality. Struggling against violence and hate, planting seeds of solidarity with each olive harvested, RHR is Moving Forward for Human Rights!
Today we are changing the future together. We are out in the groves, harvesting in solidarity with Palestinian olive farmers. We stand for THE PALESTINIAN RIGHT TO FARM THEIR OLIVES in peace and in security, free of violence and free of oppression!”
In its 19th year of working on the olive harvest, RHR volunteers were out in the occupied West Bank village of Awarta to help with the olive harvest. It was the first day of the season for our volunteers. We are proud to stand with our Palestinian partners who face violent harassment & restrictions under the occupation. You can continue this work from anywhere in the world by being a supporter.
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