Today was the first morning for our volunteers in this olive harvest season. As soon as we got to our chosen harvest location, an extremist settler from the Tapuah outpost came with a large stick towards us, threatening both the Palestinians and our volunteers. He tried to expel the Palestinians from the land, but we stood between him and the Palestinians, and we’re now our way to file a complaint with the police. Continue Reading
On Sunday November 15th (3rd of Kislev), RHR recognised the dedication of our volunteers in a special ceremony marking the end of the olive harvest season. The event was held at the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Yaffo. Together, we spoke of the significance of the act of harvesting, and shared our personal thoughts, experiences and reflections from this year’s harvest. RHR staff members Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Yael Vurgan and Zakaria Sadah were present to give a big thank you to all our volunteers whose dedication showed the world that, amidst all the recent tension, it is indeed possible to choose a path of solidarity, fellowship and justice. Volunteers received certificates and a small plant as a show of our appreciation. Continue Reading
On November 13th, RHR brought international and Israeli volunteers to harvest olives side-by-side with Palestinian farmers in the West Bank villages of Burin and Atara. Throughout the olive harvest season, we bring volunteers to help farmers with land in areas nearby settlements or outposts known for violence and vandalism against Palestinians and their property. Our presence helps deter attacks, as extremists are much less likely to cause trouble when they know internationals and Israelis are present. Continue Reading
On November 2nd, Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman, among the leaders of the Jewish Renewal Movement (Rabbi Waskow also heads the Shalom Center) blessed us with their presence at the olive harvest in Burin. Continue Reading
On October 26th 2015, Rabbi Ascherman was interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! following the release of a video of him being attacked by an Israeli extremist which went viral. Unfortunately, the satellite feed cut out midway through the interview.
OCTOBER 27th: Palestinians reported that 15 Israelis arrived yesterday (October 27th) around 10am to a Palestinian agricultural area near Elon Moreh and attacked them with rocks and sticks. The Palestinian farmers are from the village Dar al Khattab, and they had been picking olives on their land in coordination with the army. On their way to carry out the attack, the Israelis passed by soldiers who do not stop them; only after the DCO arrived after receiving a report from the group was the violent incident stopped. A 70 year-old Palestinian was lightly wounded from blows to his head. Rabbis for Human Rights Palestinian field worker, Zakaria Sadah, arrived at the scene and coordinated with the army for the safe return of the Palestinian farmers to work in their olive grove.
Rabbinical, cantorial, and Jewish education students – Join Rabbis for Human Rights THIS Friday, October 30th, for a special opportunity to harvest olives alongside Palestinians in the Occupied Territories!
We will be harvesting with a welcoming Palestinian community, far from any Israeli settlements. We therefore do not anticipate any security issues. Please note, that will this program is specifically designed for rabbinical, cantorial and education students, ALL are welcome to join. We will depart from Liberty Bell Park at 8am and return by 2pm.
If this day is not good for you, we will be going out most day (Sunday-Friday) until November 6th. You are welcome to join us any of those days instead or as well.
PRESS RELEASE | OCTOBER 20 2015 Despite real-time reports and documentation, police fail to stop thieves in Palestinian olive groves
In a pattern that continues each year at the start of the harvest, we have once again witnessed thefts of olives from Palestinian groves. As has occurred previously, once again this is accompanied by the unwillingness of the security forces to take action despite photos taken of the criminals, the crimes taking place in broad daylight, and reports filed in real time.