Initial report: Video and photos of extreme right-wing activist caught attempting to cut down trees in the olive groves of the Palestinian village Talpit
Tag archive for "Press release"
PRESS RELEASE | 29 January, 2014
Rabbis for Human Rights presented a position paper to the Elaluf Committee summarizing the key reasons that people living in poverty do not receive the benefits they deserve, such that their situations worsens.
PRESS RELEASE | January 28, 2014
The High Court of Justice consolidates petition to expedite destruction of a Palestinian village with petition against blocking village residents from accessing their agricultural lands.
On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, the High Court of Justice will conduct an additional hearing on the right-wing organization Regavim’s petition demanding the demolition of the Palestinian village Susya in the South Hebron Hills. The High Court of Justice decided to attach the hearing on this petition to the hearing on Rabbis for Human Rights’ petition to allow Palestinian farmers from Susya access to their agricultural lands near the village, as well as to the settlement Susya.
Rabbis for Human Rights:
We cannot understand why the High Court of Justice decided to attach Regavim’s petition to demolish Susya to our petition against blocking the Palestinian residents from accessing their land. These are two separate issues.
Quamar Mishirqi-Asad, Attorney, Head of Rabbis for Human Rights’ legal department:
In several cases dealing with settler incursion into Palestinian land, we have seen the army attempting to shirk responsibility. In many instances, the army was negligent or even contributed to the incursion. Additionally, this is not a conflict between two neighbors of equal status, but rather a coordinated attempt by extreme ideological activists amongst the settlers to displace people without rights who are living under a military regime. Therefore, the security apparatus must take responsibility over this phenomenon accordingly.
WATCH: Regavim against Susya (Israel Social TV)
PRESS RELEASE | January 20 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014, according to reports from Palestinians, dozens of settlers from Itamar attacked Palestinians in the agricultural area of the Palestinian village Beit Furik. The Palestinians had to prevent the settlers from vandalizing their olive trees. The incident ended with only minor injuries after intervention of the army.
The first video shows two settlers and a young Palestinian man trying to break-up the fighting and reconcile without violence. His efforts are met with shoves, stone-throwing, punches and kicks.
The second video shows young settlers throwing stones among olive trees which can be identified as Palestinian agricultural land by the way the trees are planted.
In the third video, we see an armed settler, apparently one of the security coordinators of the settlements. A second security coordinator can be heard arguing with the officer of the area about how to handle the incident and advises him not to act against the settlers but against the Palestinians – overheard by Rabbis for Human Rights field worker Zakaria Sadah.
In the fourth video (filmed by Zakaria from Rabbis for Human Rights), we see a rabbi or older religious man alongside the extreme right-wing youth, directing them, or at least acting as an authority figure in the field and not opposing their actions.
Rabbis for Human Rights’ response: “The continuing cases of attacks against Palestinians by extreme right-wing activists are testing the security forces as to whether or not they will stop this dangerous phenomenon and invest the necessary increased resources.”
We will continue to track this issue and pressure the security forces to protect the rights of Palestinians, and we will continue to fight for the recognition of human rights in general, which will decrease violence in the entire area. As our ancestors already knew – the sword comes to the world due to injustice and suffering.
PRESS RELEASE: JANUARY 14 2014
The Cycle of Employment Program (Wisconsin Plan) will undermine the rights of its participants
PRESS RELEASE | January 14 2014
On Sunday, January 12th around 10:00 PM, Zachariah Sadah, Rabbis for Human Rights field worker for the Occupied Territories, received reports from Palestinian farmers of suspicious figures and Hebrew-speaking voices in the olive grove in their village, Jaloud (near the settlement outpost Esh Kodesh and the village of Qusra). Zachariah asked the farmers to stay away from the olive grove, fearing a violent confrontation or a deliberate set-up. He immediately filed a report with security forces about the suspicious figures and the possibility that vandals might cut down olive tree branches. Continue Reading
PRESS RELEASE | December 23, 2013
Rabbi Idit Lev, Social Justice Department Director at Rabbis for Human Rights, who greatly assisted Moshe Silman z”l, who self-immolated in July 2012 in an act of protest against Israel’s social welfare system’s failure to assist him, responds in a public letter to Economy Minister Naftali Bennett’s assertion that in the case of Moshe Silman there was a lack of involvement and responsibility of friends and family. This is part of the response to Bennett’s remarks, which were quoted in Globes [link in Hebrew] on December 19, 2013 and widely circulated on Facebook [link in Hebrew].
Minister Bennett, you blamed Moshe Silman z”l’s friends and relatives, here is our response:
Dear Minister Naftali Bennett,
You were quoted in an article in Globes as saying, “When Moshe Silman set himself on fire in the social protests, I kept asking myself, where were his neighbors, where was his family? If someone thinks that this country can survive one minute without mutual assistance – the whole business will collapse.”
But Honorable Minister, the correct question is where was the state? Because in the case of Moshe the fact is that mutual assistance was very much present, and the state was not, and without the state, the involvement of family, neighbors and friends was not enough!
I wonder if you read the extensive coverage of Moshe’s story in the media and on the internet. Because in your remarks, unfortunately, there was unfamiliarity with the situation and an insult to the many who supported Silman z”l and were involved in his life. Because you are an Israeli government minister, you have an obligation to check facts before acting or speaking. And it is even more unfortunate that you do not remember that “One who embarrasses another in public, it is as if that person shed blood” (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Mezia 58b).
I, Rabbi Idit Lev, work at Rabbis for Human Rights and am active in the social protest movement in Haifa. Through this work I met Moshe, and was privileged to accompany him in the final year of his life. During this year, his friends and family attempted to assist him as much as they could. One friend gave him an apartment to live in for free for a year, his family guided him and assisted him as much as they could. His friends in the protest leadership in Haifa did their best, and at Rabbis for Human Rights we fought together with him against the National Insurance Institute for him to receive the disability benefits that he deserved (a battle that we won!) and for him to receive rental assistance from the government through Amidar (in this battle, we lost). Moshe met the criteria published by the government, but the government refused to give him what he deserved. Even if Moshe had received the rental assistance, his family would still have had to help him pay the remainder of the rent, pay some of his bills and help him buy food and medication. This is because our country’s social safety net simply is not enough for basic subsistence, not to mention subsistence in dignity.
The State of Israel and its representatives, the large community which is supposed to be responsible for ensuring that mutual assistance is the policy of the Jewish state, told Moshe that if he became homeless and lived on the street, they would then begin to help him. Moshe refused to live on the street. Would you have agreed to live on the street for a month in order to receive assistance from the state?
The Silman family did all it could. And it seems that you did not check the facts before blaming them in front of the entire country. You must apologize to them!
I would be happy to meet with you and show you how without mutual assistance, none of the people I know who live in poverty (and there are many) would still be alive, because the State of Israel does not think that part of its role is to take care of people living in poverty and Israel is abandoning them every single day. We have mutual assistance. The question is if we have a government aware of the Biblical commandment, “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.” (Leviticus 25:35). I have not encountered this government; I still hope that I do one day.
A country which destroys its citizens: The story of Moshe Silman, Ori Ben Dov, 16 July 2012.
The writing was on the wall, 17 July 2012.
Much water cannot put it out, Almog Behar, 30 July 2012
Farewell, Moshe Silman: Israel cares more for the dead than the living, Rabbi Kobi Weiss, 24 July 2012.
You are the ones who should apologize, Rabbi Idit Lev and Dror Dvir, 24 July 2012.
Being poor in Israel, Rabbi Idit Lev, 31 July 2012.
At a hearing of the Knesset economic committee, Housing Ministry Director General Shlomo Ben Eliahu claimed that public housing “doesn’t work.” However, in conversations after the formal discussion, Director General Ben Eliahu told organizations from the Public Housing Forum that the problem of public housing is a budget deficiency. He claimed that more than half of the public housing tenants today do not meet the present strict criteria. The statements were made at a hearing of the Knesset economic committee which mostly consisted of a report by housing Minister Uri Ariel about his ministry’s activities. The organizations managed to get the minister to focus on public housing. A central part of the discussion was about the ministry’s wish to transform a large part of public housing to a rent assistance model and thereby cancel most of the public housing.
At the hearing on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, contradictions were seen between the housing ministry’s official messages about public housing and statements that were made informally. At the hearing, the Director General Ben Eliahu said that public housing was a faulty model that does not work.
However, in informal conversations with organization representatives after the hearing, the director said that the problem with public housing stemmed from a budgetary deficiency and the fact that money that had been earmarked for public housing had been redirected over the years to other purposes. MK Avishai Braverman (labor), who chaired the hearing, was more specific and mentioned that some of the money was divertd among other things to construction in the occupied territories.
The director general added that today more than half of the public housing tenants did not meet the (strict) current criteria to receive public housing. This figure shows that the present criteria do not meet the needs of most of the people in Israel who need public housing in order to have a roof over their heads.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president of Rabbis for Human Rights, member of the Public Housing Forum: “Jewish tradition teaches us integrity and avoiding fraud, and the representatives of the finance and housing ministries should tell the public directly that the issue at hand is a moral not a technical one: should the adequate amount of money be invested in order to guarantee what the state once promised: housing for every resident? The housing ministry must not hide behind claims that public housing doesn’t work.”
November 28 2013 | PRESS RELEASE
Today, Wednesday, 27 November 2013, during a Knesset Finance Committee hearing, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel hinted at the fate of the Bedouin villages (when asked about housing solutions in the Arab sector). Rabbi Arik Ascherman, President of Rabbis for Human Rights, reports from the hearing:
“I came to the Finance Committee with the Forum for Public Housing in order to ask the Housing and Construction Minister questions about the plans to eliminate public housing in favor of rent assistance.
I did not expect to hear in that context Minister Ariel in fact announce the intention to demolish 20-25 Bedouin villages. When discussing the fate of the Bedouin villages, he spoke of plans to build an Arab community near Nahariya and 10-15 Bedouin villages in the Negev. In other words, the remainder of the 35 unrecognized Bedouin villages are designated for demolition.”
Rabbis for Human Rights’ response:
We see a sad symbolic irony that in a discussion about eliminating public housing, demolition of Bedouin villages was also hinted at. Those whose relationship to the foreigner is alienated, are also alienated from the orphan and the widow, as well as the rest of society’s weak sectors. They are mentioned together in the Torah for a reason:
Tags: Uri Ariel, Uri Arieli, widow, foreigner, public housing, Bedouin villages, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, demolition of Bedouin villages, Knesset Finance Committee, elimination of public housing, orphan, Forum for Public Housing, Prawer, Housing and Construction Minister
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