Tag archive for "Rabbi Arik Ascherman"

General

Congratulations to Rabbi Ascherman on his honorary doctorate for his work toward repairing Israeli society

1 Comment 19 July 2014

Rabbi Nava Hefetz provides us with a moving account from her participation in the presentation ceremony of an honorary doctorate to Rabbi Arik Ascherman, President and Senior Rabbi of Rabbis for Human Rights. She expands on the way in which Rabbi Ascherman’s work has impacted her own work and filled her with hope.

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General, Justice in Israel

July 22nd: Public Housing Day at the Knesset

No Comments 17 July 2014

TUESDAY, JULY 22ND IS PUBLIC HOUSING DAY IN THE KNESSET.  JOIN US FOR A SERIES OF COMMITTEE DISCUSSIONS ON PUBLIC HOUSING RELATED ISSUES, AND A PUBLIC HOUSING FORUM AT 2pm.

ADDITIONALLY, THE INTERIOR COMMITTEE WILL BE DISCUSSING RESERVATIONS ON THE HOUSING BILL ON THE VERY SAME DAY, STARTING AT 1:30 PM.

WE NEED A LARGE TURNOUT, SO THAT WE CAN “DANCE AT TWO WEDDINGS” AT ONCE!

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General, Justice in Israel-Prawer, Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

When Will the Messiah Come?- A Cry for our Beloved Country

1 Comment 10 July 2014

 As Israel  seems to plunge deeper into darkness, Rabbi Ascherman provides an update on a number of pressing issues in human rights in Israel and the occupied territories. Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel, Occupied Territories

Statements on recent murders motivated by nationalism

No Comments 07 July 2014

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 Statement from Rabbis for Human Rights:

Rabbis for Human Rights expresses its deep outrage at the recent murders which, according to reports,  either stem from motives of national revenge or involve a national element. We are especially shocked by the apparent brutality of the murders.  Continue Reading

General, Press Releases, Refugees rights - UNHCR

PRESS RELEASE: Authorities Violently Break-up African Asylum Seeker Protest Camp

No Comments 05 July 2014

PRESS RELEASE | JUNE 30 2014


Reports of violence against asylum seekers and Israeli human rights activists during the “Freedom March” protest in a forest near Nitzana.

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On Sunday (June 29 2014) evening, hundreds of African asylum seekers were evacuated from a forest next to the village of Nitzana near Israel’s border with Egypt. The asylum seekers were violently evacuated by riot police forces and Immigration Department agents, as well as people in civilian dress, apparently civilian security officers from surrounding villages. Continue Reading

General

July 5th: Rabbi Ascherman to Receive Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College

2 Comments 27 June 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 11.38.46 AM

Hebrew Union College
proudly invites you to a special prayer service
with the American Conference of Cantors and President Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D.
during which an honorary doctorate will be issued to
Rabbi Arik Ascherman
in honor of twenty-five years of ordination

Arik25
July 5th 2014 (7 Tammuz 5774)
Blaustein Hall, Bet-Shmuel-Mercaz Shimshon, Jerusalem
9:30am

For more details on the event, please see here

General, Justice in Israel-Prawer

After the Demolition: Update on Al Arakib

No Comments 24 June 2014

On Thursday, June 12th, the authorities once again destroyed the Bedouin village Al Arakib in the Negev.   Nearly everything in the village and in the cemetery was destroyed, excluding the caves. Nevertheless, the villagers remained steadfast in their determination and immediately began to rebuild. A week and a half later Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who was arrested, beaten and detained while peacefully protesting the destruction, gives an update on the situation.

Despite upwards of 65 demolitions, Al Arakib continues to hold on.

Despite upwards of 65 demolitions, Al Arakib continues to hold on.

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General, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Human Rights Organizations: “Refrain from Collectively Punishing Palestinians.”

No Comments 22 June 2014

22.06.2014
PRESS RELEASE – for Immediate Publication

Human Rights Organizations: “Refrain from Collectively Punishing Palestinians.”

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IMAGE:  An Israeli soldier searches a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint near the West Bank City of Hebron. Baz Ratner, Reuters via B’tselem

Concern that many of the military’s actions in the Occupied Territories do not directly serve the aim of locating and returning the three abducted Israelis and are severely and unnecessarily violating basic human rights. Continue Reading

General, Legal Work, Occupied Territories

“What I have Witnessed in Susiya” By Rabbi Arik Ascherman

No Comments 22 June 2014

The following article was written by Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president and senior rabbi of RHR. It originally appeared in the Jewish Chronicle Online. 

What I have Witnessed in Susiya

By Rabbi Arik Ascherman

South Hebron Hills 1-3-2014 (20) Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel-Prawer

When The Might of the State is Deployed Against the Oppressed: Thoughts on my Arrest

1 Comment 15 June 2014

On Friday June 15th 2014, Rabbi Ascherman,  RHR’s president and senior rabbi, along with seven residents (including two minors)  of Al Arakib, were arrested during a protest over the destruction of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Arakib. Despite protesting nonviolently, Rabbi Ascherman was beaten, punched in the jaw, during the arrest. The detainees were held for the night and released on bail the following afternoon before Shabbat. The court forbade Rabbi Ascherman from entering Al Arakib for seven days. Below was written by Rabbi Ascherman just before the start of Shabbat.

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READ: More on the destruction of Al Arakib

By Rabbi Arik Ascherman

 .Firstly, I and all of RHR pray for the speedy and safe return of the three yeshiva students

On Friday I wrote the words below about my arrest, the beating we took, and most importantly about El-Araqib. I sent them abroad, but it was too close to Shabbat here, and I preferred to wait until today. I also added a few thoughts, based on my Shabbat conversations with my family.

A few words before Shabbat. Firstly “Blessed be God Who frees the captives.” However, one of those arrested in El-Araqib is unfortunately still in jail.  Furthermore, all the structure inside the cemetery structure were demolished except one, for which there was no order. (The state didn’t wait for the decision of the judge in the petition arguing that there were no valid orders for any of the buildings, but there was one that the  one the state acknowledged had no order)

WATCH: Footage of the destruction of the mosque in the cemetery of  Al Arakib

The last thing I saw as I was driven away by the police was all of the El-Araqib residents standing among the gravestones – the living with the dead.  I wasn’t there, but I understand that they started to rebuild immediately after.

I am grateful to my high school football coach and to my youth movement (NFTY).  Coach Bestwick always said that if you could survive football preseason (American football, for all those wrapped up in the World Cup),  you could survive anything. The knocks I got in football were definitely worse than the various injuries I sustained from the beating I took from the police.

I often sing when arrested.  One of the songs we sang in NFTY, that was so appropriate on Thursday, was “VaYashvu Ish takhat gafno…”  Every person shall sit under their vine and under their fig tree, and none shall make them afraid (Micah 4:4)  May it be God’s will that we can achieve a world in which every human being  can dwell safely on their land and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE SO, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SIGN BEFORE SHABBAT THE EL-ARAKIB PETITION.  The cemetery structures have been demolished, but the struggle for El-Araqib and Bedouin justice throughout the Negev is far from over:

If you are in Israel, please make a special effort to get to El-Araqib during the week I am prevented from doing so.  I hope that I am allowed to join the weekly vigil at the Lehavim Junction on Sunday at 16:30.

Additional Details: Transportation from Be’er-Sheva: Michal 054-5851700, michal@dukium.org; Transportation from Tel-Aviv: Yaakov: 050-5733276,  manor12@zahav.net.il, Michal: 052-6886867, tarabut@gmail.com

 On Shabbat Shlakh Lekha, permit me to share with you what I had intended on teaching in Herzliya last night – as we think about the ten spies who brought a bad report of the Land, as opposed to Joshua and Caleb, we think about the fact that it is often said  that we malign Israel.

I think that those who carry out acts such as destroying El-Araqib are the ones who give Israel a bad name.

However, we also should remember that we can choose how to portray any reality that we see. I pray that, like Moses, we will continue to uncompromisingly fight anything that is wrong and unjust in Israel, while still being able to see all that is good in our country and in our people. And, may we never see ourselves as grasshoppers. As the midrash teaches, the giants saw us as grasshoppers because we saw ourselves as grasshoppers. We musn’t lose faith in our ability to improve our society from within.

Shabbat Shalom,

Arik

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IMAGE: Rabbi Ascherman with residents of Al Arakib after his release

P.S. Just before saying Sh’ma in bed, my son asked me why I put myself in these situations. I gave him a longer answer, but the immediate answer was, “When one sees the entire might of the State deployed to oppress the weak and helpless, it is forbidden to turn away and not act.”

What hasn’t the State done to destroy El-Araqib. In recent days minister’s assistants didn’t return calls, and the head of the Israel Land Authority fooled an MK into thinking that he had a promise to hold off. However, the State was not willing to wait until a judge decided whether or not there were valid demolition/eviction orders. Tens of police, a helicopter , horses and much heavy equipment was deployed. The desire to destroy El-Araqib once and forever was so strong….

However, the story is not over.

We will not turn away or cease to act.

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