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Activity report - September 9, 2023

Dear activists,


This month we have lost our dear friend Michal Wiener. We will always remember her steadfast determination and dedication over many years, as well as the smiles and good spirit that she was always spreading. We held an emotional evening in her memory in the weekly encampment meeting where friends and family remembered her. Another event is planned for next Sunday Sept 10th. Blessed be her memory.


We are about to celebrate the second anniversary of our activity and when we look at our achievements during these two years, they are quite amazing. If you have not yet registered, you are invited to join the next activity, a shared watching of the play "Queen of Bathtub" at the Jaffa Theater on September 28th.


Participation in protests against the Judicial Overhaul

The next milestone in the general protest is a High Court hearing on the Reasonableness Doctrine. To the best of our ability, we strive to emphasize that it is the occupation itself which is unreasonable. We maintain marches and activities along Kaplan St., and other spots. The protesting public continues to lean towards realizing that the occupation is at the heart of this entire coup business. A wide survey published recently asserts this tendency. We humbly wish to take credit for a part of this inclination, thanks to our constant and correct action ever since the protests began. We will continue such acts and tendencies.


Unfortunately, the extent in which this realization is being translated into public action, is not sufficient. It will get there, eventually.

In an effort to harness additional groups, we held several get-togethers, tours, and excursions with Hagada Hasmalit, and other protest group leaders. We received much agreement and sympathy, but no practical cooperation yet – we will keep trying.


Bridges and Intersections

Ever since we began the "Looking" activity, we stand in about ten intersections and bridges all over Israel, on a weekly basis, on a fixed day and time. We put up signs and banners and we reach out to passers-by with information, publicity, and an opportunity to engage in conversation.


Just so you know, at peak traffic, 150 vehicles pass through Ayalon highway per minute! Standing there for one hour exposes our messages to tens of thousands.


In recent months, with the connection between the occupation and the coup becoming clearer, the bridges and intersections activities are increasing. Despite the strain on the activists, who also participate in the general protest, we added a demonstration on Thursdays at the Halacha Bridge and presence at Rosh Ha'Ain Bridge, above those coming and going from and to the State of Palestine and others.

In order to maintain existing activities and even add some, we need more volunteers.



Activity in Palestine


Gav Hahar Mountain Ridge Communities

The situation in Palestine continues to worsen, especially in the communities with which we are in contact in the area of Alon Road. Another one of the communities, with which we have been in close contact for at least a year, the Qabbun community, had been driven out of its home. They did not withstand the pressure and harassment of the settlers. We were there during the last days to witness it, with great sadness, and we keep in touch with them also now that they have evacuated.


The Aggressettlers' deporting efforts now focus on aggression against the two almost last remaining communities in the area - Ein Rashash in the north of the area and Wad a Siq in the south. We decided to provide close accompaniment to these communities and in the last few weeks, in cooperation with the Torat Tzedek association, we are present there almost 24/7. Our presence is very important to the Palestinians and it is largely thanks to us that they are holding on. As long as we are there, the settlers significantly reduce their attacks and abuse in the area.


As part of our help efforts, last Saturday we tried to slightly patch the road to Rashash. To our surprise, the army closed the entire area by declaring it a closed military zone. We also try to provide additional aid, for example, attempt to get the community children driven to school instead of having to walk (over an hour each way) or ride a donkey. We once again got proof that the army and the Aggressettlers are one and the same.


In the same zone, the settlers, with the help of the security forces, block the way, preventing villagers of Al-Mughayyir from cultivating their fields. Twice we tried to break through the blockade, but we could not overcome the nefarious combination of kippah-wearing and uniformed criminals. We have not yet given up trying.


Training activity in the area

We initiated it with the aim of raising awareness to the situation and recruiting activists. We held an excursion to the area, attended by about 40 people, and a Zoom meeting attended by about 50 people. During the excursion we received warm hospitality from the communities and it ended with a demonstrative display of settlers' violence as they blocked our passage, aided by the police, in search of any Palestinians among us, that they can harass, just like in the dark times. The participants were shocked and many of them signed up for the activity. There is no substitute for a first hand experience. The Zoom meeting was also successful and fruitful. We also provide many other organizations with private tours.


We managed to promote several articles in the general press that deal with the expulsion of communities phenomenon including Oren Ziv who published in Local Call (Sikha Mekomit), Avishay Mohar who published in Ha'aretz Weekend supplement, and more. In addition, our media team works pushes content on social networks.


Mu'arrajat and Al-Auja

We continue to accompany the shepherds in Mu'arrajat and Auja almost every day. Settlers' violence is increasing there as well, but at this stage it swells at a slower pace than around the mountain ridge.


At the same time, the situation in northern Jordan Valley is also getting worse. We cooperate with the northern accompanists, referring new northern recruits to them. We operate the (excellent) "Spurring" group throughout the area, when necessary and continue to share the fuel expense refund money intended for shepherds' escorts. In addition, we provided the communities with cameras for documenting.


Fences and Cameras

We continue the project of building fences in Burin village. One of the houses we helped went through "baptism by fire" when Aggressettlers from Yitzhar tried to attack it and were stopped by a wall, which we helped build. They failed to cause any damage and returned to their terrorism-safe-haven. We now help build one more fence to protect another house. This project has a lot of potential and if we can find an activist willing to take it on, it can help many more homes, and not just in Burin.


In addition, we continue to purchase and place cameras in communities we work with.


The community center in Auja

We have budgeted an NIS 50,000 investment, found a suitable location, and the prefabricated building has been completed. We are happy to announce that it will be put in place within a few days.


Demonstrations and protests in Palestine

In addition to the constant weekly protest we hold at the Za'atara Junction, which was twice moved to the Gush Junction, we joined the demonstrations initiated by sister organizations, that took place in settlements - Against Smotrich in Kedumim, atainst Rothman in Pnei Kedem, and against Ben-Gvir in Kiryat Arba.


We joined and strengthened the "Social Dharma" organization several times. They operate against a criminal outpost in the area of ​​the village of Deir Istiya.


We also visited the village of Umm Safa twice, following the pogrom perpetrated there by the terrorists and the outpost that was established with the aim of making residents' lives miserable and driving them out of their lands.



Advertising and Media


Videos

As you may recall, we started working on a series of videos with Israeli, and later also Palestinian activists, combining video materials from the field. The first videos are already complete and will be distributed soon.


Social media

We grow from strength to strength and continuously propagate relevant materials from the field, posts, and content from activists. We reached about 7500 followers on Facebook, 6600 on Tweeter in Hebrew and English, on Hebrew Instagram we have 3100 followers and we added an English channel to our Instagram.


The website

Has become established and we regularly publish much content written by activists, most notably the daily Brief of Adi Argov that is widely viewed. A new project in our website tells the stories of the children and young adults who were murdered in the recent year in Palestine.


The monthly newsletter was recently distributed, based on materials from the website. It is worth reading. You can sign up for the newsletter through the website so don't hesitate to log in and sign up.


The interest in both website and newsletter is growing steadily. We already have over 1200 recipients.


Our international arena

"International Looking," is actively demonstrating in several places. We met with a representative from the German Embassy and with officials in the United States Army. Let us hope that the efforts in these arenas will bear fruit soon. We have strengthened our overseas team and will continue to act on this matter.


The encampment

Is religiously held every Thursday devotedly. Sometimes, we hold a second shift. About once every two weeks we have a lecture and in this setting we have heard Yoav Peck from the Families Forum about making dialogue with a hostile audience; Shay Goren about the activities of the City of Nations and the situation of the Palestinians in Jerusalem; have watched the film "Arna's Children" and talked to the producer; and talked with lawyer Rafaat Sub-Levan about the ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.


Our budgetary situation continues to be excellent - Thanks to the T-shirt sails and thanks to the donations we receive. An orderly report will be delivered at the end of the year.


Zoom meeting of activists

About 50 people attended and we presented and explained the publicized shared vision. We discussed the characteristics of the group and the form of organizing. Following this discussion, we strive to institutionalize the structure of the organization and to expand the circle of responsibility holders.


We have surely omitted something... If we did, we apologize for that.

So here we are. It is a lot, isn't it?


And now, just like Cato the Elder in his time, we will repeat the mantra - everything is realized thanks to your participation and everything depends on participating in, organizing, and managing activities - so please assume responsibility and join in!


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