Archive for October 22nd, 2010

“AFSI EMBARKS ON 30th CHIZUK MISSION TO ISRAEL” by Fern Sidman

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

When their plane touches down at Ben Gurion airport on Monday, October 25th, the members of Americans For a Safe Israel will have marked the beginning of their 30th “chizuk” mission to Israel. “We are thrilled to mark this special anniversary with what promises to be one of our most outstanding programs ever”, said Helen Freedman, executive director of AFSI.

AFSI was founded in 1970 as an American counterpart to the Land of Israel Movement, which asserted Israel’s right—historic, religious and legal– to the territories that were liberated from Jordanian control in the 1967. AFSI has argued consistently that a strong territorially defensible Israel is essential to U.S. security interests in the region and that “land for peace” is a delusional policy. AFSI plays a significant role as a major political support group for the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria and the Golan and supports the right of Israelis, free from outside interference, to live, thrive and expand their communities in all of the Land of Israel.

Helen and Anita at Yesodot

The AFSI tour schedule leaves little room for rest as participants will be visiting such places as the Be’er Ganim Project in Nitzanim, the Katif Center, the new communities of Nitzan, Bnei Dekalim, Amatzia, and Neta in order to provide support and succor to those living there. Israel Danziger of Mishmeret Yesha will also be joining the tour and will provide crucial information and resource material on each settlement. An AFSI tour would not be complete without a visit to the beleaguered town of Sderot where tour members will meet with Alon Davidi of Ofek Chadash, Noam Bedein, Josh Hasten and Rabbi Fendel at the Hesder Yeshiva. They will also be touring the Halutzah region to visit Bnei Netzarim and Naveh, where Gush Katif expellees are building new homes.

“One of the organizations that we are so incredibly proud to meet and to pledge our support to are the Shomrim Chadashim, (the new Israeli guardsmen), who are down in the Negev volunteering their time to guard Jewish farm land and farmers from attacks by Beduin land grabbers”, said Freedman.

In an article written on March 26, 2010 entitled “Israel’s Unwavering Guardsmen” by Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, she speaks of this phenomenon by saying: “Over the past decade, Israeli Arabs have seized millions of dunams of state land. The dimensions of this phenomenon were spelled out in last year’s State Comptroller’s Report. While the local and international Left pillories Israel when the state tries to demolish a handful of the thousands of illegal Arab buildings in Jerusalem, what goes unmentioned is that by the end of 2007 there were more than 100,000 illegally built structures in Israel. The overwhelming majority were constructed on state land seized by Arab land thieves in the Negev and the Galilee. By the end of 2009, the number of illegal buildings grew to an estimated 150,000. The scope of the theft is so vast that the Comptroller’s Report referred to it as a “national scourge.”

Also joining the AFSI tour will be Aharon Pulver of the Israel Independence Fund (IIF), a non-political, philanthropic organization that dedicates itself to securing and organizing the necessary financial support for projects and institutions that serve as an important vehicle in the revival of the Zionist spirit in Israel.

The highlight of the AFSI tour will be a very special and deeply moving Shabbat in Hevron during Parshat Chaya Sara, where participants will retrace the steps of our forefathers and foremothers. The Friday night meal will be spent with Rabbi Waldman and the Hesder Yeshiva students and a special speaker connected to the Honenu legal organization will address the group after the seudah.

Tree Planting in the Shomront

The conclusion of the AFSI trip will be spent in Jerusalem as tour members will visit the Temple Mount with Rabbi Chaim Richman. Arieh King will lead a unique tour of Jerusalem’s threatened areas and Dan Luria of Ateret Cohanim in the Old City and Beit Yonatan will lead a tour of Kidmat Zion and other areas outside the Old City.

“It is our fervent hope and prayer that once again AFSI members can gain a more cogent understanding of the tragic realities facing our people in Israel and work to encourage, strengthen and support our brothers and sisters while fostering a deep and long lasting relationship”, said Freedman.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.