(October 15, 2020 / )Driving up and down the ancient road that stretches through Judea and Samaria, from Hebron to Shechem, it is hard not to notice the slow Palestinian Authority takeover of land in “Area C.”
For many years, we have been seeing new farms and groves planted in strategic positions along the roads and edges of Jewish communities, empty shells of homes built and left unfinished as in a Hollywood set, illegal commercial centers and more—all with the goal of changing the facts on the ground, no matter what the cost.
The European Union alone is estimated to have contributed many billions of euros to this mission: to delegitimize the Jewish people’s claim to its ancestral homeland, to build a de facto Palestinian state and ethnically cleanse the Jews from these areas.
As a Jew who has lived in Judea and Samaria for 15 years, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with people who are not lying down and letting their fate be ruled by cynical foreign actors like the E.U. Instead, they are doing whatever they can with the two hands that God has given them. But, like David facing Goliath, their small number of initiatives by themselves are no match for giant governmental bodies with fat wallets.
Like David, however, we have a secret weapon: the people.
Jews and Christians alike, who love Israel and recognize the historical, biblical and moral importance of the re-establishment of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, can come together and respond with real action and real support for these initiatives. The Jews returning to their ancestral homeland in Judea and Samaria is not a finished story; it’s still being written today. The question is: Are you willing to pick up the pen?
I have compiled a list of on-the-ground initiatives deserving of your attention. I would like to invite you to read and learn more about them on their websites, contact them and see how you can take action with them. There are other great initiatives on the ground, as well. Please add them into the comments below.
The Judea & Samaria Development Group
Economic Warfare has been declared on the communities of Judea and Samaria. The E.U., U.N. and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement has made headway in rounding up the troops under one banner and with one a call to action. Previously, these “troops” were merely hateful anti-Semites. Today, they have a call to action.
The JSDG has picked these same economic weapons, but are turning them around on our enemies by strengthening the businesses they seek to destroy.Their cause is to dismantle and starve out our communities of Judea and Samaria. Our goal is to feed and strengthen them.
JSDG works with business owners to move and operate online effectively. Its goals are to drive more customers and revenue, so they can continue to grow and invest in their businesses, resulting in more employment opportunities and more families living in the region.
One Israel Fund Playground Initiative
Since communities in Judea and Samaria have to allocate significant funds to purchase security equipment, they are often left without a budget to install other quality-of-life apparatus.These items, such as playgrounds for children, are essential to the growth of communities.
Playgrounds, oftentimes overlooked or taken for granted, ensure the developmental and emotional needs of children. Playgrounds provide safe and secure areas where children can play, as well as a communal location where families can intermingle. Each playground/park built by the One Israel Fund in YESHA includes all necessary playground equipment, as well as park benches and appropriate landscaping, allowing said parks to become a desired destination for the entire community.
The One Israel Fund has provided upwards of 50 playgrounds to date.
Because of past and present inactivity from Israeli government officials relating to the application of Israeli law to all of Judea and Samaria, the Sovereignty Movement was born. Led by veteran activists and Women in Green founders Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, they have made real strides in taking a grassroots organization and entering into the halls of the highest offices in government, the Knesset. The goal of the movement is to lobby members of the Knesset and the general public to adopt the next stage of the re-establishment of our Jewish state–Jewish sovereignty in our ancestral homeland.
The Sovereignty Movement invites you all to become a member with great benefits.
Gush Etzion Foundation:
Since 1997, the Gush Etzion Foundation has been spearheading initiatives that serve the communities of this strategic and important region: the southern gateway to Jerusalem. The Gush Etzion Foundation focuses its support in such areas as special education, welfare, security, fire prevention, religious services, aliyah and the preservation of the history and heritage of Gush Etzion.
Currently, one of its most important initiatives involves the distribution of life-saving heart defibrillators to these communities, each placed in strategic locations for use by emergency first-responders.
The foundation invites you to join it in providing this essential life-saving equipment and be part of the expansion and growth of essential services for today, tomorrow and many years to come.
Gedaliah Blum is co-founder, with Elisheva Blum, of the Judea & Samaria Development Group, which houses initiatives such as Dapei Katom, or “The Orange Pages,” which promotes thousands of local businesses from Judea and Samaria. Gedaliah’s mission is to build and safeguard Judea and Samaria by bolstering business and economic opportunities, or what he calls “Economic Zionism.”