Well, the election is history. The results weren’t exactly what we’d have prayed for, nor were they what we expected. The polls showed slightly different results. On the other hand, despite errors similar to those made in 1992, the left-wing dream of a ’mahapach,’ that is a ’revolution,’ a changing of the guard, a total defeat of the ruling prime minister, didn’t happen. The new coalition might not be as ’right’ as the present government, but it won’t be Rabin-Peres – 1992.
However, this time around, history was made. For the first time, Hebron has a representative in the Knesset. This is of no small significance.
Over the years, the Hebron community has played a major role in Israeli life and Israeli politics. Beginning with Rabbi Moshe Levinger and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, under the guidance of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Hebron developed, materially and spiritually. Over the years, the community was led by such outstanding leaders as Menachem Livni, Yechiel Leiter, Yehuda Rider, Ze’ev ’Zambish’ Hever, Avraham Ben Yosef, Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, Noam Arnon and others.
Another one of the unsung heroes of Hebron’s rebirth, is a 52 year old woman with 11 children and as many grandchildren.
Orit Struk grew up in Jerusalem. While in high school she became religious and later spent much time with Rabbi Chaim Druckman and his family.
After marrying Rabbi Avraham Struk, the couple lived the first year of their married life in Yamit, prior and during the expulsion. They then moved to Hebron, where they’ve lived for over 30 years. For a number of years Orit led Hebron’s legal and political departments and acted as a spokesperson for the community.
Witnessing the travesty of justice following expulsions from communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Orit founded the Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria. This was the first, and only human rights organization dealing with massive police brutality against Jews. As a result, dozens of police were brought to trial, many of whom were convicted, fined and/or fired.
According to her official bio page on the Bayit Yehuda web site: Within this organization, she waged a struggle against police violence, including PID complaints and civil suits against police officers who attacked settlers and right-wing activists. She has published reports and studies which demonstrated a professional, scientific and statistical approach, detailing the discrimination and breakdown of the rule of law against residents of Judea and Samaria. She revealed the conduct of a withering law enforcement system against demonstrators of the Gush Katif expulsion, and subsequently initiated and led the amnesty law for opponents of the expulsion. She led legal battles, public and parliamentary, against restraining orders, confiscation of weapons, violations of legal rights of children, property rights, police brutality during expulsion from outposts, violation of the rights of detainees, and violation of the right to protest.
Over the past few years, Orit acted as director of the Land of Israel caucus and lobby in the Knesset, which consisting of 42 MKs. They successfully waged campaigns against the building freeze and other governmental policies. They also brought about Israel’s declaration of Ma’arat HaMacpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and Rachel's Tomb, as national heritage sites. They passed the "boycott law" and led a governmental change of policy and legal position on the issue of the outposts, while promoting the establishment of the Justice Edmond Levi commission.
Orit Struk with Gideon Saar, Noam Arnon and Avraham Ben Yosef outside Machpela
A few days ago, Orit Struk was elected to the Knesset on the ‘Bayit Yehudi – Jewish Home list.
The Knesset, beginning in February, 1949, celebrates its ‘birthday’ tomorrow, on the holiday of Tu B’Shvat. Actually though, the roots of today’s ruling body began thousands of years ago, here in Hebron. Here, Abraham established the rules of ‘Chesed,’ of lovingkindness. Yitzhak initiated the traits of ‘Gevurah,’ strength and heroism. Ya’akov commenced Beit Yisrael, the house of Israel, Am Yisrael, the Jewish people.
But we must remember, Hebron was not only home to our Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Hebron was also the site of the beginning of the Davidic monarchy. David ruled in Hebron for seven and a half years, following the death of Saul in a war with the Philistines. Here commenced the first ’Knesset’, the Kingdom of David, the real roots of eternal Jewish rule in Israel.
It is fitting, as the State of Israel approaches its 65th birthday, that finally, Hebron is officially represented in our national parliament. Orit Struk is a worthy delegate of Hebron’s Jewish community. Her public activity, leadership, and personal example are a shining paradigm of how today a Jew can and should live in Israel.
We wish her much success in her new position, for her achievements will be a triumph for Hebron, the State of Israel, and all Am Yisrael.