On August 6th, the Women in Green organization, which coordinates many of the marches, protests, rallies and gatherings of Israel's right-wing strong Israel movement, invites the public to participate in a march for possession of the abandoned Israeli army base, Shdema.
The base, which once operated in an Area C (full Israeli jurisdiction) zone, was abandoned by the Israel Defense Forces two years ago. Since then, Jewish and Arab factions have battled over the former military encampment, which is nestled between Jerusalem's Har Homa neighborhood and Bethlehem, south of the capital.
Rachel Klein, Municipal Spokesperson for English Media in Kiryat Arba and one of the organizers of the event, says that the fight for Jewish possession of Shdema is of immediate importance to Jews in Gush Etzion and in Israel's capital city. "Every single day, people have gone [to Shdema] from Gush Etzion, because we know once this place is closed, it will be strangling the Jewish settlement south of Jerusalem," Klein said.
Klein noted that the march was intentionally scheduled to coincide with the date on which the expulsion from Gush Katif three years ago is commemorated. It will occur on the same day as a ceremony at the Kissufim junction near Gaza, remembering Jewish life in Gush Katif and the removal of Jews from the area by Ariel Sharon's government in 2005. The march "represents our feeling that we are together in solidarity with Gush Katif, and that nothing like that should ever happen again," Klein said.
The march to Shdemah, entitled "From Destruction to Redemption in Shdema," will depart from various locations on the evening of August 6th: From Har Homa at 6:30pm, Kiryat Arba at 6pm, the Gush Etzion junction at 6:30pm, South Efrat at 6:40pm, and Tekoa/Nokdim at 6:50 pm.
At 7:15pm in Shdema, following the march, a ceremony will take place with speakers such as Geula Cohen, David Nativ, and Rabbi Dov Zinger addressing the participants. Actor Aharon Yukal will also read some of the poems of Uri Tzvi Greenberg, a famous Jewish poet who penned many of Israel's national poems during the British Mandate period.
For more information on the march, or to become involved in the fight to maintain Jewish ownership of Shdema, contact Rachel Klein at 02-996-1622 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Women in Green events are publicized at www.womeningreen.org