Halamish: Hareidim for Settling the Land of Israel
Halamish – a Hebrew acronym for hareidi-religious Jews for Judea and Samaria – is an organization which aims to bring together hareidi- religious Jews of all types to advance the goal of settling the entire Land of Israel.
Arutz Sheva met the organization’s leaders and heard about the group’s goals and what it does to achieve them.
“We are activists for the wholeness of the state of Israel, both from the spiritual aspect of the Torah of Israel and from the security aspect,” explained Halamish head Mordechai Land.
“The Land of Israel, as far as we’re concerned, is not connected specifically to the Zionist movement [of the 19th century, ed.] or to the establishment or government of a state of Israel,” said Land. “The real Zionism is expressed in the prayer, ‘May Our Eyes Merit to Witness Your Return to Zion in Compassion.’
The true Zionism is connected to the Land of Israel and that’s behind our actions, both in public relations and in work in the field. We built an outpost near Kiryat Sefer [a hareidi-religious community in Judea and Samaria, ed.]. We have a regular public relations bulletin. We have stickers. That’s the activity we espouse.”
Rabbi Yitzhak Brand, head of the Emanuel [a hareidi-religious city near Kedumim in the Shomron, ed.] Kollel, noted: “We have to establish a government that operates according to the Torah, that is based on the first Rashi commentary in the Torah, which says unequivocally that G-d [created the world and owns it] and gave the land of Israel to the people of Israel. That’s what we need to establish and by doing this G-d will help us to succeed in our endeavors."
Land said that the Halamish also works with politicians behind the scenes.
“We also have some work to do in that direction,” he said. “We had a committee of hareidi Knesset members that also stood up against the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, so there’s work taking place in that area.”
Contrary to popular opinion and media consciousnes, there is a large and constantly increasing hareidi-religious population in Judea and Samaria, including the two cities of Beitar Illit with 35,000 residents and Modiin Illit (Kiryat Sefer) with 30,000 residents, both less than a half hour from Jerusalem, the town of Emanuel with 3000 residents, and several smaller communities.