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AFSI Head: 'Struggle of Yesha Residents is Our Struggle'

AFSI head Helen Freedman urged American Jews to get more involved in Israel, given the current circumstances.
By Fern Sidman and David Lev
First Publish: 11/3/2011, 1:57 PM

Helen Freedman
Helen Freedman
courtesy AFSI

Speaking before an overflow audience at the Kingsway Jewish Center in Brooklyn on Tuesday evening, Helen Freedman, the executive director of Americans For A Safe Israel (AFSI) said that "the current political climate in Israel demands our active concern and our concrete participation. As the government of Israel acquiesces to world pressure and maintains a timorous posture towards the Arabs, as UNESCO sanitizes the Palestinian Authority, we are witnessing an all out assault against the intrepid settler movement."

Relating incidents that she personally witnessed while leading the bi-annual AFSI Chizuk mission to Israel, Freedman said that “just today, we learned of the announcement that the Ministry of Education in Israel has decided to cut off funding for the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva near Yitzhar in the Shromron. That should serve as a clarion call to us all about which direction the government is taking in terms of the future of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria."

Adding that Arabs she has spoken to in Israel have boastfully declared that every Jewish holy site really is a Muslim site that “belongs” to the Arabs, Freedman said that the UNESCO decision to grant recognition and admittance of the PA would further embolden the quest of PA Arabs to have complete control of all holy sites, including the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City. With pain in her asked the audience “when will our shamefully obsequious behavior in the face of our avowed enemies cease?"

Freedman called on audience members to "be more than armchair activists". Exhorting them to show their support for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria by writing and calling their elected officials and joining lobbying efforts in Washington, Freedman declared that "AFSI's objectives are very clear. Our Chizuk mission to Israel is not exclusively limited to providing moral and material support to our brave brothers and sisters in Judea, Samaria and the Golan, but it is also about realizing that it is incumbent upon every single one of us to stand up and speak out for our G-d given rights to the Land of Israel, even when the slings and arrows of our detractors are pointed in our direction."

AFSI's next Chizuk Mission for Israel is scheduled for November 13th.