Thousands of residents of Judea and Samaria woke up Thursday morning to a gift – a small plant for their gardens – courtesy of the Regavim organization, days after it successfully convinced authorities to tear down an illegal Arab outpost that was overlooking the Begin Highway, one of the main roads into Jerusalem.
The illegal outpost was built right next to the highway, adjacent to Givat Ze'ev, and constituted a dangerous security problem for thousands of drivers who use the road daily. The Begin Highway is an extension of one of the only two arteries into the city from the center of the country.
Regavim, an organization that works through the legal system to halt the ongoing mass illegal Arab building, and to ensure that Jews are not cheated out of their legal rights to develop Israel, appealed to officials in a letter several weeks ago. “The position of the buildings on a high peak are a security danger, and the ongoing illegal construction at this site necessitates immediate action. As the High Court has stated, security issues take precedence, and that must be the case in this situation,” the letter said. The authorities took note, and last week demolished the illegal outpost.
But the filing of that petition – as well as many other cases Regavim is involved in – costs money, and the small organization is unable to take on even a small percentage of the cases that come to its attention. As a result, the organization, chaired by Yehuda Eliyahu, has decided to go on a mass fund-raising campaign. Overnight Wednesday, Regavim volunteers spread out through communities in Judea and Samaria – with a plant, and a letter appealing for help.
“As a resident of Judea and Samaria, there is no need to tell you about the importance of holding on to this area,” the letter says. “Unfortunately, there are those who are doing everything they can to limit and harm Jewish building in Yesha. Regavim stands steadfast against them,” the letter continues, describing some of the “wins” of the organization, and the need to increase efforts against illegal Arab building. The plant represents Regavim's desire to build up the Land of Israel – and the organization hopes that residents will remember the organization when a representative comes by, seeking to sign them up for standing order donations.