An American oleh to Israel is set to embark on a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. with his son, on the eve of the latter's induction into the IDF.
This is no pleasure ride, though; Adam Halley and son Boaz will be using the trip to spread the word about security needs in Judea and Samaria, hoping to alert supporters of Israel to the security needs of Yesha communities.
Call it “Easy Rider,” Israel style.
There are several organizations that help the government fill security needs for Judea and Samaria residents.
“Unfortunately, the government is unable to fully fund the security needs of Yesha towns, and many, especially the smaller ones, are sorely lacking vital equipment, like Walkie Talkies, bulletproof vests for members of emergency response squads (kitot konennut), security fence repairs, periphery lighting, cameras, etc.,” says the elder Halley.
Over the past year there have been government cutbacks to budgets for local defense needs, but roadblocks have been cut as well, leading to an increase in security needs. In fact, another cut had been planned for the coming fiscal year, but was averted at the last minute on Sunday when the government decided to continue funding for kitot konnenut.
“Even with that funding, there are basic defense needs that aren't covered, from training to insurance costs to emergency medical equipment,” says Halley.
But of course there are many needs in today's Israel, and it's easy for an issue like security gaps in Yesha communities to get “lost in the shuffle.” That's one reason why Halley came up with the idea of riding across the U.S.A., bringing the message of Yesha security to supporters of Israel across America – Jewish and Christian alike.
Plus, Halley says, he likes motorcycle riding.
“It's a dream trip I've been planning with my son for years. We're both avid riders and commute everywhere by bike in Israel, to and from our home in Ginot Shomron in central Samaria. Beginning August 1, we'll be picking up two used motorcycles on the East Coast and then riding to the West Coast and back.
"We will stop in many communities along the way, speaking about life and security in the Israeli Heartland, Yehuda and Shomron, and connecting with communities in a unique way – speaking to a range of audiences, from high-schoolers to universities, houses of worship and community gatherings,” Halley says.
Halley, who is security coordinator for Amitz, one of the organizations dealing with the issue, has years of experience in the IDF (he is a Reserve Captain) and the security field.
Another example is Marc Prowisor, now Security Director for the One Israel Fund and Chief Army Security Coordinator in the region from 1996 through 2006. The One Israel Fund he works with, is providing thermal cameras for fences at Itamar and other communities and has seen to training, equipment and reorganization of the emergency response groups in all of Yesha over the past year.
Experienced in counter terrorism training and the martial arts, Halley is also the deputy commander of Ginot Shomron's kitat konennut – so he knows what's needed to run a successful and safe security operation.At 45, Halley is retiring from the IDF as his son is about to enter - hence, he says, he calls the upcoming ride "The IDF Legacy Tour."
“I see this as a great chance to educate American supporters of Israel on an issue they may not have even known existed – but one that is crucial to the physical safety of tens of thousands of Jews in Yesha. Hopefully our cross-country motorcycle ride will give us the opportunity to present those issues.”
You can check out the route Adam and Boaz will be riding on their tour Facebook page.