What Can I Do From America?

It involves signing your name, but not on a check. Oh yes, you can do that too, but there is another plan that is not mutually exclusive with signing checks.

Aliza Karp

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Bureau Chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, Mr. David Bedein, has a plan. And you can do it from your home in America.

It involves signing your name, but not on a check. Oh yes, you can do that too, but there is another plan that is not mutually exclusive with signing checks.

Resident of Efrat, David Bedein is a social worker and community organizer who has operated an investigative journalism office for the last 18 years, since the beginning of the first intifada in 1987. His was the first agency to monitor what Yasser Arafat was saying to his people in Arabic, while he was saying the opposite to politicians and the world media in English. Bedein's slogan is, "Let My People Know." (His website is www.israelbehindthenews.com.)

Recently, Bedein was in North America presenting his information and ideas to members of Congress and laypersons alike. Among them, he spoke to a group of women in Crown Heights. We found him to be very knowledgeable and interesting. Many of us are working towards putting his plan into action. Our slogan is "Activate the Activists." We find it is too hard to wake people up and get them out of bed. We are approaching those people who care deeply about Eretz Yisroel and are looking to do something constructive to block those forces that are destructive.

Bedein pointed out that very few people have read the Disengagement Plan, including Knesset members who have voted on it. He showed how the name "Disengagement" is just another slogan. The plan has nothing to do with disengagement. It has to do with empowering the PLO to the point of being in alliance with them. A general outline of the plan can be read at pmo.gov.il (click on English and then on the Disengagement Plan in the left hand column, and go to General Outline). Note in particular paragraph five. And that is only an outline; the frightening details are not posted there.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Lubavitcher Rebbe said many times that the terms of negotiation rest firmly with the Jews and do not originate from the US. After the Jews of Eretz Yisroel show they can be pushed on certain issues, then the US pushes on those issues.

Bedein acknowledged that the responsibility of setting the limits and standing firm rests with the Jews in power in Eretz Yisroel, and yet, he thinks that Jews in America can still make a difference.

It is no secret that the policies of the State Department are not as we would like them to be, but Bedein cited cases in which Congress overruled the State Department, and he said that Congress is workable. Bedein claims that communication with Congressmen and staffers of Congressmen can make a difference. His approach is to campaign for America to uphold American law. He has a list of 14 instances where American involvement in Eretz Yisroel breaks American law.

The women at the meeting decided they wanted to concentrate on only one of those points. The point that could make a difference to the expulsion and deportation process. Bedein suggested that everyone should write to his Congressperson at the House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. Copies of the letters should be sent to President George Bush (The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500) and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (US Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520).

The letters to Congress should be clear and articulate, with no preaching. Bedein advises: if you can get the name of a person on the staff of the Congressperson, email a copy of the letter to the staffer and follow up with a phone call to see if he or she received it.

In response to this meeting, many women have become activated. They have sent their letters and are influencing others to do the same. One woman took upon herself to call every other woman who was at the meeting to make sure each one has already sent a letter and is asking them to call five more people they know, to get them to do the same.

It goes without saying that the goal is for as many Congresspeople as possible to begin receiving as many letters as possible. But it also goes without saying that every single letter counts. Just because you cannot assemble and mail hundreds of letters, that does not discount the value of each and every letter.

We never know which act will be the one to tip the scale and turn the world to goodness.