A lot has been going on and it’s so important to share with you all!
We like to always tell you about our visitors and the news of vegetables in season and new buildings being built…. Sometimes though there are things that happen, another aspect of the daily struggle of our lives here that come out (and this was touched upon in Leah’s Blog last week). In the last couple of weeks we have seen a rise of incidents of organized rioting and rock throwing at our residents on the only road that leads into Itamar from Tapuach Junction- the sole way in and out of here. A mother is driving her infant to urgent care and rocks are thrown at the vehicle- by a miracle she is able to drive quickly out. A terrorist approaches our soldiers at the checkpoint and swiftly pulls out a knife to stab- on an average of twice a week. This past Thursday, a father of eight, social worker by profession was on his way home to Itamar from shopping for Shabbat provisions in Ariel and was ambushed by an angry mob that pelted his car with hundreds of rocks and boulders – a lynch by all degrees. An Arab ambulance of the Red Crescent actually cut him off and prevented him from continuing to drive away from the hateful mob, pinning him into a dead end where a torrent of rocks pelted his car and rioters kicked and shoved the car to and fro. By a miracle a real tragedy was prevented. This is our daily ordeal out here as we try and hold down this vital piece of the heart of Israel.
Thankfuly it does not deter the people that want to show their solidarity with what we are doing out here and they came in droves in the last week. We had Yisrael Stephansky who brought friends from Switzerland- Anita and Enrico Zbaeren with friends Sandro and Dorothy. We got to spend time on the Penini farm where peonies, grapes and other agricultural projects are just getting off the ground. They have also just completed their new sheep house too- a pleasure to see the farms on our hilltops growing and thriving – an important endeavor Friends of Itamar supports! These rural areas are actually preventing hostile squatters from coming and taking over government land- they are actually holding down the heart of Israel! Jack and Ellen Kahan-Zager came from Baltimore to get a better perspective on what this area means to us historically, strategically and educationally- they plan to take back to their core groups there all the facts they learned first- hand from Friends of Itamar. We are being blessed right now by a visit from our dear friend Andree Lecoque from Hawaii. There was a group from Germany who we met that came all on their own – just curious about Itamar! Helen Friedman and 35 Israel advocates all AFSI members came today. – The importance of pushing through the riot areas is a clear answer that WE WILL NOT CONCEDE AND GIVE IN TO TERROR! It’s important to have more and more traffic to this area- the heart of Israel! Please make a point to come out to visit and fill the roads up with your vehicles!
Enjoy a picture of our Itamar youth.
Friends of Itamar would again like to thank the organization of Yad Leah for making a beautiful and successful clothing distribution this last week. A lot of the credit goes to two special unbelievable ladies- Jessica Katz and Karen Thaler who run a chesed project of great proportions that supply literally thousands of boxes of clothing to over thirty communities in Israel. We strongly recommend you going to the Yad Leah website and getting involved. This is a very worthy cause that literally puts clothing on the backs of thousands of men women children of all ages- babies and soldiers in Israel. THANK YOU YAD LEAH!