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Letter to the Editor – The Jewish Press From Helen Freedman

Stephen Flatow’s description of his shiva call to the Shevach family in Havat Gilad accurately describes a community, built on private Jewish land, which has experienced discrimination from the Israeli government since its creation about 15 years ago. Struggling with the label, “illegal settlement”, the residents have experienced sporadic electricity and water, which they must purchase themselves. These are basic necessities, which, if denied by Israel to the Gazans, would have the world screaming about inhumanity. If it’s done to Jews it seems to pass unnoticed.

It took the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a beloved resident of Havat Gilad, for attention to be paid. My organization, Americans for a Safe Israel, as well as the Israel Independence Fund, led by Aharon Pulver, have been the few, perhaps only, organizations that have tried to help the community.

I recently paid a late condolence call to Rabbi Shevach’s widow, Yael. I was introduced to her by Ilana Shimoni, an ardent spokeswoman for the community whom we have befriended over the years. I marveled at Yael’s strength of character and beauty during our meeting. The one thing the women asked for was help with building their mikveh. The women of Havat Gilad, who struggle with all the hardships the community presents, are entitled to have the comfort of a mikveh. They have already raised some funds for the project and are hoping to raise more.

Another wish expressed by Yael Shevach was for the donation of a Torah scroll in time for the shloshim for her husband. He was killed on Jan. 9 so the time is growing short.

For information about donating to the mikveh or the Torah scroll, please contact AFSI at 212-828-2424,, or the AFSI website
. If using the website to make a donation, just hit the DONATE button, use your credit card, and earmark the amount for Havat Gilad.

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From Sderot

Longtime friend of AFSI, Alon Davidi, Mayor of Sderot, proudly spoke about the amazing growth taking place in the city. The city, known for the thousands of rockets it has endured from Gaza, is experiencing huge building expansion. Two new beautiful new communities are now under construction. It’s heart-warming to see this rebirth of the city under the leadership of Mayor Davidi.

Alon Davidi with Helen Freedman
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The Light at the End of the War From Yisrael Hayom Newspaper December 29, 2017 Translated by Yehudit Tayar

Yehudit Tayar was born in Chicago Illinois and has lived with her family in Bet Horon in the Benjamin Region for over 30 years. There she serves as an emergency first response medic,is on the Board of Directors of Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron,and is a spokesperson for the Jewish pioneers in Yesha.Yehudit is married to Ami, mother of four children, and grandmother.

This is a reprint of her article. CLICK HERE TO READ

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Israel – “Help Your Own Poor First” Chief Rabbi Supports Government Deportation Plan

The Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau expressed his support Monday for a government plan to remove 40,000 illegal immigrants from Israel, and decried comparisons opponents of the plan have made between Jewish refugees of the Nazi Holocaust and the illegal immigrants living in Israel.

Rabbi Lau cites that many refugees claim they are fleeing mandatory military service, while they are actually seeking jobs and not refuge. AFSI strongly feels that putting the needs of Israeli citizens first should be a top priority for the Israeli Government.

Read today’s Arutz Sheva article

May Golan, CEO of The Hebrew City, discusses the social problems she sees in Israel. The Hebrew City is an Israeli NGO that fights for the salvation of the South Tel Aviv and other neighborhoods that have been overrun and terrorized by the illegal infiltrators.

Pictured left to right: AFSI Chairman Mark Langfan, May Golan, William Langfan
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Polish Death Camps

The horror cannot be diminished!

In a move to make it illegal to attribute Poland’s complicity in the Holocaust, the Polish government announced legislation to make it a criminal offense if the phrase Polish Death Camps is used.

Sculpture at Auschwitz Honoring Families Torn Apart

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting that Israel has zero tolerance for “distorting the truth, rewriting history or denying the Holocaust.” Netanyahu said that Israel’s Ambassador to Poland Anna Azaria made Israel’s firm position known to Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at a memorial ceremony at Auschwitz marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Saturday night.

PM’s Netanyahu and Morawiecki agreed to open dialogue on this devastating legislation.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said he would review the bill signaling a possible way out of the mini diplomatic crisis that developed over the last three days.

There is no other phrase to call it and it and should be left as is. To re-write this phrase is to not only deny it for what is was, but it diminishes the horrific aspect of the Holocaust.

For more, read the Jerusalem Post article

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A Miscarriage of Justice The Case of Ben Deri

David Jacobs, a crusader for justice in Israel, is calling attention to the case of Ben Deri, a young man whose story was well known in Israel four years ago but has now been largely forgotten. Here are some of the details:

In the October 4, 2011 Shalit exchange, 1127 Arab terrorists were released from Israeli prisons. On July 28, 2013, in the John Kerry deal, the Israeli Cabinet agreed to release 104 Arab terrorists from prison to restart the “peace” negotiations with Abbas. The terrorists would be released in four groups of 26 each over a period of nine months.

On April 14, 2014, Baruch Mizrahi, an Israeli policeman and a father of five from Modiin, was murdered by a terrorist released by the Netanyahu government in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. In response, the Netanyahu government decided not to release the final group of 26 prisoners. The first 78 had already been released. The Arabs began rioting on May 14, 2014, their Naqba day, outside Ofer prison.

Fifteen Border Police were surrounded by thousands of Arab rioters, and an Arab was shot. Ben Deri, the commander of the Border Policemen, was charged with shooting a live bullet, rather than the rubber bullets the police were using. This finding was based solely on the report by the Abu Dis Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Ben spent three months in jail and in January 2015 was released to house arrest which he has been under until very recently. He is now allowed out during the day for work in his father’s factory. The prosecution has asked for a 27-month jail term with no time
consideration for time already served. Sentencing will be this April.

It is necessary to shine the light on the Ben Deri case. This young man represents all the police and soldiers who serve their country and then end up becoming victims of an unjust justice system. This young man’s life must be saved.

For additional information contact: or

David Jacobs, Yael Shevach and Helen Freedman
David Jacobs is the son of Bob and Elaine Jacobs, super activists for Israel.
David lives in Modi’in and took Helen to meet Ben Deri.
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Baruch Dayan HaEmet

AFSI mourns the passing of our devoted friend Toby Willig, z”l.

Toby was a warrior who fought for the people of Israel, the Land of Israel, and the Torah of Israel until the very end. Her passionate love for the people and the land of Israel knew no bounds.

Her family may be contacted by email.

May the family be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. May they know no more sorrow.

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Pence Visits the Kotel

Arutz Sheva’s story on VP Pence’s visit to Israel follows him to the Kotel where he placed a note then said a brief prayer.

At the end of his visit, Pence signed the Western Wall guest book. “It is my great honor to pray here at this sacred place. God bless the Jewish people and God bless the state of Israel always.”

Responding to questions by reporters, the Vice President said the visit to the holy site was “very inspiring.”

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Pence Delivers Speech to the Knesset

“We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.”

VP Mike Pence’s visit to Israel was highlighted by his speech given at the Knesset on January 22, 2018. This is an historic moment as Pence was also afforded the privilege of being the first US Vice President to address the Knesset.

AFIS has listened carefully to every word of his speech. We feel confident that the declaration of support, friendship and commitment that United States has shown Israel is real and sincere. May this renewed relationship between the US and Israel go from strength to strength.

Excerpts from Pence’s speech:

“America stands with Israel.”

“By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction.”

“The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster, and the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement.”

“The miracle of Israel is an inspiration to the world. And the United States of America is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends.”

Full transcript of Pence’s speech here and video below courtesy of the Jerusalem Post.


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Condolence Call to the Shevach Family

Helen Freedman paid a visit to Yael Shevach, the widow of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was killed on the road outside Havat Gilad just a week ago. Yael is an amazing woman, filled with beauty and courage. In addition to raising her six children, she is also a teacher at an Ulpana.

This trip also included a meeting with Ilana Shimoni, the spokeswoman for the Havat Gilad community. Along with Yael, Ilana, is a driving force for the mikveh which is desperately needed by the women of the community.

Anyone interested in helping should write to Ilana.

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