David Ha'ivri

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David Ha'ivri

David Ha'ivri (Hebrew: דוד העברי‎ born Jason David Axelrod, in New York, USA in 1967) is an Israeli settler and political activist. He emigrated with his family from the United States to Israel at the age of 11 and served in the IDF. Ha'ivri lives with his wife and eight children in Kfar Tapuach in the West Bank.[1] He is a controversial leader, writer and speaker.[2]

Documentary films

David Ha'ivri has been featured in a number of documentary films dealing with issues that he is involved in. Canadian producer Igal Hecht of Chutzpa Productions film 35 Acres explores the issue of the Temple Mount the most contentious piece of real estate on the face of the Earth.[3] Holy for both Jews and Muslims the Temple Mount, is one of the most volatile areas in Jerusalem. Many say that those who control it, control the entire land. This film shows both Palestinians and Israelis whose entire lives revolve around that area. Ha'ivri has been involved in the Jewish side of this story for over 25 years.[4] Ha'ivri has also been interviewed by major media outlets BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and others.

Present

Shomron Liaison Office

New York Times July 5, 2010

Ha'ivri is director of the Shomron Liaison Office.[5] An NGO that works closely with the local government[6] promoting public relations for the towns of the region. In this capacity he serves as English-language spokesman, interacting with all foreign language journalists. The Shomron Liaison Office under his direction has developed partnership and penpal programs connecting school children in the Shomron with their peers around the world. He frequently travels around the world[7] speaking to a wide range of groups and well as hosting tours in the Shomron.[8][9][10] As a spokesman [11] for the Shomron Regional Council, Ha'ivri interacts with international media, foreign government representatives and philanthropists. He serves as strategic adviser to Regional Council head Gershon Mesika on international affairs.[citation needed]

Empowering local activists and spokespeople

In 2009 Ha'ivri conducted professional training for 30 spokespeople from a wide range of settlements in the Shomron region aimed at improving their abilities to express themselves in English and so to improve the general public relations of the settlers in the area. He contracted Ron Bowman Director of Dale Carnegie Training in Israel provide a 13 week course for the local activists.[12]

Student volunteer programs

He organizes student volunteer programs in the Jewish communities in the Shomron (settlements). In these programs American youth are introduced to aspects of planting and building. They are offered an opportunity to take part in the actual expansion of the Jewish growth there.[13]

UN Settlement Prize

In August 2009 Ha'ivri advocated that the United Nations award the Jewish settlements in the West Bank an international prize for settlement activity.[14] The annual prize, the Habitat Scroll of Honor, is handed out annually to acknowledge "outstanding contributions in developing and improving settlements and the quality of urban life."[15][citation needed]

Connecting with American Zionists

Ha'ivri has developed a number of programs aimed and establishing a connection for the settlements in the West Bank with Jewish communities and supporters around the world. One of those programs is the Purim package distribution to IDF soldiers in cooperation with the Zionist Organization of America. Thousands of gift packages are packaged by students in schools in the Shomron and then distributed it soldiers throughout the region and the whole country.[16][17] Another project devised by Ha'ivri is twinning schools in Shomron with school children in the Jewish communities outside of Israel. The project is implemented by the Israel Connect program.[18]

Political activism

As a youth Ha'ivri became involved with rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach and was already active in the 1984 election that saw Kahane elected to Knesset[19] and was a close with the rabbi's son Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane. The Kach party was banned from running in the 1988 Knesset elections and since has been added to terrorist watch lists by Israel, Canada[20] and the United States.[21] On July 5, 2010 New York Times article American officials were quoted saying that Ha'ivri himself is not on the terror watch list.[11]

Jail term and legal battles

Ha'ivri has had several disputes with the Israeli government. He was notably arrested for celebrating the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in a television interview and served six month jail time in connection with the desecration of a mosque.[22] However, in an interview with the New York Times newspaper, Ha'Ivri said he no longer engaged in such activism, adding that, at 43, he had mellowed, even if his core convictions had not. "I’m a little older now, a little more mature," he said.[22]

In 2001 Israeli Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein ruled that the slogan publicized by far-right activists, "No Arabs, no terror," constitutes incitement to racism and offence especially to the 20% of Arabs who have Israeli citizenship. Rubinstein handed his ruling to the police to investigate as a result in Jan. 2005 the Jerusalem Magistrate's court sentenced Ha'ivri to four months of community service for distributing the t-shirts.[23]

Kfar Tapuach

In the late 1980s, he formed a group of Rabbi Kahane's students at the Yeshivat HaRaayon HaYehudi, which later moved to the town of Kfar Tapuach. After Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane's assassination in December 2000, Ha'ivri took on responsibility for his bi-weekly publication, Darka Shel Torah and HaMeir L'David, a publishing group which prints and distributes the works of Rabbi Meir Kahane and Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane.[24] Ha'ivri has been active in leadership of the town and has served as the town mayor, head of security and youth director. Organizing educational and social activity while also offering aid to At Risk Teen and developing programs for them in the Shomron region (West Bank). He has published articles on these issues.[25][citation needed]

2005 Gaza pullout

In the time leading up to the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, Ha'ivri together with Yisrael Meir Cohen founded Revava (Hebrew: רבבה‎ means ten thousand), an organization which initially aimed at preventing the Gaza expulsion by encouraging nationwide protests to tie up the Israeli security forces. Based on a play on words and on the concept that ten thousand activists could actually stop the Israeli pullout from Gaza and North of Shomron. As a toll to promote his ideas and tactics to oppose the disengagement plan Ha'ivri developed a monopoly type board game called Revava - Changing the rules of the game.[26][citation needed]

Temple Mount

In 2005 Ha'ivri headed a campaign calling for 10,000 Jews to ascend to the Temple Mount the holiest place to the Jewish people and the most explosive location in the world.[27] Later he published Reclaiming the Temple Mount,[28] a book on these events and the history of the site.

Ideology

Annexing the West Bank

He advocates that all territory controlled by the Israeli government and army between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River rightfully belongs to the Jewish people and should be officially annexed by the State of Israel and that the non Jewish population need to accept the Israel authority and be loyal to the State,[29] therefore advocating the One-state solution. And for those Arabs unwilling to integrate into Israeli society he offers a 22 State solution... Palestinians could and should live in any of the other Arab states, rather than Israel. “Non-Jews who are willing to be loyal to the State of Israel… can live in Israel. But if they intend to be disloyal to the country, then they need to find other places to live and there are plenty [of those],” he said.[30]

Periodically Ha'ivri goes on tour speaking on behalf of the settlements. In reply to US President Barack Obama's pressure on Israel to stop Jewish settlement growth in the West Bank “We are frustrated by the Chutzpah (audacity) of Obama and other world leaders to intervene and tell Israel what to do. The only country in the world where the international leaders can legitimately suggest ethnic cleansing is Israel. Anywhere else there would be an outcry.”[citation needed] He believes that Israel should annex all areas it has controlled since the 1967 war and that Jews should be allowed to settle all parts of those lands. “Judea and Samaria are wrongly called ’settlements.’ Yet the West Bank is actually the West bank of the Jordan River. All of Israel is the West bank. Both sides of the Jordan River belong to the Jewish people. That was the British Mandate. The British reneged and created Transjordan East of the river.”[citation needed]

Joseph's tomb

Ha'ivri is active in a campaign to restore Joseph's tomb in Shechem (Nablus) - a site holy to Christians, Muslims, and Jewish populations in the region.[31] The site was overrun and demolished by Arab rioters in October 2000 during clashes between IDF forces during the al-Aqsa Intifada. He calls on the Israeli government to retake the site and allow Jewish settlers to rebuild the yeshiva that once occupied the site. He has been involved in organizing monthly visits for Jewish worshipers in cooperation with the local IDF command.[32]

References

  1. ^ Ha'ivri Bio on Shomron website
  2. ^ Articles by David Ha'ivri
  3. ^ 35 Acres
  4. ^ [1] Chutzpa Productions Website]
  5. ^ Shomron Liaison Office Website
  6. ^ Shomron Regional Council Website
  7. ^ The Australian Jewish News 2 Nov. 2009
  8. ^ An outpost carved in bedrock Jerusalem Post
  9. ^ World Net Daily
  10. ^ Jerusalem Post Jul. 1, 2009
  11. ^ a b New York Times July 5, 2010
  12. ^ Jerusalem Post Feb. 10, 2010
  13. ^ The Jerusalem Post
  14. ^ http://imeu.net/news/article0017149.shtml
  15. ^ Scroll of Honor
  16. ^ ZOA Purim report
  17. ^ Jerusalem Post TV report
  18. ^ Jerusalem Post report
  19. ^ Knesset Website
  20. ^ Canada Public Safety website
  21. ^ U.S. Dept. of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2004. April 2005
  22. ^ a b Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank
  23. ^ Prof. Paul Eidelberg The David Ha'ivri case
  24. ^ http://kahanebooks.com/
  25. ^ Why does Naftali live in the Street
  26. ^ The IsraPost
  27. ^ Haaretz 7 Apr. 2005
  28. ^ ISBN 965-90509-6-8
  29. ^ The Age October 24, 2009
  30. ^ The Australian Jewish News 2 Nov. 2009
  31. ^ Activist Wants Joseph's Tomb Rebuilt The Jewish Press Jan. 28, 2009
  32. ^ The Jerusalem Post[dead link]