While Rabbis for Human Rights's annual report will be out shortly, and all updates are at http://www.rhr.org.il/eng, the secular New Year is time to reflect.
I recall Nasser Nawajeh from the threatened village of Susya saying, "When they expelled us in 1986 there was nothing we could do because we were alone. We're not alone any more." Neither Palestinians from Susya nor public housing tenants in Beit Shean were alone. There were rabbis at their side, upholding Torah.
In January, we planted trees. In February, the army committed not to move the Jahalin Bedouin before providing for them. We prevented the eviction of Ovadia Ben Avraham, and stopped the former Palestinian village of Lifta from becoming a pricey housing development.
KKL-JNF promised not to forest over Al-Arakib before courts determined ownership. In April we plowed, prevented the demolition of Mnezel's solar panels, and Leah Shemi's eviction. In May the Hushiya family brought in their wheat harvest after five years. In the Twamin valley, it was the first in ten.
In June, Abu-Jabar was compensated for tree destruction. In August we cleaned out Bir El Id's water cistern next to the Mitzpeh Yair outpost.
October through December we insured that most farmers could harvest their olives, and the army returned lands to Fawzi Hussein. We replaced A-Sawya's destroyed trees.
All year we taught in Israel and abroad, helped the weak overcome the system in Hadera and Beit Shean, marched and visited sites of "Price Tag" terror. We worked to change home demolition policy through the courts, and public housing policy in the Knesset.
We have not always succeeded. I am haunted asking, "Could we have convinced Moshe Silman z"l to give us more time to solve his housing problems?" Hundreds of Palestinian trees were cut down. The South Sudanese were expelled, as was Rachel Levy. Communities are under threat in East Jerusalem and the South Hebron Hills.
We have much more to do. And we will.