Last Friday, NIF grantee Breaking the Silence organized a demonstration outside of the home of Israel’s Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir in Kiryat Arba near Hebron. This was in response to Ben Gvir’s role in the judicial coup, as well as comments he made on national television, in which he asserted that his right to freedom of movement came before and was a higher priority than a Palestinian’s right to freedom of movement – an open endorsement of Jewish supremacy.
The protesters brought the names of more than 4,000 North American NIF supporters with them, following a petition we circulated Thursday evening.
Dozens of Israelis representing over 25 organizations–including our grantees–came all over the country to protest in front of Ben Gvir’s house. There, a heavy security presence corralled the protestors to the nearby Meir Kahane Park–a park named after the convicted terrorist who was banned from serving in the Knesset. That same park houses the grave of Baruch Goldstein, a supporter of Kahane, who, in 1994 killed 29 Palestinians worshiping in the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque.
NIF and our grantees know about Meir Kahane Park. But for many Israelis, the situation in Kiryat Arba was completely new. Israelis across social media reacted in shock that there was a park commemorating Meir Kahane; others were surprised that Goldstein’s grave is worthy of protection. “The sudden public astonishment stems from the fact that the political center, now awakening from a long slumber, has discovered it for the first time,” writes Noa Landau in her Haaretz editorial. This was the first time many Israelis came face to face with what those on the far-right stand for and believe in.
“All those leading the revolution should know that we are bringing the struggle into your backyard,” Breaking the Silence wrote afterward. “The time has passed in which you could move the coup forward from your homes in the settlements and illegal outposts and know that nobody would come to protest. There is nowhere to run to escape the fallout from this policy.”
Below, Breaking the Silence organizers share their thanks to those who signed onto the petition showing their support: