Israel by Israelis, Part II: My Fellow Arab Citizens
Israel Reform Jews—some born in Israel, some via aliyah—share stories
about their struggles to coexist in peace with Arab neighbors in a volatile
What kind of interactions or relationships do you have with Arab
citizens of Israel?
Rich Kirschen (director of the Anita Saltz International Education Center,
part of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in Jerusalem): With some
notable exceptions, I interact mainly with Palestinians who work as manual
laborers in Jerusalem. Our exchanges have always been friendly and
positive—except for the Friday morning I stopped in my office at Beit Shmuel,
the World Union for Progressive Judaism headquarters, while I was wearing my
Israeli soldier uniform (I was on army reserve duty at the time). I ran into
some Arab employees, and suddenly the lines were drawn very clearly.
The conflict shadows every interaction between Jew and Arab—even if
unspoken—like an unwanted guest always at the table.
Hannah Yakin (author and member of Har-El Congregation, Jerusalem):
For years I’ve been active in the first of four Hand-in-Hand bilingual,
government-run schools. A Jewish and a Muslim headmaster operate as a team. All
children have two classroom teachers, a Jew and a Muslim: one teaches geography,
mathematics, etc. in Hebrew and the other in Arabic. Both demonstrate by their
personal example that Jews and Arabs can respect one another.
My granddaughter Ayala, who attended the school from kindergarten through
fifth grade, was eight years old when she burst into my kitchen and declared:
“Grandmother, you don’t have to worry anymore! In a few years there will be
peace in the Middle East.”
Surprised, I asked how this was going to happen. She answered, “When I grow
up I’ll have myself elected prime minister of Israel. At the same time, Rasha
will have herself elected prime minister of the Palestinians, and since Rasha
and I are best friends, we’ll never ever allow our peoples to kill each other.”
Another story: Before the separation wall was built, Palestinians from the
territories used to come to Jerusalem and sell their wares in the market near my
house. A Palestinian woman once asked me, half in Hebrew and half in Arabic, if
she could keep her bundles of vine leaves in our courtyard, so that she could
come and fetch a new batch each time she had sold the previous one. “I have no
permission to sell in the market,” she explained. “If I have much, the
inspectors take away much. If I have little, they take away little.”
Figuring she was doing what was necessary to feed her children, I agreed.
As the weeks went by, the vendor made a habit of coming and going as if she
owned our yard. She brought along several other women whom she introduced as her
sisters. All these women freely used our refrigerator and our toilets.
Recognizing that they probably lived as far away as Hebron and had left their
homes in the small hours of the night, I could hardly refuse them these
services. Soon our yard looked like the market annex.
Not one of our neighbors complained to my face, but behind my back they
called me an Arab lover.
Truth is, I don’t hate Arabs, at least not because they are Arabs. Neither do
I love them for that reason.
In any case, I fiercely disliked my squatters. Had they been Jews, I would
have called the police. Strangely, because they were Arabs, I found it utterly
impossible to throw them out.
Nancy Reich (a founder of Kibbutz Yahel and secretary of its regional
agricultural research and development facility): Unfortunately, living in
the remote southern Arava desert, I’ve not had the opportunity to cultivate any
meaningful relationships with Arab citizens.
Miri Gold (rabbi of Kehilat Birkat Shalom at Kibbutz Gezer; board member
of Rabbis for Human Rights): Living 10 minutes from the “mixed city” of
Ramle, which is roughly 25% Arab, I’ve had many interactions with Arab citizens,
particularly with Samir Dabit, a Christian-Arab whose roots in the region go
back 800 years. We met him almost 30 years ago in Samir’s Restaurant, which
serves fabulous hummus. We now see each other weekly, go on yearly vacations
together, and my husband David has traveled with Samir to visit relatives and
friends in the U.S., Europe, and Jordan.
For 16 years, our two families have also thrown a yearly hafla
(party), where as many as 500 family members and friends—Jews and Arabs—eat,
drink, dance, and have fun. One year the party happened at the same time as the
deadly terrorist attack on the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv. A few young
Arabs who’d left our hafla to party in Tel Aviv came back to tell us the
news. We turned on the TV and realized that we were all equally vulnerable,
angry, and sad. Had we been at the club, all of us could have been the victims.
There was no distinction between Jewish and Arab lives.
Michael Marmur (rabbi and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of
Religion vice president for Academic Affairs): My wife is very involved in
Jewish-Arab dialogue, and I have participated in a number of interreligious
Sadly, there is little day-to-day social contact. I sense the conflict has
given rise to a psychological wall higher than any physical wall. Some of the
problem has to do with communication. It is one of my great regrets that I never
learned Arabic. But beyond vocabulary, men and women on both sides of the divide
often lack the will and the hope necessary to reach out.
I’d like to be able to give you heartwarming examples of how this divide is
getting smaller. Some progressives on both sides do send their kids to camps and
schools where they can encounter the “other”—but for most of us, this encounter
is sporadic and fraught with tension. Some Israelis give way to despair, arguing
that the dialogues are too little and too late. But despair is a luxury we
Edgar Nof (rabbi of Congregation Or Hadash in Haifa; former director of
HUC-JIR’s rabbinic program in Jerusalem): I have been working hard to
improve the relationships among religious groups in Haifa. During the January
2009 war in Gaza, for example, I organized a prayer for peace with
Arab-Christians and Muslims attended by 120 people which included praying;
reciting peaceful verses from the Tanach, New Testament, and Koran; and singing
in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. Many members of my synagogue told me how moved
they were to hear, for the first time, peace songs sung in Arabic (translated
into English and Hebrew and projected with subtitles on a screen). And at the
end, many of the participants and leaders shook hands and hugged. It is not
every day that Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Israel express such sincere
affection for one another.
Unfortunately, the Israeli media usually focuses on politics and security,
ignoring the good efforts of everyday people toward peaceful coexistence. This
reality must be recognized as well.
Hanan Cidor (Jewish Agency for Israel shaliach/emissary to
the URJ and NFTY): It is very sad and maybe even shameful for me to admit
that although there are about a million Arab citizens in Israel, I don’t know a
single one of them personally. Sadly, in this respect I’m not much different
from the majority of Jewish Israelis. Arabs and Jews generally live apart in
different cities and villages, and even those who do reside in the same city,
such as Haifa, don’t often interact with one another—a reality which contributes
to the alienation and animosity between the two sides.
Ironically, I spent more time interacting with Israeli Arabs as a staffer on
a Birthright Israel trip sponsored by KESHER (the Union’s college campus
programs) than I had in all my years growing up in Israel.
Given the large Israeli-Arab minority, do you see any
contradiction between Israel’s being a “Jewish state” and a
David Forman, z'l* (rabbi; founding chair of Rabbis for Human Rights; Jerusalem
Postcolumnist; member of Congregation Kol HaNeshema, Jerusalem):
To know how Israel can be both a democratic and Jewish state, one only needs
to look at the country’s Declaration of Independence: “The State of Israel will
be open to the immigration of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will
promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants;
will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice, and peace taught by the
Hebrew prophets; will uphold the full social and political equality of all its
citizens, without distinction of race, creed, or sex; will guarantee full
freedom of conscience, worship, education, and culture; will safeguard the
sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all religions; and
will dedicate itself to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” If
these principles were applied, Israel would be a model of the democratic and
Jewish values of inclusiveness, humanism, and universalism.
Hannah Yakin: To maintain the state’s Jewish and democratic identity,
we will need to give up the occupied territories. Were we to keep them and grant
its inhabitants the right to vote for the Knesset, then our daughters and
granddaughters would soon be wearing the veil.
Stacey Blank (rabbi of Congregation Darchei Noam in Ramat HaSharon):
Israel continues to struggle with being both Jewish and democratic. As equal
citizens of Israel, Arabs should receive the same treatment as Israelis, but
this is not the case. Recently, my husband, an attorney, represented an Arab
from East Jerusalem participating in the welfare-to-work program: He was
receiving 80 shekels a month for transportation while a Jew in West Jerusalem
got 160. In the end, the man was compensated, but my husband is now appealing
the ruling to ensure that every East Jerusalem citizen receives equal treatment.
The larger case is still pending.
Michael Livni (author of books on Reform Zionism; chairperson of Kibbutz
Lotan’s ecological society): There is no contradiction in a democracy that
permits cultural autonomy. Israeli Arabs have cultural autonomy; however, they
need to understand that, culturally, Israel is the national home of the Jewish
people. This is not an unusual situation. A Hungarian minority exists in
Romania, for example, and Russian minorities in the Baltic countries. While
cultural autonomy may not be ideal for a minority culture, it’s preferable to
authoritarian nationalist regimes such as China, which does not recognize the
Tibetans’ cultural autonomy, and the Arab states, which are Judenrein
(practically no Jews remaining).
Miri Gold: Israel can be Jewish only if it is a democracy. It disturbs
me deeply that our government discriminates against Arab communities, too often
denying them proper schools, roads, utilities, and other services. When the
village of Joarish did not have garbage dumpsters, our doctor friend Muhammed
sent many letters to the mayor of Ramle, but got no response. After many months
we succeeded in inviting both the mayor and the doctor to our sukkah so that
Muhammed could talk to him face to face. To his credit, the mayor, put on the
spot, made some phone calls, and eventually the dumpsters were provided, but it
shouldn’t have taken so long.
Hanan Cidor: Israel can be both Jewish and democratic, yet still be a
very problematic place for Arabs to live in. While I personally see no
contradiction between the Law of Return and democracy, or between our national
Jewish symbols and equal rights, I can easily imagine how an Arab citizen of
Israel would be troubled by Jewish aspects of Israel—including the name of the
Once we achieve the much-needed peaceful solution with the Palestinians,
Israel’s Arab citizens—most of whom consider themselves to be Palestinians
living in Israel—will face a choice of either accepting the reality of living in
a democratic but Jewish state that has a predominately public Jewish narrative
or living in a hopefully democratic Palestinian state that has a predominately
public Palestinian-Arab narrative.
How do you feel about the Israeli government’s responses to
issues concerning her Arab citizens?
Michael Livni: A major historic error of Israeli strategy has been the
failure of all successive governments to provide the Arab sector with the
equivalent infrastructure—roads, schools, electricity, building permits,
water—provided to the Jewish sector. This policy is shortsighted and morally
Having said that, the Arab minority in Israel has more democratic rights than
the citizens of any Arab country. This is by default, because there are no
democratic Arab countries. Nevertheless, Israeli Arabs are well aware of all
their relative advantages in Israel. Witness the storm raised a number of years
ago when Avigdor Liberman (now our controversial foreign minister) proposed
transferring a piece of Israeli territory densely inhabited by Arabs, contiguous
to the West Bank, to the Palestinian-state-to-be. In return, the Palestinians
would agree to transfer territory inhabited by Jewish settlers in the West Bank
to Israel. The Israeli Arabs would have none of it.
Paula Edelstein (chairperson of the Israel Religious Action Committee’s
Steering Committee; member of Har El Congregation, Jerusalem): Arab citizens
have benefited from Israel’s economic growth over the last 60 years, but they
still suffer discrimination in almost all areas of public life, with the
exception of the Knesset, to which they elect their own representatives. There
is no excuse for the crowded, insufficient classrooms and poor sanitary
conditions of Arab schools.
Hanan Cidor: We’ve made substantial progress in the way we treat our
Arab citizens, especially when considering that from 1949 to 1966 the Arab
population in Israel lived under martial law. That said, I’m saddened to admit
that in the last few years we have moved backwards, as exemplified by the
shameful bill the Knesset election committee passed about a year ago (which,
thank God, was later struck down by the Supreme Court) that essentially sought
to ban all Arab parties from running in the national election on the grounds
that their platforms are illegal because they deny Israel’s identity as a Jewish
state. Nothing symbolizes discrimination in a democracy more than preventing the
right of equal representation. The fact that many Jewish Israelis, I among them,
disagree with the ideologies of most Arab parties should not exclude them from
participating in the democratic process.
Similarly, a few government officials have sought to deem illegal Israeli
Arabs’ annual demonstrations marking Israel’s Independence Day as
al-nakba, the day of disaster. Though I personally find such
demonstrations shameful and provocative, citizens in a democratic country should
have the right of free speech.
That said, I can see why a growing number of Jewish Israelis are suspicious
of Israeli Arabs. Many Arabs have openly supported the Palestinian campaign
against Israel and some have helped to carry out terrorist actions.
Michael Marmur: As Amos Oz has argued, much of Israel’s conduct is
dictated by fear and uncertainty. But we need to overcome these understandable
feelings and strive for real engagement with Palestinians on both sides of the
Green Line. The current dynamic of economic domination and social separation is
bad for everyone.
What are the most pressing issues concerning Israel’s Arab
Rich Kirschen: Identity! Israel’s Arab citizens need to decide whether
they are Israeli or Palestinian. Truth is, they have the most confusing identity
in the Mideast. As the Israeli writer Sayid Kashua asks: How can Israeli Arabs
sing Hatikvah (Israel’s national anthem) when it talks about the “Jewish
David Forman: Last year, haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) in
Jerusalem staged riots protesting the opening of a private parking lot on
Shabbat that were far more violent than the Israeli Arab demonstrations of 2000
protesting former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount. In
2000, 13 Israeli Arab protesters were killed and untold numbers arrested and
jailed. Yet last year, not a single haredi demonstrator was killed, and
those arrested were promptly released. Without equal application of the law, it
would appear that we deem Jewish blood of greater worth. If we do not address
such discriminatory policies, we could very well witness a third Intifada—this
one an internal revolution.
Dalya Levy (executive director of ARZENU, the umbrella organization for
Reform and Progressive Zionists): No minority can be expected to be loyal to
its country when its people are treated as second-class citizens. I find it
remarkable that so many Israeli Arabs put up with the status quo. My fear is
that their patience will run out; my hope is that we will recognize what great
citizens they are and give them more opportunities to be and feel equal.
What are the biggest impediments to peace in the Middle
Rich Kirschen: Large groups of influential people on both sides are
not at all interested in peace. The Jewish settler movement is more intent on
acquiring land than pursuing shalom. And many Palestinians hold the view
that it is just a matter of time until the Arabs vanquish the Israelis, just as
they did the Crusaders.
David Forman: The major impediment to peace is Palestinian rejection
of the existence of Israel as a state. While moderate Palestinians seem to be
willing to negotiate two states for two peoples, some of their demands are
non-starters, such as Israel returning to the armistice lines of 1949 or
absorbing 1.5 million Palestinian refugees. Complicating the situation is
the division within the Palestinian people, with Hamas ruling Gaza and Fatah
running the West Bank. Until there is reconciliation among the Palestinians,
there will be no progress toward a peace accord with Israel.
At the same time, Israel must do more to demonstrate its willingness to make
necessary concessions for peace—first, by freezing settlement building. The
settlement enterprise is so extensive and widespread, if not halted immediately,
all hopes for a viable, contiguous Palestinian state will be lost.
Levi Weiman-Kelman (rabbi of Kehillat Kol HaNeshama in Jerusalem; a
founder of Rabbis for Human Rights): Both Israelis and Palestinians are
unable to stop thinking of themselves as victims. This creates a lack of mutual
empathy and the inability to recognize the humanity of the other side.
Hannah Yakin: Hatred of the other is cultivated on both sides. In
Israel, at least, hatred of Palestinians is not taught in schools, although it
is often expressed in homes. In contrast, the official Palestinian media is full
of anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli propaganda, and the textbooks replete with slander
Matthew Sperber (founding member of Kibbutz Yahel; chair of the Israel
Movement for Progressive Judaism’s National Board): The first impediment is
the large number of Palestinians who want Israel destroyed. Palestinian
television broadcast a sermon by Ibrahim Madi, imam of a Gaza mosque, who
stated: “God willing, this unjust state Israel will be erased.” The second is
our government’s inability to believe that the Palestinian leadership is capable
of concluding and upholding a peace agreement in the name of the Palestinian
nation. Both impediments are surmountable, but I doubt peace will come in my
Michael Livni: The biggest obstacle is the refusal of the Arab
leadership—not only politicians but the theological and intellectual-cultural
elites—to accept a Jewish state as part of the Middle East. For example,
although there is official “peace” between Israel and Egypt as well as between
Israel and Jordan, any Jordanian or Egyptian scientist, artist, journalist, or
academic suspected of maintaining professional ties with Israeli colleagues is
expelled from his/her national professional organization.
Evan Cohen (cantor and director of overseas relations and fundraising for
Kehilat Har-El; instructor for HUC-JIR’s Israeli rabbinic program): The
biggest impediment is each side’s refusal to recognize the narrative of the
other. The Palestinians refuse to acknowledge the Jewish people’s ancient
historical, religious, and emotional connection to the land—such as to the West
Bank city of Hebron, where, according to Genesis (23), Abraham purchases
property for Sarah’s burial. And many Jewish Israelis refuse to accept that the
Palestinians belong to an indigenous people whose roots in the land date back
centuries, if not longer—and that they, too, have equal right to
Hanan Cidor: For Israelis the biggest impediment is apathy. The
majority of Israelis who would give up land for peace have become defeatist
because every previous peace effort resulted in disappointment and frustration.
Sadly, that leaves us in the hands of a highly organized and increasingly
influential minority—extremists who will never agree to give up the West Bank.
For Palestinians, the biggest impediment is defining their national identity
in terms of opposition to Israel as a Jewish state. It is very hard to make
peace with people who call you “Satan,” refuse to acknowledge your country’s
right to exist, and blame you for everything bad that has ever happened to them.
Only when Palestinian identity turns toward building up their own society and
nation will they recognize that compromise is in their best interest.
Miri Gold: Deep down, neither side really wants peace. Of course,
everyone will say, “I want peace,” just like everyone wants to be thin and in
good shape, but that doesn’t mean that people will take the positive steps to
achieve their goals. Both sides know that a compromise must be reached, but any
such deal would unleash a revolt by fundamentalists and radicals on both sides.
Both Israelis and Palestinians would rather keep the conflict going than risk a
bloody civil war.
What are the best hopes for peace? Is outside intervention
Levi Weiman-Kelman: I cannot believe that God brought the Jewish
people back to the land of Israel after 2,000 years of exile so that we would
live in a state of perpetual warfare with our neighbors. I believe God has
called on the Jewish and Palestinian peoples to model how to overcome strife and
somehow share a common homeland.
Miri Gold: While the politicians seem uninterested, some Israeli
grassroots organizations such as Rabbis for Human Rights are working to change
attitudes, for example, by organizing groups of Israeli Jews to help
Palestinians harvest their olives. While picking olives in a West Bank village,
I’ve witnessed the amazement of Arab families when they see Jews volunteering to
help them with no expectation of payment. Encountering “the other” without fear
brings us closer to peace.
Michael Marmur: I am too discouraged to have a particular peace recipe
in mind. But for starters: 1) Jewish and Arab kids need to encounter each other
in high school through twinning programs rather than out-and-out integration; 2)
We must refuse to give in to the settler movement’s messianic lunacy; and 3) We
need to work on local models of economic cooperation which make coexistence a
win-win for all.
Having said all that, I believe that our best hope is Barack Obama, because a
mixture of pressure and support may help unlock the energies necessary to do the
hard work of peacemaking.
Nancy Reich: We need continuous, step-by-step negotiations backed by
moderate Arab rulers willing to take the heat from the rest of the Arab world
for negotiating with Israel.
Evan Cohen: The key to peace is through encounters with the “other,”
when we can see the image of God in each other. My congregation, Kehilat Har-El,
participates in a joint folklore program for the Nisue (Jewish) and the Ein
Rafa-Nequba (Arab) elementary schools in which the children learn about their
home cultures in separate classes and also experience joint activities, such as
engaging with parents and grandparents who come to class as folk
artists/tradition bearers and visiting a local mosque and synagogue. At the
mosque, an imam teaches the Jewish children about Islam and the Muslim children
present their family heirlooms. At our synagogue, Rabbi Ada Zavidov teaches the
Arab children about Judaism, the Jewish children present their family ritual
heirlooms, and all of the children go up to the bimah to see the section
in the Torah scroll where Isaac and Ishmael meet to bury their father and make
peace. During their last visit to Har-El, it turned out this was the weekly
Torah portion, so perhaps someone was smiling from above!
Tamara Schagas (a first-year student at HUC-JIR’s Israeli rabbinical
program; national coordinator of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism’s
Young Adult Forum): Israel and the Palestinians will make peace only when
both sides decide that the time for war has passed and they are ready to
Paula Edelstein: A peace settlement requires U.S. pressure handled
with patience, wisdom, and understanding. If pressure is applied without regard
for the Middle East mentality, which looks upon concessions as signs of
weakness, it could cause a right-wing backlash in Israel that would stop the
government from taking the necessary steps toward peace.
Hanan Cidor: The only outside mediator Israelis would trust not to
threaten their security is the U.S., which is also the nation with enough
leverage to “push” Israel to make the concessions the deal would require. As the
Palestinians have to be convinced that America is acting as an honest broker, I
agree with President Obama’s attempts to reach out to the Palestinians and the
Michael Marmur: Some Israeli Jews dream of a Middle East in which the
Crescent is dwarfed by the Star of David, and some Palestinians dream of the
Jews going back to wherever they came from. Both are illusions. Only with
consistent pressure from the U.S. and other powers will we be able to get on
with the complicated, painful, and real business of building a better future.
Israel Religious Action Center: Defender of
The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the Reform Movement’s
public and legal advocacy arm in Israel, uses litigation, legislation, public
policy, and advocacy to advance pluralism in Israeli society and defend the
freedoms of conscience, faith, and religion. Here are some examples in the arena
of Israeli-Arab relations:
Following a March 2008 terrorist attack at Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva
in Jerusalem, many prominent, state-funded rabbis issued public statements and
distributed written material calling on the Israeli public not to employ, rent
property to, or otherwise serve Israeli-Arabs, whom they deemed “enemies of the
Jewish people”; they also urged Jews to fight Israeli-Arabs “at all
costs.” In early 2009, IRAC filed three petitions to open criminal
investigations of these rabbis and to determine the source of racist posters and
pamphlets distributed around Jerusalem. As a result, the Attorney General
indicted twenty-nine rabbis in official governmental posts who encouraged racist
incitement against the Israeli-Arab community.
In January 2009 IRAC filed a petition requesting the paving of
roads leading from main highways to schools in Bedouin villages unrecognized by
the Israeli government. Unsafe conditions had already resulted in the deaths of
four children. That October, the state accepted responsibility for building safe
roads in the area, allocating NIS 80 million for construction and creating a
plan (now being implemented) to pave them.
In January 2008 the Israel Ministry of Agriculture proposed a
grazing bill which would provide Jewish shepherds with more favored land and
water use treatment than local Arab and Bedouin shepherds in Israel’s southern
Negev region. In response, IRAC wrote the first-ever comprehensive report on
grazing land rights in Israel and argued before the Minister’s Committee that
the proposed bill, violating principles of equality, needed major modifications.
The Committee agreed and has asked Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture to submit a
new bill that will provide more equitable grazing land rights for the
The Ministry of Agriculture also considered Bedouin shepherding
“seasonal agriculture,” and therefore charged Bedouin water use at a much higher
rate. IRAC filed a 2008 petition and won a precedent-setting case, securing for
Bedouin shepherds lower water bills at the year-round agricultural
In 2006 IRAC filed a petition on behalf of the Druze and
Circassian communities living in Northern Israel who were receiving
significantly less welfare funding than the corresponding Jewish communities. In
response, the State of Israel instituted a four-year plan to narrow the gap, not
only in welfare funding, but also in housing and day care support.
On June 12, 2007, IRAC, in partnership with Physicians for
Human Rights, petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of Israeli-Arab and Bedouin
women who were denied Social Security payments for hospital maternity expenses
because their husbands lacked Israeli ID cards. Unlike other citizens covered by
Israel’s healthcare plan, these women—many of them poor—had to pay their
hospital fees outright. On September 22, 2009, Israeli Supreme Court Judge Hanan
Meltzer ruled that this Social Security practice was discriminatory and ordered
the agency to submit its arguments to the Supreme Court within 90 days. The
state responded by saying it found no discrimination against Bedouin and
Israeli-Arab women; IRAC will return to court in June 2010 for another hearing.
*Rabbi David Forman passed away on May 3, 2010,
shortly after these interviews were completed. David was an inspiration to tens
of thousands of young people who went on NFTY Israel programs. His commitment to
the State of Israel knew no bounds: He pursued justice regardless of
controversy, and the impact of his work will be felt for many years to come. May
his memory be a blessing.