Perhaps he has visions of the cemetery of his "unrecognized" Bedouin village inthe middle of a JNF forest offering silent testimony that his tribe lived here for generations. The families of Al Arakib are but some of the 40,000 Israeli Bedouinin danger of being forced from their homes if government plans are approved bythe Knesset.
Celebrating the seder in the security of our homes, we commit ourselvesthis night to guaranteeing a home for all. We must make sure that SheikhSayakh has a place at our table, and must work in the coming year so thatour national home rests on a foundation of justice.
An unemployed single parent mom, Ruti decided to pursue adegree in archaeological preservation, so that she could become self supporting.RHR helped her through bureaucracy attempting to make her choose betweenwelfare payments and a tuition stipend. However, as she neared graduation, a
new vindictive case worker said "Here, people don’t go to school." She lost her
welfare payments because she didn't accept jobs that would not have allowed her to continue her studies. Ruti thankfully now has her degree, is employed, and nolonger needs welfare, but is fighting with us to get retroactive payments to pay off debts she incurred after welfare was cut off, and to get a legal precedent so thatothers won't face the same dilemma.
We remember this night how the Egyptians tried to break our ancestors bydemanding they begin to gather their own straw, while maintaining the samequota of bricks. We must not break those trying to better their lives throughcruel and impossible demands. Ruti and those like her must have their place sitting among those supporting themselves with dignity.
Nasser was a young boy in 1986 when he, his family and allthe Palestinian villagers of Susya in the South Hebron Hills were expelledbecause their home was declared an archaeological site. They moved intonearby caves on their lands, only to see the army demolish their caves and try toexpel them again. Israel's High Court returned them, but they were told thateverything built to replace their caves was illegal. Nasser is known and hated bythe area's settlers for his work documenting human rights abuses, helping RHR toprevent and even roll back land takeovers. In response the settlers and"
" have gone to court demanding that the army demolish almost thevillage. Nasser told us, "When they came to demolish our homes in 1986, therewas nothing we could do because we were all alone. We are again in greatdanger, but we are not alone any more."
As God has stood with our ancestors, we resolve this night to stand withNasser.
- The stone rejected by the builders hasbecome the cornerstone. "As we joyfully recite these words of Hallel as a part of our seder, we pledge to build a homeland with aplace for all those who are today rejected, ignored or oppressed.