Ariel and I made the paper! Eliyahu Kamisher of the Jerusalem Post writes:
Pickaxes swinging, some 20 rabbinical students from the United States chipped away at the dry dirt surrounding the mosque in Umm al-Hiran, an unrecognized Beduin village slated for demolition by the Israeli government.
The students came on Friday to celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Jewish “New Year of the Trees,” planting around 20 olive trees and protesting against housing demolitions in the community.
While I'm on the record, the demolition of this Bedouin village is stupid and wrong and has already caused the wrongful killing of a resident and the accidental death of a police officer, and there’s tons of room out there, and the new Jewish village being built for no particular reason should be built on one of the dozens of empty hills surrounding Umm al-Hiran.
I’m quoted much more eloquently in the article:
“Trees are a symbol of your connection to a place,” said Jon Mitchell, 29, during a break from digging. “When we put trees down somewhere, we’ve made a statement about our relationship to that land. The longer the tree grows, the more durable that relationship becomes.”