“Honenu” and my son by Shalom Pollack

I learned of “Honenu” in 2005 when my teenage son joined thousands of idealist youth in the protests against the mass expulsion of Jews from their homes in Gush Katif and Shomron. .

The government with its tools suspended (unofficially) the rule of law to guarantee that the “Disengagement” went smoothly. The media, prosecution, courts – the entire bureaucracy was mobilized to get the dirty job done.

Still wonderful youth like my son “went south” to stand with the Jewish families facing expulsion from their homes.

The police used every illegal trick and brutality to discourage and thwart this exhibition of Jewish pride and determination. Sweeping brutal arrests were made without legal basis. It didn’t matter. The cops knew they had the backs and blessings of their bosses – all the way to the very top.

My son constantly witnessed brutality.

They were herded into a large outdoor holding area under the summer sun, without knowledge of what their crime was or when they would be released.

He remembers a lone man carrying a briefcase approaching the compound and having a talk with the commander.

After he left, the entire group was released with no explanation as to why they were arrested in the first place.

It turns out that it was a lawyer from “Honenu” that rescued my son and the many other abused youth.

Honenu provides legal aid to Jews who find themselves alone against the kind of system that abused my son.

It is clear that the secular – Left perceives the belief/ idealism community as a deeper threat than rockets coming over from Gaza. One can build walls and shelters and hide until the terrorists decide it’s enough.

Rockets may kill some Jews but these strange youths represent something much more dangerous to them – a challenge to their moral legitimacy, a challenge that must be quashed in its infancy.

A group of yeshiva students had just left the Temple Mount after prayers on Jerusalem Day, when they were accosted by knife and club wielding Arabs lying in ambush in the narrow lanes of the old city. Suffering head and other injuries the Jewish students were relieved when the Israeli police arrived.

Alas, as happens all too often, the police roughly arrested the Jewish youth. What were these strange looking “right wing fanatics” doing in “Arab” territory? Probably looking for trouble again. No Arabs were arrested

The police refused to share the security camera footage with the court when challenged by “Honenu”attorney David Halevi .
After a harrowing experience, first at the hands of an Arab mob and then by the Israeli police, they were finally released, bruised in body and spirit.

What must these patriotic, God-fearing youth think of their own police and leaders?

A few days later it happened yet again.  In the Jewish pioneering village of Yitzhar in the Shomron, police barged in on sleeping youth in the middle of the night roughing them out of bed. They were accused of torching Arab vehicles.

Five youth, most under the age of eighteen were thrown in jail and then brought before a judge

A “Honenu “attorney was rushed to the scene and the “nationalist youth” were released after the police could produce no evidence against the “usual suspects”.

This happens all the time.

The youth are bewildered. Who is the enemy? Who is supposed to protect them, Jewish idealists – too idealist for an establishment who would rather deal with ” normal” problems like drugs, gang fights, teen rape and drunken driving than strange youth? These youth – lovers of their land and their people are weird – a real danger to the system and – most importantly to their claim to leadership

As Adi Kedar, Honenu attorney explained: “Apparently even with minors – girls, boys – they often try to make cases by bringing them to harsh interrogation facilities if they think it will break them. Conditions range from tying them to chairs, making the room exceedingly hot or cold, blinding lights; in some cases, torture.

Regardless of age or sex illegal and brutal methods are used to break these youth and “mainstream” them. Their devotion to our land is intolerable to those who have forgotten what that means.

They are never totally alone as long as “Honenu” is here to defend them as I learned from my son in 2005.

They are writing a glorious chapter of our history whether they know it or not.