Solidarity March held in support of the Ariel detainee

For links to additional items about the brutal attack and Honenu’s representation of the heroic Ariel detainee, please click here.

Friday, July 1, 2022, 13:05 Today (Friday) hundreds of people, among them members of Knesset and other public figures, participated in a solidarity march in support of the Ariel detainee who saved the lives of a group of children last week. Despite their initial refusal, the event was authorized by the IDF. The participants marched from the Ariel Police Station to the site of the attack, following the path that the group of children had taken with the Ariel detainee before they were brutally attacked by a mob of rioting Arabs. Among the participants were MK Michal Woldiger; former MK Oren Hazan; Rabbi David Dudkevitz, the rabbi of Yitzhar; Rabbi Elishema Cohen, the head of Yeshivat Homesh; and Shomron Regional Council Head Yossi Degan.

Shomron Regional Council Head Yossi Degan emphasized the gravity of the situation: “We came here because we are furious and we are angry. We are not willing to be silent over this injustice. This is not personal persecution of this dear resident. This is personal persecution of the half a million residents of Yehuda and Shomron and of every one of us. This man is in a dungeon now, in a cell, because he defended the lives of approximately 20 children.

“If someone thinks that he will defeat us, the Shomron residents – we will never be defeated. We will hike here, we will drive here, and we will build here. And yes, when despicable terrorists come, we will defend our lives. You will not break us. I say here to the Jewish Department of the GSS, ‘Take your hands off of this citizen. Deal with the terrorists, not with our brothers. This is an incomprehensible injustice. When someone does something unacceptable, also in a situation of self-defense, the Shomron Police should handle it here. How is the GSS connected to this incident? How are you connected to this incident?’

“I would like to clearly say, we came here, and there are hundreds of thousands of people behind us. We will not abandon him [the heroic Ariel detainee], we will not abandon his family, and we will not forget about this disgusting and ugly story. We will be with him in court, we will be with him wherever he needs us, until he returns home, because he is a Jewish hero who saved the lives of 20 children,” assured Degan in conclusion.

Rabbi David Dudkevitz, the rabbi of Yitzhar, said that at times, Jews get confused about who their friends are and who their enemies are: “The confusion about mutual assistance is a national life-threatening danger, no less than that. It is a personal life-threatening danger for the people who are sometimes trampled in a humiliating, dangerous, and infuriating manner [that affects] the national identity and the mutual assistance to which all of Israel are bound. It is a national danger because if there is no mutual assistance, then how will we stand up to the enemies at the gate?”

Rabbi Elishema Cohen, the head of Yeshivat Homesh also spoke during the solidarity march: “We would like to leave this site with the color returned to our cheeks, with renewed Jewish pride. A Jew may go anywhere in this country. There is no limit.”

MK Michal Woldiger (Religious Zionism) said that she cannot understand the detention: “Not for this was the GSS founded. The GSS is meant to fight terrorists, to ensure that all of us can go about safely.

“It cannot be that a 44-year-old man who protected children under attack is held deep in the GSS dungeons, tortured, and not allowed to see an attorney. He is simply in great distress. I am involved in the field of mental health. It is unbelievable that a man is there [GSS facility], being tortured, and they are not giving him the most basic things that terrorists are given.”

The event was held under the banner, “We won’t be stopped – We will continue hiking in the Land of Israel,” and participants called for the release of the “Jewish hero who saved the children.” Announcements for the solidarity march read: “Last week, a matter of meters from Ariel’s fence, dozens of Arabs attacked a group of children and attempted to murder them. The goal of the rioting Arabs was to intimidate us, the Jews, and drive us away from open areas and into fenced-off communities. Instead of detaining the rioters, the GSS decided to detain the heroic Jew who saved the lives of the children. We will march with confidence, with courage, and with our heads held high. We will call for the release of the hero who saved the children’s lives.”

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