Monday, December 14, 2009

Don't Forget To Help Those Who Help Others

A request and proposal

Shalom and greetings.

We turn to you with this request and proposal to partner with us in a great mitzvah that we are privileged to deal and struggle with on a day-to-day basis.

In a nutshell, our organization – Honenu – provides a backbone of legal and financial support for those whose great self-sacrifice and dedication to the cause of the Nation of Israel in the Land of Israel have landed them in legal trouble with the authorities.

Honenu comes to the aid of many soldiers and citizens who find themselves in deep financial and legal difficulties, as a direct result of their often heroic actions on behalf of Eretz Yisrael.

These people gave of themselves totally for the benefit of the entire nation - yet end up having to pay a very dear personal price.

Examples include people who are prosecuted for firing in self-defense, Jewish prisoners incarcerated for years beyond proportion in comparison to the sentences Arab terrorists receive, demonstrators against the Gush Katif expulsion, those arrested while attempting to defend outposts from being destroyed, and the like. They often find themselves barred from their homes, their weapons confiscated, and/or in prison - and all while facing tremendous legal expenses.

Throughout the Land, and especially in Judea and Samaria, a one-sided war has been going on routinely for years: terrorists against Jewish residents. Many Jewish soldiers and citizens find themselves in perpetual mortal danger – yet precisely when they manage to fight back and save themselves or others, they face a new danger: arrests, confiscation of weapons, court cases, heavy financial expenses, and the danger of jail time.

In addition, as you likely know, over the past months – and likely over the coming months as well – the government, under heavy-handed pressure from Obama, has been expelling Jewish families from their homes in "outposts" – Jewish start-up neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria. These expulsions and attempted expulsions exact a heavy price, in terms of the need to help those residents who don't quite get up politely and leave when told to.

Honenu also stands by and aids those who come to support these settlement pioneers in their/our just struggle.

Over the past eight years, Honenu has helped some 15,000 Jews who have faced these difficult situations. Our budget now stands at more than 100,000 shekels – over $27,000 – each month!

The money that we spend on this holy mission stems only from contributions. It is used in the following ways:

1. A telephone hot-line manned 24 hours a day, receiving reports and dispatching legal advice and counsel in real-time. This "first aid" is our main expense and our main investment, as it is the most crucial stage in determining the future of the person being accused. If we succeed in this stage, we can often avoid a trial or prison sentence altogether.

2. Alongside the above, our department for "first aid to arrestees" includes communications networks, a car, staff members who stand on alert night and day – and of course lawyers who provide counsel and representation. At present, Honenu accompanies over 1,000 such arrestees a year.

3. Our "critical cases" department helps those who have been indicted and are actually on trial.

4. We administer public, legal and economic aid to the families of those who are already in prison. We act as a lobby in the Knesset and government to promote the interests of these prisoners, many of whom receive much worse conditions than other prisoners. Our main goal is to secure their release, especially as they watch Arab terrorists leave prison by the hundreds, while they are forced to remain.

5. We provide help and aid to soldiers facing trial because of their anti-terror activities - soldiers who would otherwise have to defend themselves alone, without support, against the army and legal establishments.

We work with some of the country's best lawyers, but we pay them according to rates that we set – such that these lawyers essentially work for us on a semi-volunteer basis. Despite this, the costs are tremendous…

Honenu is recognized as a public charity association for tax-deduction purposes in both Israel and the United States. You can donate to us in either of the following ways:

P.O. Box 150296
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Tel: 718-441-7300
Fax: 718-849-8423
Your contribution is only US tax-deductible by sending your donation to the address above (Tax ID: 30-0198003)
Contributions are recognized by the IRS

2. By credit card over the phone, 24 hours a day (or leave a message). Israel phone number 02-960-5558. From abroad, call 972-2-960-5558.

You can watch us in action on a 10-minute video clip; it is very recommended, English or Hebrew. True, it is five years old, but the general situation has not changed and is just as relevant as ever. Just click here but please refer back to this e-mail for donation information.

Now, more than ever, your support for this critical cause is so very important. Thank you!


Shmuel Zangy Meidad* and the Honenu team

*no relation, but I'm proud to share the name, Batya

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