Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Annexation was declared at the Bar University on January 24th 2017

I know I was there. I registered and surprisingly the organisers did not check me out before hand!

I had read an announcement  in the Jerusalem Post and decided to go along and see exactly what a conference on “SIUM HA KIBUSH” or End of Occupation, actually meant.

At 10 am I entered the lobby of the Bar Ilan University. There I found several hundred high spirited, well dressed participants piling into the Auditorium.It seems that I, an elderly lady did not stand out, although there were not many women to be seen. I looked around for a familiar face. Peace Movement associates maybe? There was not one.There were only few American accents which surprised me and it was prior to the large French emigration, so it was more of an old-timers affair. In fact the average age was middle to old!

There’s an expression in hebrew “the hat is burning on the head of the thief” I felt that any person looking at me would see it!

We were invited to partake of a vast buffet and mingle, prior to the opening of the event scheduled for 10.30 am. Having worked in public relations for Israel for many years I thought for sure I would see someone I knew personally. I did not.There were a few faces of settlers who were familiar from the TV.  Mainly the extremists.

The line up of the speakers I would say, were the “creme de la creme” of the right wing establishment. They were prominent Scientists,  Historians, Economists Religious leaders and Rabbis plus Rami Levi the entrepreneurial supermarket expert.

Professor Arieh Eldar opened the proceedings followed by Tsippy Hotovely, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, who just happened to be wearing a bright red dress one could not miss her! She was followed by the slick writer Michael Oren and other Likud luminaries. After a short break Nir Barkat the Mayor of Jerusalem addressed the already cheering crowd. Caroline Glick one of the most visible journalists in the Jerusalem Post and always a devout supporter of Bibi was next.Following on, a panel which included  Dr Moti Kedar and  Attorney Simcha Rotman who spoke of  the dangers of the conceivable application of international law, should we go ahead.

I had looked around at people near to me and for a moment was pleased to see a young woman  obviously from the FSU, who was feverishly writing in her notebook. I hoped that maybe she was more open minded about the subject, having lived under oppression herself. Within seconds I could sense that she too was loving every moment.

At one point discussion ceased and the PM made a hitherto unannounced short appearance. He threw out a few words of encouragement to the star struck audience and was followed by Naftali Bennett who  was so excited, that he almost pirouetted across the empty stage .

So a good time was had by all, the standing ovation at the finale, indicated the absolute success of the event.

Now with a blessing from Trump because of whom we have allowed Corona virus bearers in to Israel, unless a miracle happens this dreadful decision will bear fruit.

I hope that reason will prevail and that I will be proven wrong.

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.
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