Monday, July 10, 2023

Jerusalem's policy for securing summer camps tells you a great deal about the tragic and heroic everyday life in Israel

The Municipality of Jerusalem has policies in place for anyone who wants to open up or run a summer camp in the city.

It describes the qualifications needed for camp administrators, the permits necessary, the counselor to camper ratios, insurance requirements, first aid - the normal things you would expect from any city that licenses camps.

But in Jerusalem, they have to worry about an additional issue: the chance that a terrorist might decide to slaughter the campers.

The site says:

Security Instructions for a Summer Camp Operator
As you prepare for the opening of the summer camp, we request that you are careful to fulfil the security and safety instructions laid out in the circular by the Ministry of Education’s Director General (attached to the summer camp file).


In every summer camp held at one of the Authority's facilities, with one to 100 children, there is no obligation to have an armed guard. From 100 children onwards, an armed guard is required, according to the circular of the Director General of summer camps.

From 300 children up to 750, two armed security guards are required.

For 750 or more children - three armed security guards are required. (The decision will be made in accordance with the instructions of the security officer).

A camp for up to 100 children without a security guard must have a security officer and must lock the gate and the building in which the camp takes place.

You should use security companies working with the Jerusalem Municipality which employ guards trained and qualified specifically for educational institutions.

During the operation of the summer camp, representatives from the Emergency and Security Division will visit to ensure that procedures are implemented in accordance with the Director General's circular. Likewise, inspectors from the Ministry of Education and the municipal camp headquarters will visit.

For all events concerning security/safety, the regional security officer must be immediately updated, while also alerting the security and rescue forces, the Israeli Police, the Fire Department and Ambulance Service (Magen David Adom). Every summer camp director can refer to their regional security officer. The camp director must ensure that the emergency telephone numbers are displayed in an accessible place that is visible to all staff in the summer camp.

Conditions for Running a Summer Camp:

The attendance of the camp operator and the camp coordinator at the relevant security courses - compulsory. A camp coordinator who has not participated in the security briefing will not be allowed to run a summer camp.

Every summer camp activity that takes place at night requires armed security.

Each camp operator/coordinator is required to perform at least one exercise during the camp - up to one week from the camp's operation: going down to the bomb shelter/protected space, evacuation of the institution due to fire or a suspicious object.

Every trip to the pool from the camp requires the approval of the tour coordination office.

Every trip or activity outside the campus of the institution requires coordination with the regional security officer regarding security arrangements and approval from the tour coordination office, Tel: 02-6232811. 
Situation Room: The request must be submitted at least two weeks in advance and approved by the police station in the vicinity of the trip the day before departure.

Activity in the Old City and the Jewish Quarter

Movement to and from the above is only on the routes defined in the Director General of the Ministry of Education's circular and/or updated instructions by the police.

Prior to each visit, you must call the "David" regional police station for instructions, Tel: 02-6226222.

Camps conducted in neighborhoods bordering East Jerusalem will receive specific instructions from the regional security officers.

Every trip to East Jerusalem requires security coordination with the tour coordination office.
In order for kids to have a normal fun camp experience, the camp operators must spend a great deal of time and effort on security. 

This is, for Israel, normal. Everyone is fully aware that they are surrounded by many people who want to see them dead. And everyone does everything possible to raise kids in a normal environment despite how unnatural this is.

It is hard for those in the West to wrap their heads around this. 

And all of these policies to protect kids in summer camp are done quietly, behind the scenes. Israelis aren't screaming to the world about how they are the victims, about how these policies impact their day to day lives, except with dark humor amongst themselves.

Security policies don't only impact Palestinians - they affect Israelis, day after day, as well. But saving lives is saving lives, and nothing is more important than that. And despite what "human rights" groups claim, the inconvenience on either side is not more important than the lives that are saved. 

These policies show that Israel isn't just fighting for survival. It is fighting for normalcy. The policies don't say that part of Jerusalem are off-limits to campers or that overnight trips aren't allowed; they just say that if such a trip is planned that the proper authorities be informed so it can take place safely, and the kids don't have to worry about a Molotov cocktail exploding as they are walking around. 

Israel cannot change the fact that it is surrounded by millions who would cheer a terror attack targeting these kids, but it can do everything necessary that the kids don't have to worry about it. 

While it is profoundly sad that these policies must be created and enforced, the policies are also  heroic. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!