Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Fighting Antisemitism: Putting Down Roots in the Land of Israel

Fighting the dark isn’t effective. Increasing the light is. Even small lights make a difference.

Below is a practical proposal for fighting antisemitism by strengthening our connection to our ancestral homeland through direct support of Israeli farmers like Omri.

Once, those who supported Zion, collaborated to finance the redemption of the land of Israel. Now your help is needed to maintain and protect the land. By helping to sustain and develop Israeli agriculture, you are contributing to the resilience and security of the Jewish people in Israel and worldwide. The model this project proposes is personal and direct, where you can see, touch, and even taste the impact of your contribution.   

This is relevant for Jews and for our Christian friends – when Jewish roots in Israel are weakened and even denied, both Jewish and Christian identity, heritage, past and future are being denied.   

The oldest hate never went away, it was lurking under the surface waiting for an excuse, an opportunity to go public again.

The October 7th Hamas invasion triggered a terrifying outburst of Jew hate worldwide. Tellingly, it exploded on the streets of Europe and America before Israel’s response in Gaza, showing us that the public expression of virulent Jew hate was the result of hope – hope generated by seeing Israel on her knees and the realization that when Jews around the world don’t have a strong Israel to back them up, they are easy prey.

Most Jews believed that they would never hear in their lifetime calls for Jewish blood on the streets of civilized nations. That happened in the Holocaust. Sometimes it happens in the Middle East but in New York? London?

We assumed that Jews were safe in their respective homes and that Israel’s existence was a given fact. Now, following October 7th, we find ourselves facing an unprecedented fight for Jewish existence—the survival of the state of Israel and the safety of Jews worldwide.

It’s time to go back to basics: The Nation of Israel, the Land of Israel

To combat the hate, we need to strengthen ourselves. Let’s begin with the basics - rooting ourselves in the Land of Israel and finding a personal connection to the land that shaped our identity and nation. Rootless people are easy to bully but when faced with strength, bullies back down.

Jewish identity transcends religion. Despite being scattered across the globe, we are one Nation, rooted in our ancestral homeland—Israel. Our identity as a tribe, our culture, language, and history originated from this land. The bond between our people and this specific piece of land is unique. Whether we realize it or not, the Land of Israel and the Nation of Israel complete each other.

When disconnected from the land that shaped us as a nation, both the people and the land suffer. When Jews were exiled from ancient Israel, just as promised in the Bible, the land became fallow, waiting for our return: "I will make the land desolate, and your foes who dwell upon it will be desolate" (Leviticus 26:32).  

Disconnected from the land, Jews are incomplete, guests in someone else’s land – a minority that is easy for the hateful to target.

Israel needs to be maintained and protected, not because she is a safe haven for Jews to escape to, but because Israel is a source of strength and courage. The Jew haters hate Zion because they understand that Israel is the source of who we are. What we need to know is that our roots are deeper and stronger than any bully.

“Hatikva” and connecting to the land saved Omri’s family

A ship called “Hatikva” (hope in Hebrew) brought Omri’s grandfather Yair to Israel. It was 1948 and he was two years old. Tunisia was becoming dangerous for Jews, so his courageous mother decided that the only hope was to come to Israel. 

The Tunisian authorities as well as the British who, at that time, still held the Mandate for Palestine Israel were blocking Jewish immigration to Israel. So, his parents locked up their home as if they were simply going on vacation and walked away, never to return. Somehow they managed to reach France and from there, thanks to tourist visas, they reached Israel on “Hatikva”.

Although they were wealthy, staying in Tunisia could have cost them their lives – and living free in your ancestral homeland is priceless.

From merchants in Tunisia, they became farmers in Israel. Here they could put down roots and connect to the land. Hope literally saved their lives and gave them a future.

Fast forward to today.

Omri is now a fourth-generation farmer in the Jewish ancestral homeland. He manages the farm together with his father Moshe. Over the years the family adapted their crops, becoming more efficient and productive. Through hard work and love of the land, they did well.

Being a farmer is hard in normal times. For years farming has been overlooked for the more flashy high-tech sector, although agriculture is an issue of national security. The borders of Israel were defined by the physical presence of farmers, as Joesph Trumpeldor famously explained: "In the place where the Jewish plow will plow the last furrow, there our border will pass." And it’s not just the borders – farmers throughout Israel constantly battle to protect their land from agricultural terrorism designed to push them off the land.

After October 7th everything became even harder.

Although they’ve built their farm from empty land and managed it for four generations, Omri’s father, Moshe tells Omri to find another job, one where he’d be more appreciated, could work less hard, and earn more. Omri says he’ll never give up the family’s farm. Every tomato or cucumber they grow is like a precious jewel. Seeing vegetables grow, knowing they will nourish others, makes him happy.


Omri’s greenhouse is overflowing with tomatoes of different breeds, sweeter and brighter than I’ve seen anywhere else. When asked how is it that his plants produce so much and in such good condition he smiles and says: “I don’t know. I love them [the plants]. I sing to them and talk to them and try to give them everything they need. Why shouldn’t they give back as much as they can?”

Although Omri’s farm is not near the north or southern border, October 7 damaged his ability to manage his crops. The ramifications of the invasion and the subsequent war extend beyond the obvious.

When the invaders came, no one escaped their brutality. Foreign workers employed as field hands were also slaughtered, tortured, and taken hostage. Surviving workers were evacuated to other farms in safe locations, including Omri’s farm in Tzrufa (some 30 minutes from Haifa). They were brought to his farm with the clothes on their backs and their phones. Some didn’t have shoes. Omri described one of the men getting off the taxi that brought them to the farm, curling up into a fetal position and rocking back and forth. He bought them clothes and tried to make them comfortable, but their terror was so enormous that it was impossible to get through to them – and when they conveyed what had happened to them to Omri’s employees, they too became terrified and subsequently decided to leave their lucrative jobs and return home to their families in Thailand.

Omri needs some 18 people to manage his farm properly. He now has himself and 3 workers.

He had to plow under some of his crops because there weren’t enough hands to pick the produce.

Volunteers (including myself) come to help Omri when they can. One day of help is nowhere near enough but it’s better than not having the help. It is a race against time to pick his luscious tomatoes before they rot on the vine.

Omri greets every volunteer with joy and declares everything picked a victory. It is a victory when the carefully tended produce goes to the plates of the people of Israel. It is an even larger victory when good people step into the gap, willing to help and make this terrible time a little less difficult.

What can you do to help?

Redeeming the land wasn’t a one-time event. It’s a process and your participation is important to enable the land to be maintained and protected.

This is an invitation to connect to a specific piece of land, through a specific farmer - Omri.  Put down roots in Omri’s farm and make a tangible, measurable difference.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Volunteer in Israel on the farm – join Israelis volunteering to work for the day. There is work suitable for almost any age/physical condition. You can join volunteer groups via Leket Israel or HaShomer HaChadash.        

2. Financially contribute and facilitate the work being done on the farm – every contribution makes a difference! Leverage family, friends, and community to collaborate and create an even larger impact.

·     3. Have plants planted in your name or to honor someone who matters to you:
One tomato plant costs between $0.40 – 0.70 USD (depending on the breed).
One line of plants in the greenhouse consists of 100 plants.
One greenhouse holds approximately 36,000 plants.

·     4.  Help Omri build a new greenhouse.
The greenhouse will cover 5 dunams (a little over 1 acre).
It will have 14 “sleeves” (sections), each one costs $6650 USD. Can you help build that? Or even part of it?

If you would like to partner with Omri contact me at:

When you contribute to Omri’s work, you will be able to say with pride: “I built that.”
I made it possible to grow those tomatoes. To build a new greenhouse.
I helped put food on the tables of the people of Israel.
I helped maintain this specific piece of land. My roots are here. 

And when you come to visit, you will be able to see, touch, and taste your accomplishment. 

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!




EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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