West Bank construction 311.
(photo credit: Miri Tzachi)
“I’m calling about the freeze,” said Chagai Friedlander, 15, from Ma’aleh Adumim.
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He spoke into the telephone on Sunday evening, as he dialed his way through a list of Likud Party members. He had hoped to find a party member named Aryeh, but instead a woman answered the phone.
“Did you say you were calling about a vote?” she asked.
“No, the freeze,” he said as he leaned further over the desk, in a back room in the Jerusalem office of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria.
“What freeze?” asked the woman, who was still confused.
“It’s a Likud Party matter,” he finally said.
“Oh,” she said, “Aryeh will be home later.”
Friedlander was one of 10 teenagers who on Sunday evening tried to sway Likud Party members, including members of the Likud Central Committee, to sign a letter of support for the 10 Likud MKs and four Likud ministers, who have vocally opposed the 90-day settlement freeze
that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is seeking to impose in return for various US guarantees.
Instead of doing their homework or playing on the computer, they hoped to influence international diplomacy, one phone call at a time.
Elchanan Hayon, 17, of Modi’in, said he had missed the anti-freeze rally
held earlier in the day, in front of the Prime Minister’s Office,
because there was no space left on the buses.
So he was glad, he said, that he had a different opportunity to do something “that matters.”
As of Sunday night, 450 central committee members had agreed to sign the
letter, according to Shevach Stern of the Likud National Form, which
initiated the document.
“We wanted the MKs to know to that we support them and we will stand behind them in the next elections,” Stern said. With each call, the teens checked names off printed lists of Likud Party members.
They made sure to return to numbers where no one had answered. In some
cases, they had called so many times that they started to recognize the
different ring tones.
“This is the Lady Gaga song I was telling you about,” said Racheli Bron, 16, of Beit Shemesh.
“Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga,” teased one of the teens, trying to break her concentration.
But Racheli kept a straight face until she hung up. Again, the party member was not available.
She was so good at looking serious, that with each call it was hard to tell if she had succeeded or failed.
“We wanted to ask if you can support the parliamentarians who have
endangered their standing by speaking out against the freeze,” she said
into the phone, after she dialed the next number on the list.
She listened for a few moments. Only after she hung up, did she announced, “One more against the freeze.”