Orit Strok

Orit Malka Strok (52) has been living in Chevron for 30 years, is a mother of 11, and a grandmother to 12 grandchildren. She is a human-rights activist and serves as the chairwoman of the Human Rights Organization of Judea and Samaria.

Born to a family of masorati (traditionally Jewish) lawyers in Jerusalem, Orit studied at the Hebrew University Secondary School. In eleventh grade, she decided to become religious and began studying at Gesher and Machon Meir. Orit became a close friend of the Drukman family who accepted her into their home like a member of the family; Rabbi Drukman set her up with one of his students from Or Etzion, Rabbi Avraham Strok who today is a Rabbi in Machon Meir.

The Strok family moved to Yamit where they lived until the withdrawal from Sinai; upon leaving Yamit, they became one of the first families to reestablish the Jewish presence in Chevron. Chevron is where Orit began her public service and today she is one of the leading figures in Chevron serving as the head of the Political-Legal Department of the Jewish Community of Chevron.

Strok founded the Human Rights Organization of Judea and Samaria that she still runs today. Via her organization, she has led the struggle against police brutality; she regularly submits official complaints to the Police Investigation Unit as well as leading civil cases against police officers who violently attacked right-wing protesters. She has likewise published reports and studies that statistically prove that law enforcement agencies systematically discriminate against the settlers of Judea and Samaria. She exposed the belligerent, hostile behavior of the Israeli law enforcement agencies against those who protested the disengagement; afterward, she initiated and promoted the law that pardoned all those arrested for opposing the disengagement. Strok led legal, public, and parliamentary battles against restraining orders, weapons confiscations, damage to children during expulsions, property damage during expulsions, violation of prisoners’ rights, and violation of the right to protest.

In the previous Knesset term, Orit ran the Land of Israel Lobby. The lobby, numbering 42 members of Knesset, fought (successfully) against the extension of the settlement freeze, against various left-wing political initiatives, promoted the declaration of Ma’arat HaMachpela (The Tomb of the Patriarchs) and Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb) as National Heritage Sites, past the “Boycott Law” (a law that places financial accountability on groups or individuals who call for boycotting groups or regional areas in Israel), led the campaign for changing the government’s stance on young settlements (“outposts”), and promoted the establishment of the Levi Committee (a professional committee that investigated the legal status of the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria).


*translated by Zechariah Reich