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תמונות קרדיט שלומי שלמוני
בברכת שבוע טוב
In the panel that was held at the Oz veGaon Nature Preserve, MKs and other public figures raised the call to apply Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Youths from throughout the country took part in the event and declared:
The public calls on the leadership to lead the vision of sovereignty.
This past Friday a sovereignty panel was held at the Oz veGaon Nature Reserve on the hill near the Gush Etzion Junction, conducted and initiated by Women in Green, the movement that stands behind the establishment of the reserve, which was established to commemorate the three youths who were abducted and murdered approximately one year ago. They are also behind the increasing call among various Israeli sectors for Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
The panel, which was moderated by Orli Goldklang, deputy editor of the Makor Rishon newspaper, included MK Bezalel Smotrich, MK Miki Zohar, returning MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli, principal of the Kfar Etzion Field School Yaron Rosenthal, one of the heads of My Israel Sarah Haetzni, deputy head of the Gush Etzion Council Moshe Savil, one of the founders of Jewish Head and economic entrepreneur Yisrael Zaira and head of the Youth Council of Gush Etzion Liat Kirshenbaum.
For pictures and video of the event please click on the link to the Hebrew Arutz 7 Article and scroll down: http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/307482
The event began with words by Yehudit Katsover, one of the heads of Women in Green, who thanked the hundreds of people who came to the conference from local communities as well as from communities throughout the Land. She then defined sovereignty as a deep "root treatment", which represents a solution to Arab terror in addition to being a return to basic values of Zionism and Judaism. Katsover noted that in this conference, there was a significant change from the previous conference because it was primarily aimed toward the young generation, the next generation, among which, more and more see sovereignty as a necessary step.
Nadia Matar, Katsover's partner in leading Women in Green, told of a group of youths who has joined the sovereignty campaign these days. The group calls itself "Eretz" (a Hebrew acronym for Youth Sovereignty Organization) and seeks to raise the level from one for holding onto land to the level of a vision of sovereignty representing an essential and comprehensive response in the continuing battle for the Land throughout decades of Zionism.
Orli Goldklang, the panel's moderator, turned at first to deputy head of Gush Etzion Council Moshe Savil, with a request to present the difficulties that the settlement enterprise faces despite its flourishing, because of the lack of sovereignty. Savil described a reality in which settlement is flourishing and is being built up, but as a kind of class B citizenship, as he defined it.
Savil sees the Oz veGaon Nature Reserve as an example. The preserve is a place where there is no doubt regarding ownership or authorizations that were granted toward the establishment of the tourism preserve, but without military authorizations it was not possible to advance the process. Also, Ibei Hanahal, a community in Gush Etzion and the children's day care center that is located there are examples of the impossible reality in which working, tax-paying parents do not receive a permit that would allow it to operate, since the authorization of the military commander in the field has been held up.
According to him, in recent years there has been an improper involvement of politics in the consideration of authorizations, while in the past, considerations were more relevant. "The prime minister and defense minister want to oversee the agenda of the committee that authorizes so that it will make sure that there is no development of the settlement enterprise at all", says Savil and mentions that these are citizens in every way, such that they have all of the obligations on their shoulders but when it comes to rights, things are totally different. In light of this, says Savil, "the answer is the application of sovereignty. The solution to all of those problems is sovereignty".
MK Bezalel Smotrich related to the terror attacks of recent days and stated that "annexation and application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria are the only answer both to operational terror and political terror, which Abu Mazen has been conducting. It is impossible to chase every 15-yearl-old Arab girl who is carrying knives in a bag with the intention to stab someone. In order to cut down on terror, we must carry out a "root treatment" that will cut down the motivation, to make it clear to them that not only does terror not advance their goals, it harms them and pushes their goals off even further". Smotrich states that in recent years Israel strove to foster the Palestinian hope to establish a state but now, "This hope must be cut off. In order to say that this will not happen, the step of sovereignty must be taken to reduce this hope significantly, along with security operations.
Smotrich added that "the Left is correct. Freezing the diplomatic process is bad, and Netanyahu's strategy to play for time is a mistake, because when you stand in one place you go backwards. When the prime minister of the Right speaks about two states as a just solution what can we expect from the world? Our prime minister is creating an international consciousness as if there is a Jewish consensus that accepts dividing the Land, and therefore they demand that we do this already and say that if we have a security problem we will give you another Iron Dome. We must decide if the Land is ours or not, and therefore we must apply Israeli law and give this place normalcy".
Smotrich clarifies that even applying sovereignty does not guarantee a simple and easy future and sometimes even the opposite. "The settlement enterprise enjoyed a gray status during its first years, which allowed the Israeli bureaucratic process to be skipped over", says Smotrich, who believes that normalization in Judea and Samaria would also bring Israeli bureaucracy to the area, but according to him, "the democratic problem is the most severe problem. Four hundred thousand people go to the polls for Knesset elections, but their lives are not affected by the Knesset as much as the commanding general. Our demand is that our lives should be affected by the ones that we voted for". And he continued, saying that "Annexation is important for the national consciousness. Before security and rights there is the basic psychology of connecting to the place. The system of law here is different, and this seems abnormal. Traffic accidents and buying land are different here. Things in Judea and Samaria should be dealt with in the same logic as in Tel Aviv".
In relating to the demographic matter, he said: "They tell us that we will have to give citizenship to a million and a half Arabs, but I say that if we must choose between democratic and Jewish, I have no doubt what I would choose. Democracy is a tool for the survival of the Jewish state. Moreover, there are models of democracy in the world that do not give citizenship". And to this he added the clarification that annexation would obligate us to have a much more comprehensive program, including encouraging emigration and not expulsion, encouraging childbearing and not delusional family structures".
Returning MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli, who was widely congratulated on her return to activity in the Knesset recently, was also asked regarding the required political processes for the application of sovereignty and she said: "We are privileged to be part of Jewish history at this time, when the State of Israel exists. My grandparents in Morocco shed many tears over the possibility of such a reality and such closeness to Jerusalem. At this time we must add the next level, which is lying at our doorstep, which is the application of sovereignty over all areas of Judea and Samaria. I think this regardless of the steps taken by Abu Mazen and the political terror that is enacted against us", she emphasized. The application of sovereignty is always a necessary step, and as a politician I understand that we must take advantage of opportunities".
She objected to the idea of a "pilot try-out" for sovereignty in part of the territory as a sort of feasibility test or step in the process. "The application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria would have to be a parallel process but in the beginning it would be necessary to clarify that the goal is application of Israeli law over the entire area of the Land of Israel, and then we would prepare a working plan for area C or the Jordan Valley, but not act in a piecemeal fashion. To say that we should only annex Area C would leave us in the same Arab hope. There must be a clear statement that we are applying Israeli law in all areas of the Land of Israel. It is a right that entails difficulties".
"There will be those who will think that the demographic difficulty is greatest, but I do not believe so. An increase in the number of Arab MKs does not frighten me. This state is a Jewish state and all of the panic just throws a monkey wrench into the works. The sky didn't fall when we applied sovereignty on the Golan, despite the fact that the world objected at the time and still objects. Does this keep the residents of the Golan Heights from thriving? We succeeded in Jerusalem as well. I am a great believer in process and procedures. I am not sure that it will happen in my lifetime but we have an opportunity here to speak boldly in broad general terms and enter into the details later", says Mualem-Refaeli.
Mualem-Refaeli also estimates that "Today, in the Israeli Knesset, there are very many MKs who have no question regarding the subject of application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. We have a great opportunity to do it both politically and publically and a conference such as this one must be done in all areas of the country, so that the discourse about application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria will be the central discourse and will change the existing discourse".
Yisrael Zaira related in his speech to the economic horizon inherent in the vision of sovereignty and described the unclear reality to economists centering on the issue of real estate. He mentioned the severe blow that the building freeze has had in Ma'ale Adumim, Beitar and Gush Etzion to the entire public, including haredi, secular and religious sectors. According to him, "the meaning is that first and foremost, in Jerusalem the cost of housing has skyrocketed to the point where the prices are impossible".
He also added the statement "whoever wants to speak about sovereignty must speak about a process in which we send tens of thousands of families to Judea and Samaria, who will create an irreversible reality, and, but not only, in the areas that are included in the consensus. We must fight for the settlement enterprise, we must explain to the People of Israel that this is where the solution is and the alternative not only to the housing crunch but that we are speaking about lands that are important to the People of Israel".
MK Miki Zohar of the Likud was asked how the party in power can change the discourse when the sense is that a diplomatic freeze is a negative reality. Zohar related in his words also to the positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is the head of the party. "I hear Netanyahu, who says that he is 'committed' to the idea of two states, and when someone says that he is 'committed' it is totally different from someone who 'believes' in this solution. I have had discussions with Netanyahu on this subject and I asked him to deal with the matter. I object to it and I will fight with all of my might so that such a thing will not happen. In the end, it will not happen. Unfortunately for us, the prime minister has accepted the Oslo Accords, which constrain him to recognize the idea of establishing a Palestinian state within the Land of Israel, and from that moment he has been getting international feedback wondering why we are not progressing in this direction. We are not beloved by the world, which finds it difficult to accept our being the chosen people, and when there is a situation where France says that it is willing to bring a proposal to the UN that Palestine is a state, we need someone who will veto such a resolution, and we cast our lots with the U.S., despite the difficult relationship with Obama".
Zohar said that he had visited the settler heads' protest tent at the prime minister's residence. I told them that the time has come for annulling the Oslo Accords, for massive building in Judea and Samaria and to announce to the Palestinians that there is no intention to establish a Palestinian state here. They are invited to live with us here in peace, but it must be clear that this Land is ours".
"I am optimistic today despite the difficult situation that we are in and despite the prime minister's words that he is not willing to deal with it at this time, because when he says I will not deal with it 'at this time', I know that it is only for now, and as someone who is familiar with the prime minister's DNA, I know that he does not believe in this. The time has come to annul these accords but such an announcement requires advance diplomatic preparation. If we do not prepare diplomatically the world might force steps upon us that will endanger our future. I feel that within the ruling party, most of the MKs are not willing to think about 'two states for two peoples'. I believe that we will do the right thing for the Jewish People", he said in summary.
In the panel, Sarah Haetzni Cohen, one of the heads of My Israel, told of the prevailing winds that she meets with among the Israeli public and noted that the Israeli public likes simple solutions, as she defined it, and it may seem that 'two states for two peoples' is indeed such a simple solution. She noted that Naftali Bennett understood the idea of the simple solution when he was CEO of the Council of Judea, Samaria and Gaza and he prepared an animated film that encapsulates the other solution- Sovereignty. He knew how to put it in a short and catchy way. "It must be extremely sharp and accurate and appeal to both common sense and emotion", said Haetzni Cohen, and emphasized the new style of hasbara, that of the social networks generation and short, transitory messages.
According to Haetzni Cohen, despite the total deterioration in Shalom Achshav's (Peace Now's) standing, it seems to the Israeli public that it has a simple, catchy solution, despite the fact that it has been proven to be irrelevant. "He who speaks of applying sovereignty without giving an answer as to how it will be implemented, will lose".
Liat Kirshenbaum, head of the Gush Etzion Youth Council, related to the flourishing of settlements in the area where she lives as part of the dramatic change at the place for the past four years. On the other hand, she sees the identity of Gush Etzion in Israeli consciousness as a center of conflict which has not changed for decades. According to her, such a change can occur only with the application of sovereignty.
She went on to talk about the difficult feelings that the youth is experiencing during these days of tension relating to the current state of security, but goes on to describe the activities into which these feeling are channeled: demonstrations, gatherings and various protest activities, but emphasizes the sense that the level of promoting the answer, i.e. application of sovereignty, must be raised.
The event was joined by a group of youths that calls its movement Eretz (a Hebrew acronym for Youth Sovereignty Organization), which comprises youths from all areas of the Land who call for the application of sovereignty. Yair Buchnik, one of the heads of the organization, said: "After the expulsion from Gush Katif, the religious youth became somewhat dispirited. We felt that we were leaving behind the vision and now is the time to mobilize the youth to strengthen the awareness of sovereignty and not be satisfied with gatherings and declarations. Just as they told us for twenty years that there must be two states, now, we must say clearly that this Land is ours and we must apply sovereignty. The People believe this and we must strengthen the entire public, in Tel Aviv as well, to explain to them the importance of sovereignty. We opened an Internet campaign that is joined by many people using social networks. We want one state with sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria", Buchnik summed up, to the audience's enthusiastic applause.
Yaron Rosenthal, principal of the Gush Etzion Field School, spoke about the authority in sovereignty as a source of responsibility. "The process of sovereignty includes within it less popular elements", he said, and noted that "Even Uri Elitsur and Hanan Porat ob"m said that they agreed to give citizenship to the local Arab population, because they understood that if we want to remain here, we must present a solution that is viable for the twentieth century".
The greatest battle in the Palestinian Authority is against normalization, because they understand that normalization would destroy their dream, and many local Arabs want normalization". According to Rosenthal, Israelis must internalize the difference in terms for Palestinian society. "For them, the term hamula (clan) has much greater power than nationalism. If you come to an agreement with the head of the clan it will be a stronger agreement than an agreement with the senior official of the Palestinian regime", he said, and told of an event as an example where, in one of the villages there were about sixty cases of arson each summer, but after a discussion with the mukhtar (head of the clan) in the village, the number of arson events decreased to only two.
According to Rosenthal, "If every Arab in Judea and Samaria, except for those who are security suspects, had permission to travel freely throughout the country, if they could come to Tel Aviv and sit on the beach, we would be able to do away with a lot of misconceptions that they have about us. Today, they know us through the incitement on social networks", he said , and told of discussions with Palestinians who told him that in the Palestinian Authority every child who throws stones receives between 3500 and 5000 shekels per month, and in addition, as a "reward for liberation" from prison they also get 600 dollars from the PA. In contrast, Rosenthal believes that "if a child who throws stones knew that his family would not be able to go to Tel Aviv and the father of the family would not be able to bring home food, our situation would be better".
Towards the end of his speech, Rosenthal noted that "it is the separation fence that pushed sovereignty off from us, and this flew under the Right's radar. As a field school, we invested a lot in the battle against it, but when they built it the Right was quiet and today they continue to build a fence on the mountain range in Gilo Mountain and Gilo River".
At the end of the panel discussion, the MKs were asked how they could promote, together with the youth, the vision of sovereignty. MK Smotrich promised to hold joint meetings and prepare a working plan together with the youth "and together we will act and we will succeed", he said. MK Zohar added that "when there is such diligent and dedicated youth, youth that makes noise in the field, we will relate to this in the Knesset and give it expression, so there will also have to be a resolution of the issue. I encourage the youth, which is bringing about change. If you arouse a discussion you bring about change", he summed up, and added the comment: "sovereignty must happen immediately, but we must not give them citizenship. Begin spoke of municipal authorities without the right to vote in Israel", he reminded us.
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar concluded the event with great satisfaction and declared that this panel is the opening signal for a series of lectures that will take place every Friday in Oz veGaon on the issue of Sovereignty, every week with another speaker touching on a different aspect of the application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
For the list of weekly lectures: please click here: http://www.womeningreen.org/givatOzFallSchedule#English
For pictures and video of the panel please click on the Hebrew Arutz 7 article and scroll at the bottom of the article: http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/307482
Yehudit Katsover 0507161818 Nadia Matar 0505500834
The Movement for Israel's Tomorrow
Women in Green
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