First of Eight Conferences this year Promoting Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria
– by SHIRA SHREIER
PHOTOS GERSHON ELLINSON
Links to all speeches are at bottom of mail
“The Time Has Come for Sovereignty” proclaimed a large backdrop to the dais as over 100 people gathered in a large white tent in the Oz VeGaon Nature Preserve in Gush Etzion on Friday morning, November 10 for the first in a series of eight conferences this year promoting the application of Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Other conferences will take place (in Hebrew) in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ra’anana, Haifa, Petah Tikva, Givat Shmuel and Sderot. The Oz VeGaon Nature Preserve was established by the Women in Green movement, with the encouragement of the Gush Etzion Council, in memory of the three boys – Gilad, Ayal and Naftali – abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists three years ago, as an immediate and appropriate Zionist response to this brutal act of terrorism. Oz VeGaon has developed into a vibrant and impressive center of education, culture and tourism.
The 9th issue of the Sovereignty Journal, hot-off-the-press, in both Hebrew and English, published by the Sovereignty Movement (founded by the Women in Green), was distributed at the Conference and participants could be seen eagerly turning the pages and browsing the articles during the program.
“The sovereignty vision is no longer mere talk and declarations and is certainly not a weak, isolated voice as it was at the beginning of the publicity campaign of the Sovereignty movement seven years ago,” according to the Sovereignty Journal editorial board. “Thanks to public figures, spearheads of public opinion and a supportive and encouraging public, this vision is being transformed into operational, organized political programs found on the agenda of the Israeli public and politics and is arousing active discussion and debate.”
For a sneak preview, the Sovereignty Journal Issue #9 features an article by Minister Gila Gamliel who presents an outline for a political plan: Israeli Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and a Palestinian State in Sinai; Scoop: A team of experts is preparing TAMA 100, a National Outline Plan that will include Judea and Samaria as an indivisible part of the State of Israel for the first time; Former Minister Gideon Saar: Sovereignty must be the Likud’s position; The Shas Party in favor of Sovereignty: An Interview with MK Yoav Ben Tsur, head of the faction; and more.
Growing Support for Sovereignty
“The circle supporting Sovereignty is widening and the list of politicians favoring Sovereignty is growing,” said Yehudit Katsover, co-head of Women in Green with Nadia Matar (who translated Yehudit’s words from Hebrew into English for the largely English-speaking crowd). “Sovereignty in the Land of Israel began in this week’s Torah portion of Chayei Sarah when our forefather Abraham paid the full price of 400 silver shekels to Efron the Hittite to purchase the Cave of Machpela in Hebron to bury his wife Sarah.” She attributed Abraham’s success in bringing about the revolution of monotheism to his dynamic personality. “Avraham did what God asked. He was a man of action, who acted with alacrity and confidence in his mission,” she said.
Greetings were brought by Sam Solomon, business executive and entrepreneur, and chairman of the board of Women in Green. “My wife, Meryl, and I are proud and privileged to be supporters of Women in Green, Oz Ve’Gaon and the Sovereignty Movement. They need your economic support. They are probably the largest volunteer organization in Israel supporting Judea and Samaria,” he said. “It is important to have real dialogue about Sovereignty. The mantra about two states is an ideology not based on fact. 75-80% of Israelis are pro-Sovereignty, meaning autonomy for local Arabs under Israel sovereignty.”
Helen Freedman and Judy Freedman Kadish, co-executive directors of American Friends for a Safe Israel (AFSI) who led a large delegation of members from the US, also greeted those assembled. “Ribonut – Sovereignty – is an idea which AFSI has always had. We believe in Yisrael Shleima – one state with no divisions,” Helen Freedman said. Her daughter, Judy, added, “AFSI will always remain a partner with Women in Green and the Sovereignty Movement. May you go from strength to strength!”
“My speech is already printed in the Sovereignty Journal #9 in Hebrew and English. You can read it there,” began MK Yehuda Glick of the Likud. “How did the two-state concept enter our terminology? The extreme left-wing parties have a method; they use brainwashing. In the past few years, the terminology has changed. Everyone knows that in a few years there will be Sovereignty. They know we are here for good. This is our land. We must give thanks to God. 70 years ago they were talking about the final solution, not the one state/two state solution. Look where we are today. We must take the initiative.” In his article, he writes that, “the most ideal plan today is the one proposed by the Federation Movement, calling for the implementation of a realistic solution, meaning the application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria, granting equal civil rights to the Arabs of Judea and Samaria and a federal regime divided into cantons.”
Yehudit Katsover introduced Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel as “one of the first people who pushed the issue of Sovereignty forward, and in these days acts together with MK Bezalel Smotrich, helping to move the entire government to the right and succeeding to maintain a high ideological standard.”
“I want to say one thing. What Yehudit and Nadia and all their friends are doing is very important and dramatic. The time has come for Sovereignty! That is the plain truth,” Minister Ariel declared. “My friend, Bezalel Smotrich, has called Sovereignty the Decision-Making Program. We want to push this plan forward, together with you and the People of Israel, so that between the Jordan and the Sea, there will be only one nation. We hope there will be a big community right here in Oz VeGaon and also in Emek Bracha below and in Hevron (with hopefully100,000 Jews living there) and in Beit Lechem. We need to change the situation – the nation is returning to its land.”
“I am excited to be at this first conference of the Sovereignty series,” said guest speaker Ken Abramowitz, founder of SavetheWest.com, chairman of American Friends of Likud, and general partner and co-founder of healthcare venture NGN Capital. Addressing the topic of “How to Save Western Civilization From Itself,” he began with a three-minute talk on the concept of the need for devising a winning strategy in terms of national security, and then briefly discussed the key problems of Western Civilization (US, Europe, Israel, Christians and Jews) which is under attack from the “outside” and “inside” and needs different strategies for different problems. He described the key solutions as being: Maximize Growth of Economy, Protect our Culture, and Protect the People physically. He said that 1/3 of the population of the world – the rational centrists – are “normal” while 2/3 – the Leftists, Political Islam, United Nations and Isolationists – are not “normal” and believe in false narratives. “What will be in 50 years?” he asked. “What percentage of the people will be “normal”? It depends on whether we can get our act together.”
In Issue #9 of the Sovereignty Journal, Abramowitz writes:
Judea and Samaria were given to Abraham and the Jews by God in the Bible. Jews have lived here for 3,800 years. So called “Palestinian” Arabs are largely squatters who moved here during the past 100 years from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
Jerusalem, Shilo, Beit El, Hebron, Kiryat Arba, Efrat, Shechem and 40 other cities were mentioned in the Tanach. None were mentioned in the Koran. Jewish legal rights to Jerusalem (and even all of Judea/Samaria) were “irrevocably” recognized in the San Remo conference of 1920 by unanimous agreement of the 51 members of the League of Nations. Moreover, for the past 150 years, Jews have been the majority population in Jerusalem. The IDF in Judea/Samaria protects 800,000 citizens and protects 1.4 million Muslim Arabs from inside (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) and outside terror organizations (particularly Iran and ISIS).
Without proper IDF protection, a Palestinian State would be immediately attacked and occupied (as in Syria now) by the four worldwide professional “Political Islam” terror organizations: Iran, ISIS/Al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, and the Saudi Wahhabis. A Palestinian State would be dedicated to Israel’s destruction and represents an existential threat to Israel. A Palestinian State would inevitably declare war on Israel, forcing the IDF to re-invade, thereby costing 100-500 IDF lives and thousands of civilian lives. A Palestinian State would uncontrollably dig water wells, eventually destroying the aquifers, causing Israel to lose 25% of its water supply. Sniper shooting and terror operations from the Palestine State into Israel could cause 25% of the citizens living on the border to flee (as happened in Jerusalem after 1948).
In essence, Judea/Samaria protects Western Civilization. Any weakening of Israeli sovereignty over this territory would imperil the security of the rest of the West and irretrievably so.
The final speaker at the conference, Atty. Karen Stahl-Don, an expert in international law, spoke about “Why International Law is Israel’s Best Friend.”
“In addition to the Bible as the source for our rights to all of the land of Israel, we have valid and binding documents and tools available to us which we are not utilizing but with which we can win and disrupt the false narrative,” she stated. “The good news is that we are not as alone in the international arena as we think (see www.thinc.info). We need a new successful international law paradigm for the Israel/Palestine conflict to promote Israel’s right to Judea and Samaria.”
“The young population in Asia and Africa view Israel as a model to emulate,” she explained. “We can build upon that by using tools of international law and building bridges. It is time to assert our rights according to international law and promote sovereignty.”
“The bad news is that the narrative has been entrenched by anti-Israel narrative, leaving no room for discussion,” she said. “Mahmoud Abbas wants to revise history along with the text of Resolution 181 – the 1947 Partition Plan (see The Legal Grounds website). We need to get the passion back and stop the brainwashing that has completely changed the direction of the dialogue.”
“Resolution 181 detailed intense interaction and cooperation between the proposed states and required agreement from all parties,” Stahl-Don noted. “It requires Arab cooperation. You can’t blame Israel if the Arabs don’t cooperate. Resolution 181 never came to fruition and was abandoned. The UN never implemented the mechanism for achieving economic union. No final boundaries were ever set (there was just a sketch for a proposal). Therefore, Resolution 181 is now null and void. The British Mandate for Palestine document, which established the modern-day legal status of Judea and Samaria as part of Israel, remains decisive today!”
She concluded, “We have to use the tools, enforce our rights and disrupt the false narrative. The promise of Abraham has become part of international law.”