The Sovereignty Movement Awards the Sovereignty Prize at the Jerusalem conference

Photos Yisrael Bardugo

During their speech at the Jerusalem conference organized every year by the Besheva newspaper and that took place this week, the heads of the Sovereignty Movement, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, unveiled a short original film, which is a short survey of the five decades of conflict between the Right and the Left that have prevailed in Israel since the Six Day War and the return to the areas of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

During the event, Katsover and Matar also awarded three Sovereignty Prizes to three public figures who have left their mark on the ideological and practical struggle to promote the vision of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

The film, which combines historical documentation with animation, presents the Right camp against the Left camp as chess pieces, and while the Right camp takes steps in settlement and protest demonstrations, the Left determines political facts on the ground, the crowning glory of which is the Oslo Accords. The revolution in consciousness is accompanied by the sovereignty process’ increased momentum and the collapse of the idea of dividing the Land and establishing a terror state in its heart.

Link to the movie in Hebrew (the movie with English subtitles will be ready Sunday)

In their speech, Katsover and Matar noted that there will be ups and downs during the process of applying sovereignty, but lately it has enjoyed a great deal of momentum, broad consensus among the Israeli public and among the leadership and matters are now being brought to the phase of practical legislation by the Land of Israel Lobby, MKs and ministers. The two noted that “this entire process would not have happened without the people in the field. If we return for a moment to the chess board, the bishop and the knight, the rook and even the queen, would not have made their moves without the first steps of the simple pawns. These are the rules of chess and this is how it is in reality. Today, MKs, ministers and leaders are calling for the application of sovereignty because of the tailwind provided by the people with conferences, the journal, articles, vigils, billboards, flyers and stickers. Each small step has had a part in this revolution; we can and we must continue to take these steps”.

“Within days”, said Katsover and Matar, “we will push forward in the task that is incumbent upon each and every one of us, simple citizens and elected representatives alike. We, the citizens, have the task of continuing to encourage and support the leadership, which must deal with complex international pressures and is confronted by tenacious Leftist elements that are loaded with foreign money, media that are still, for the most part, hostile to the idea and a justice system in need of serious repair. We are up against all of these things with a lot of love for the Land of Israel in our hearts!”

Later on the their speech, the two women explained the civil activities that everyone can do to take part, whether in the public arena, in holding meetings and parlor gatherings, or in the arena of social networks.

After their speech, they awarded the Sovereignty Prize to three people – Rav Benny Elon, z”l (received by his widow, authoress Amona Elon), Minister Haim Katz as chairman of the Likud Central Committee and director of the Land of Israel Lobby in Knesset, former MK Orit Struk.

From the words of Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar to the recipients of the prize:

Rav Benny Elon, zt”l – Minister of Tourism, who was among the first to promote a detailed plan for sovereignty, the “Israeli Initiative”, in which he wrote: “The Israeli Initiative postulates that the most effective and correct way to maintain the stability of the region is to ensure Israeli sovereignty in the territories of Judea and Samaria, and put an end to long-standing ambiguity of their status. Only Israeli sovereignty from the Jordan River to the sea can prevent a Shi’ite infiltration into the heart of the western part of the Middle East, and ensure the existence of Israel as a Jewish state”.

Minister Haim Katz – “With great dedication, Minister Haim Katz led the historic vote at Likud Central, where 1500 people voted unanimously in favor of the application of sovereignty over the areas of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. Shevah Stern, Natan Englesman and Ishai Merling worked  also assisted in that effort. In the 7th edition of the Sovereignty Journal Minister Katz remarked: “Just as the prime minister said that we will never leave the Golan Heights, and that the Golan Heights is an integral part of the Land of Israel, this is how I wish to see Judea and Samaria.

Orit Struk – “director of the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset, often knicknamed the 121 st member of Knesset, who fulfills this role with great sensitivity, working intensively like an artist embroidering a tapestry. While she was an MK during the previous term (and we hope that she will also be and MK in the next term), she compared legislation in the State of Israel to legislation in the Land of Israel and this is what she said at that time: ‘As in Ramat Gan, when they request permission to build from the local authority, the people in Judea and Samaria and Binyamin should be able to request permission to build from the local authority, and not from the military or the UN, or the president of the United States’”.

The Sovereignty Movement notes with satisfaction that many speeches at the Jerusalem Conference, beginning with that of the president of the state, dealt with the vision of sovereignty in all of its various aspects and view this as another positive layer of the campaign in general.

In their summary of the event, the heads of the movement, Katsover and Matar, related to recent incidents, stating that “the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu relates to the matter of sovereignty, and the fact that the American administration has been urged to respond to the discourse of sovereignty in Israel, indicate the necessity for additional public pressure in order to bring the implementation of the vision of sovereignty to political resolution.”

Deputy Head of the YESHA (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) Council, Yigal Dilmoni: “Yehudit and Nadia’s important work over the years has been extremely influential. Thanks to them, sovereignty is now within grasp, and together with other good people like former MK Orit Struk, our shared dream will be realized.”