City of Ariel

A Fourth Term

In Ariel City, Letters on September 18, 2000 at 12:28 pm

Dear Friends,

On May, 2000, for the fourth consecutive time, I ran for Mayor of Ariel in the municipal elections. Once again the public overwhelmingly expressed confidence in me and my team, giving us a 77% victory in the mayoral race and 7 of the 11 city council seats. These results are unprecedented for Israel, particularly for a fourth term of office.

Among the many election issues during the campaign, the important work of Friends of Ariel around the world and the amount contributed annually to foster the development of social services and facilities in our city played an important role. These generous gifts to our community, earmarked for projects in areas like education, health and welfare services, immigrant absorption, recreation facilities and religious services, benefit each and every Ariel family.  The voters wanted to ensure that the co-operation between the leadership of our city and these wonderful friends continues.

I want to convey my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your help and good wishes on my election. My victory is your victory, as well, for our goals are one: to further the growth of Ariel by improving the quality of life in the city and in doing so, strengthening Israel, the Jewish Homeland.

The fulfillment of these goals becomes more important with every passing day. Seven years ago, at the time of the first Oslo Accords, I wrote that no Israeli government would be able to reach an agreement on three major issues: 1. the establishment of a Palestinian State in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with Israel returning to its pre-1967 borders; 2. the division of Jerusalem to create a Palestinian capital and 3. the return of million of Arab “refugees”. Moreover, I warned that in attempting to do so, the government of Israel would be embarking upon a collision course. I repeat that warning today.

Peace is not the Palestinian goal. No matter how many concessions Israel makes, the Palestinians will never be satisfied, as long as Israel is a presence in the in the Middle East. To the Arabs, we are the “Infidels” and the so-called “peace process” is simply a way of playing for time.

We made great concessions to reach a peace agreement with Egypt, yet Mubarak has never made a state visit to Israel (he only came for Prime Minister Rabin’s funeral) and there is virtually no Egyptian tourism to Israel. Is this peace? We have given almost all of Gaza and 40% of Judea and Samaria to Arafat and the PLO, something no Arab country has ever done. When Jordan and Egypt controlled these territories, they were never prepared to give up land to establish a Palestinian State. Only Israel has done that and it is still not enough. The Palestinians continue to spill Jewish blood and Israel continues to give in.

The Prime minister and his government were willing to concede the Golan Heights to Syria but that did not bring peace. We must ask ourselves why?

The behavior of this government, its disregard for democracy and administrative norms and its disrespect for the Knesset have gone beyond all acceptable limits. And all this has been done with the excuse that it is to further the “peace process”; in other words, everything is permissible – abandoning moral and ethical codes, damaging Jewish values and Jewish rights – in the name of that media catchword, “peace”.

If a foreign government would do what our government is doing, with the support of US President Clinton, cries of anti-Semitism would be heard around the world. Imagine the American Administration deciding that 1/3 of the Jews of California – America’s West bank – were to be transferred east of the State line. Would this be acceptable? Yet, the Jewish world establishment remains quiet as Jewish rights in their own land are threatened.

It would be easy for us, here in Ariel to do the same. Ariel is not at risk. Ariel is a “consensus” city today, considered non- negotiable by every major political party in Israel. But here are some 80,000 residents of Judea and Samaria whose homes, whose very futures are in danger. It is my responsibility – all of our responsibilities – to act on their behalf.

It is my hope that our American friends will contact their political representatives, Congressmen and Senators, and tell them to stop pressuring Israel. We, Israelis, whose children serve in the Israel Defense Forces, want peace, more than anything but we want a real peace, a peace that comes with security, trade, tourism and cultural exchanges, a peace that will hold for our children and their children.

May this New Year bring Peace to all of Israel and to you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous year.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

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