City of Ariel

Archive for September, 2006|Monthly archive page

Israel’s Strength

In National on September 18, 2006 at 12:38 pm

Dear Friends, 

We have come to the end of a very difficult year, a year of drastic changes for Israel. As we welcome in the New Year, we cannot forget that this is the 6th anniversary of the start of Arafat’s strategy of terror that began on Rosh Hashana, 2000, following Camp David II. His strategy included suicide bombers, drive-by shootings, attacks on both soldiers and civilians – men, women and children. Collateral damage was actually the target because the terrorists believe this is how best to achieve their political goals. 

Our enemies have not succeeded. Israel and the Israeli people are still stronger than those who wish to destroy us. 

Only a little more than a year ago, Israel embarked on a disengagement plan, based on the assumption that by withdrawing from land that rightfully belongs to Israel and by turning that land over to the Palestinians, peace would come and Israel’s security would be enhanced.  Israel would be able to protect its citizens. To this end, Israel destroyed the beautiful communities of Gush Katif and turned the residents of those communities into refugees. 

Many Israelis feared that the very fabric of Israel society would come unraveled and that there was a threat of some kind of civil war. But it never happened for this is truly a strong nation. Instead, a deepening understanding grew that peace and security will never result from unilateral steps or from any form of the “land for peace” equation. This is against human nature and defies the very characteristics of a sovereign state– particularly here in the Middle East. 

Furthermore, we see in this most recent war in Lebanon that Israel can face its challenges united. The people of Israel truly became one as we faced the need to protect our Homeland from Hizbullah and Hamas terror. 

There is an important lesson to learn from this war. I am sure you remember when early elections were held in Israel in March 2006 and a new government was elected. The new Prime Minister and his government made their prime goal the establishment of permanent borders for Israel through “Realignment” of Israel’s borders in Judea and Samaria – in clearer terms, another withdrawal. One of the results of this last war is that it has become obvious to the leadership and people of Israel that this cannot be implemented. 

During the war, Israelis began to understand that the only reason Tel Aviv and the center of Israel was safe from Hizbullah’s missiles was that the hills of Samaria are in our control. If these critical strategic heights overlooking the coastal plain, were not in Israel’s hands Hizbullah or Hamas would be here in our place. This time, about one third of Israel’s population was evacuated or in shelters. If Arab terrorists were on these hills, instead of us, no one could safely land at Ben-Gurion and Tel Aviv would be a target. And then, millions of Israelis would be in grave danger. Clearly we cannot risk a “land for peace” withdrawal of this kind. If cities like Ariel were ever to be abandoned, it would be the end of Israel.

Today another kind of black cloud floats over our heads – the incessant scandals among Israel’s political leadership. In my view, this is more dangerous to Israel’s future than any military threat. We must change the system of government here to one that encompasses such values and ethics as accountability, a liberal free economic market devoid of red tape, open-mindedness to the changing world and the development of a new and credible cadre of leaders devoted to the Zionist concept. Israelis are a strong people and can bring about this change and survive the growing pains that will inevitably occur while the change happens. I believe in the Israeli people and in the need for this change in the system of government.  It will be part of Israel growing up and maturing. 

This particular New Year, after a year of so many hardships, may be a turning point for Israel. It’s up to us. As Herzel said “If we will it, it is no legend” but a possible reality for a better future in a better Israel. May this New Year bring to you and yours the fulfillment of your hopes and dreams and to all of us, a year of health, happiness, peace and security. May Israel and all the House of Israel have a blessed year and successfully meet the challenges that lie ahead. 

Shana Tova, 

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel