City of Ariel

Jerusalem – Israel’s Indivisible Capital

In Letters on September 18, 2007 at 11:08 am

Dear Friends,

It has been two years now since the “disengagement”, when Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip, gave away all the land and destroyed the lives of thousands of Israelis. This was supposed to be “land for peace”. Instead of peace, however, we got daily Kassam missile attacks.

You may recall that when Ehud Barak was Prime Minister of Israel, he ordered the Israel Defense Forces to withdraw from Southern Lebanon in one night. The Arab world viewed this as a sign of Israeli weakness, just as they viewed our signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn several years before. The late Prime Minister Rabin, Yassar Arafat and our current president, Shimon Peres received Nobel Peace prizes. The Israeli people received tragedy and bloodshed.

What more proof do Israel’s policy makers need? How many more Israelis have to die before they understand that “land for peace” does not work?

President George Bush’s vision for the establishment of a Palestinian State has not been realized. Neither Egypt, when it occupied Gaza, nor Jordan, when it occupied Judea & Samaria, would agree to create a legal Palestinian entity because they knew that a Palestinian land would threaten their own existence. Western leaders, both American and European, do not comprehend that you cannot impose Western norms and values on the Middle East.

There is only one possible solution. Egypt must annex Gaza and Jordan must annex some Arab controlled parts of Judea & Samaria, while the rest is annexed by Israel. Moreover, the Arab world would have to invest heavily in both northern Sinai, Egypt’s territory, to create employment for residents of Gaza and in the Jordanian held parts of Judea and Samaria for the Arabs in those areas. Furthermore, we need an agreement on population exchange to create and ensure defensible borders for Israel.

In 1918, the Balfour Declaration was opposed by the Arabs because they objected to the idea of Jews returning to their Homeland. They responded with an “Intifada” in 1929 and again in Hebron in 1936 and two more times, in 1947 and 1948, before and after the U.N vote on partition. The Arab world opposed our existence then and its attitude has not changed since. Their three conditions in every negotiation since 1949 have remained the same:

1. The establishment of a Palestinian land in all of Judea & Samaria.

2. Jerusalem to be the capital of that land.

3. The Right of Return for Arab “refugees”.

Friends, Israel is approaching its 60th year. It is time for the free world to stand firm with Israel in its existential right for secure and defensible borders. That means it is time for the U.S., Canada and the European countries to move their embassies to our capital city, Jerusalem. It is time for them to accept the fact that Jerusalem will never be an international city. A simple step like this would encourage the Arab nations to come to terms with Israel as a sovereign nation, with its undivided capital in Jerusalem. If I had to choose a single prayer for the New Year, this would be it. Unfortunately, I remain somewhat skeptical because of the ongoing energy crisis and because of the West’s dependence on Arab energy sources.

This 60th year for Israel (and 30th for Ariel) comes in the midst of great potential for change in this region. What the ramifications of those changes will be is hard to predict. Eventually, the US will leave Afghanistan and Iraq. How will that affect the Middle East? What will happen when the leadership of the surrounding Arab countries change? It is clear that in volatile times, Israel can only truly count on itself, the IDF, the Israeli citizens and hopefully, the United States.

As we usher in the New Year, I wish the leaders of Israel the ability to lead this great country to new levels of integrity and morality, the wisdom to guard individual rights and develop all that is good in this nation so that we can say this is truly a wonderful place to live.

And to you, our dear friends around the world, I wish a year of good health and happiness, prosperity and peace and pray that I can count on your continued support.

Shana Tova,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

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