City of Ariel

A Strong Ariel in the Coming Year

In Ariel City, Letters on September 29, 2009 at 7:37 am

Dear Friends,

With Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, only a few days away I believe that it is time to reflect upon the past year in preparation for the coming one. This past year has been both eventful and challenging. In Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu, with whom I served as a Member of Knesset, has returned to lead Israel’s government along with the Likud Party. In the USA a new administration with a new agenda has come to power.

The new American administration is applying strong pressure to Prime Minister Netanyahu in an attempt to create a so-called “solution” of two states for two nations. Such a proposal is doomed to fail. A more careful examination of the plan indicates that it will lead to no less than a four state plan: Israel, Jordan (the true Palestinian State), a new Palestinian entity in Judea & Samaria and an independent state in Gaza. Indeed, with time it may become a five state plan, with Israeli Arabs attempting to attain their own sovereignty. Regardless of the configuration, any attempt to create a Palestinian entity will result only in instability and unrest for Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the entire region.

The Obama administration is working to undermine Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government. If they don’t manage to make the Prime Minister’s government crumble they will continue to work towards the inclusion of Israel’s liberal parties in the Knesset coalition, thereby influencing Israeli policy from within. To achieve this, the State Department chooses to focus on the inconsequential issue of settlement building so that Prime Minister Netanyahu will not be able to comply with their demands. This approach is an inexcusable attempt to intervene in Israel’s domestic policy. In addition to the unethical nature of the State Department’s policy, it is extremely dangerous. Israel is not a laboratory. We cannot experiment with our future.

Prime Minister Netanyahu may display flexibility regarding the demands of foreign governments, though he will not concede to halting normal life Judea and Samaria. Personally, I don’t agree with the Israel’s recent attempts to pacify international pressure. I believe they are flawed. The myth of exchanging land for peace has been exposed as the fallacy that it’s always been. We witnessed that, yet again painfully, with the constant rocket fire in the south, following Israel’s complete withdrawal from Gaza. Appeasing terrorists only brings bloodshed. American commandos understood that last week when they killed the Al-Qaeda activist responsible for the terrorist attack on the Israeli owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2008. The two Israeli children that were killed in the attack were from Ariel; brothers Dvir and Noy Anter, of blessed memory.

And yet, despite the international pressure and challenges that face us we continue to do all that we can to make Ariel realize its ever-developing potential. Just a year ago we opened the Milken Sports and Recreation Complex. Thanks to the generosity of so many of our friends, including Lowell Milken, Pastor John Hagee, Norman Braman, Taffy Gould, and Victoria Hearst, the quality of life in Ariel has improved immeasurably. The complex fills a true need in the community, with 3,500 members, myself. included We have achieved our goal, providing the residents of Ariel with the facilities that they need to care for their health and well being. Words cannot describe our appreciation for this gift that we, as a community, were given. Thank you.

In addition, it looks like the coming year has a lot of blessing in store for us. We just received government approval to operate the Ariel National Youth Leadership Park. The park provides a sorely needed, revolutionary approach to leadership cultivation. With extreme sports facilities and a curriculum based upon prototypes of Jewish leadership, this will be the national site where Israel’s youth will develop their character and leadership qualities. Thanks to our partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education, ten to forty thousand of Israel’s youth will participate in the program annually. We thank Bruce and Heather Johnston from the JH Ranch for generously contributing the facilities, and we wish much success to the program and its participants in the coming year.

Of course, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. I hope to complete our long awaited Center for the Performing Arts in 2010. After 21 years of construction, plagued by innumerable “building freezes”, the center is nearing completion. The structure is complete, and much of the theatre’s acoustic work is in place. Once we finish the work on the center’s interior the residents of Ariel, as well as those living throughout Samaria and in the Jordan Valley, will have the regional performance center that they deserve.

Indeed, the City of Ariel continues to convey the message of a strong future for Israel. The local Ariel University Center just distributed over 1,600 degrees to their graduating class. With over 10,000 students, the AUC continues to move Israel forward in research and development, pioneering social programming and academic excellence.

Finally, Ariel’s contribution to the State of Israel and life in Samaria has taken yet another step in the right direction. We have completed land development in the Ariel Industrial Zone, and we hope to see each of the 27 new companies building their factories in the coming year.

As you can see, despite the many challenges, the City of Ariel continues to remain strong. A strong Ariel means a strong Israel. It is for that reason that we remain in the political consensus on the one hand, and in the world’s focus on the other hand. In the coming year, as in the past, we will continue to work hand in hand with our friends to build a better future for the City of Ariel and the State of Israel.

Shana Tova,
Ron Nachman

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