City of Ariel

Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

Letter from Mayor Nachman to Prime Minister Gordon Brown

In International, Letters on December 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP

Dear Prime Minister,

Re: The British Government’s Anti-Israel Policy
1. Boycotting Israeli Products
2. Academic Boycott
3. Indictment of Israeli Civilians and Military Personnel

Recently a request issued by the British Government to the people of the United Kingdom was publicized, calling upon them not to purchase products that were manufactured in the “settlements” and the region of Judea and Samaria.

1. Boycotting Israeli Products
• The City of Ariel is home to an industrial zone which manufactures products for export. Thousands of Palestinians from the nearby villages are employed in the industrial zone, providing them with the means to support themselves and their families. This is Ariel’s contribution to peace.
• Infrastructure, such as electricity and water, is provided from the Israeli cities near the Palestinian villages. We provide humanitarian support, safeguarding their communities. This is Ariel’s contribution to peace.
• Boycotting Israeli products from the cities which provide these services harms both the residents of Ariel and the residents of the Arab villages who depend on the City of Ariel and its environs.
2. Academic Boycott
• The United Kingdom has issued a boycott on the Ariel University Center. This is completely inappropriate. Where will an academic boycott lead? It’s unfortunate that professors and universities in the UK are leading this effort. It is an insult both to the UK and to its government.
3. Indictment of Israeli Civilians and Military Personnel
• Even before Operation Cast Lead, organizations in the United Kingdom appealed to their courts to indict Israeli military officials. Of all the countries in Europe, it was England that took the lead in this effort.
• England’s silence regarding Anti-Israel efforts caused people to take advantage of the British court system, using it against those who defend their country from terror. This silence reached its peak with the arrest warrant that was issued for Opposition Leader, Mrs.Tzippi Livni.
• Mrs. Livni supported the destruction of Gush Katif and the evacuation of the Israeli residents from the Gaza Strip. She promised the people of Israel peace in exchange for removing families and children from their homes. Ultimately, she understood that she was responsible for the relentless rocket fire from the new “Hamasstan”, which hit Israeli cities and communities. Upon realizing that Israel could not continue to suffer at the hands of the continued terror from the Gaza Strip, she began a defensive military campaign.
• The misleading and anti-Semitic Goldstone Report is the result of Operation Cast Lead, which has, in turn, lead to the arrest warrant. Such an approach indicates that both active sacrifice and attempts and peace, and efforts to defend a civilian population, are punishable by the British courts.

This has all transpired in the United Kingdom during your term of office.
This has all transpired in the United Kingdom while Tony Blair travels throughout the Middle East as a representative of the Quartet.

I request of the Right Honourable Prime Minister, who represents a country that is considered friendly to Israel, to stop the financial and academic boycotts immediately, and to prevent the British legal system from creating uncomfortable and embarrassing situations for both countries.


Ron Nachman
Mayor of Ariel


Young Leadership in Ariel

In Ariel City on December 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

December 22, 2009

Last Tuesday members of the Youth Parliament convened at the office of the Mayor for their first ceremonial opening session. All 25 members of the parliament were present, headed by Lidor Ben-Margi, the Chairlady, who thanked the Mayor for taking the time to meet with them, notwithstanding his packed schedule in the wake of the current building freeze. Vice Chairlady, Limor Portnoy and the Managing Director, Coral Avraham, were both elected at the beginning of the month in democratic elections that took place at the Youth Center. Joining the parliament were Haim (Koki) Biton, Managing Director of the Interdisciplinary Center, Shlomi Amar, Director of Youth and Leadership, and Hefzi Ben and Guy Dalal, the instructors who guide the young members of parliament throughout the year.

During the meeting, which lasted two hours, the members of parliament presented the Mayor with a summary of last summer’s activities and the opening of the new year, including their plan for activities which includes: monthly outings of youngsters from the city to entertainment centers in the nearby towns, conducting a survey among the youth in Ariel to find out their goals and aspirations in different areas, creating an activity plan for the “Terminal” club hangout for youngsters, cultivating volunteerism as a value among the youth in Ariel and creating a database of mobile phones and e-mails of youth and children in the city in order to be able to publish announcements about future activities and events more easily. In addition, the parliament members requested of Mayor Nachman to assist needy students in funding their participation in cultural functions in their schools.

The Mayor told the youngsters about the “City without Violence” program that will begin next month to help reduce the increasing Israeli phenomenon of drinking and violence. He informed the members of the opening date of the National Youth Leadership Development Park on April 8th, 2010, which will attract 40,000 youngsters from around the country every year. Finally, Mayor Nachman explained about the ramifications of the current building freeze to Ariel’s young leaders.

Mayor Nachman, who was highly impressed with the parliament members’ plan, promised incentives for those who display excellence in pursuing the goals that they set forth, and in succeeding in making volunteering a meaningful element of life amongst Ariel’s youth.

The members of parliament will continue to meet every week at the Youth Center in order to advance their plans for the youth in the city. Next month they will go on a two-day leadership seminar in one of the youth hostels in Israel. The parliament members will continue to meet with the Mayor upon their request.

Written by Shlomi Amar. Translated by Rachel Tahar.

Ariel: A National Priority

In Ariel City, National on December 15, 2009 at 9:37 am

December 15, 2009

Dear Residents of Ariel,

I am pleased to inform you, dear residents of Ariel, that following an extended confrontation with three of Israel’s recent governmental administrations, I have finally succeeded in my efforts to include the City of Ariel in the National Priority Map of the State of Israel.

The outcome of this struggle has many impacts on the residents of Ariel in particular, and on most of the communities in Judea and Samaria in general which will now also be included in the National Priority Map. This change of status strengthens the communities in Samaria, the City of Ariel and, of course, you – our residents.

This decision has a direct effect on the financial relief for parents who have children in kindergartens, on extra school hours and various incentives, of which I will notify you once they are officially issued.

Our industrial zone has been declared a national priority, which means it will enable us to continue its development, creating hundreds of jobs for the residents of Ariel.

The benefits and the incentives will support our education, welfare, housing, industry and employment.

In the face of the horrid building freeze decree, our renewed status as a national priority is a ray of light in an otherwise dark time.

Yours truly,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Settler leaders to ignore building ban, Tovah Lazaroff, herb Keinon and Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST

In National on December 13, 2009 at 11:21 am

Settler leaders threatened on Monday to ban civil administration inspectors from their communities as they prepared to tell Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a face-to-face meeting this week that they will ignore his 10-month moratorium on new construction in their communities.

The moratorium is “illegitimate, immoral, inhuman and anti-Zionist,” the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip (the Yesha Council) declared Monday afternoon, as it held its third emergency session in less than one week.

An official from the Prime Minister’s Office refused to respond to that statement.

“We don’t want to get into that kind of discussion,” he said.

He added that these are the types of issues that would be discussed at the meeting, which will be the first time that Netanyahu has met with the settler leadership since he took office on March 31.

The purpose of the meeting, the official said, was for Netanyahu to hear the concerns, complaints and frustrations of the settlement leaders with respect to the moratorium. He is expected to explain his decision to freeze all new settlement projects that have not yet broken ground. Netanyahu, however, had agreed that settlers can complete 3,000 housing units whose construction had already begun.

“I think the prime minister will tell them why he took the step, and why he feels it is important for the country,” the official said.

The official said it was not yet clear whether the meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday, would go ahead despite Netanyahu’s viral infection, which forced him to postpone a trip on Monday with six cabinet ministers to Berlin. But he added that the meeting would take place some time this week.

The decision to engage with the leadership of the settlement community, the official said, was taken before Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

The official said Netanyahu would articulate “the high regard in which he holds the settlement community.”

Karnei Shomron Council head Herzl Ben-Arie said he intended to boycott the meeting.

“There is no point is speaking with someone who plans to place a second Hamas state in Judea and Samaria,” he said.

He added that Netanyahu should have met with them before announcing the moratorium, which the security cabinet voted on last Wednesday. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the IDF immediately handed out copies of the new orders to the 24 regional and local council heads in Judea and Samaria.

In tandem, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he planned to hire 40 more building inspectors to help out the 14 who already work for the civil administration.

A number of settler leaders tore up the orders, which, among other things, stripped them of their power to issue construction permits and ordered them to enforce the new regulations.

Still, they did not stop civil administration inspectors from visiting 30 settlements on Monday, including Elkana, Beit El, Tekoa, Modi’in Illit, Ariel and Kedar.

During their visits, the inspectors issued 50 stop-work orders at sites where they felt the foundations were not yet properly set, and construction could therefore, they said, be stopped under the new edict. Since ground had definitely been broken at these sites, it was not clear how these orders corresponded with the earlier definition of the moratorium.

Four bulldozers and tractors, as well as building material, were also confiscated.

The civil administration said it hoped to finish visiting all the settlements and illegal outposts in the West Bank this week.

The inspectors are accompanied by security
forces and are authorized to confiscate construction equipment, including bulldozers and heavy machinery, if they encounter a violation of the construction freeze.

“We are prepared to take action if needed and confiscate building materials and machinery if our orders are not heeded,” one official said.

In Tekoa, the inspectors were accosted by a group of right-wing activists. Officials said the incident ended without violence.

Netanyahu, according to media reports, called Barak to ask that civil administration inspectors allow construction workers in the settlement of Kedar to continue building 25 housing units. Netanyahu had approved the construction of the housing units and they were not meant to be included in the moratorium, he reportedly said.

In Ariel and Elkana, settler leaders said the civil administration issued stop-work orders on projects that had already been permitted.

Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman said the project they stopped in Ariel had been approved under former prime minister Ehud Olmert. Now the contractor has to come for a meeting next week, so the civil administration can determine if the project is still valid, even though he has all the necessary permits, said Nachman.

A longtime member of the Likud Party, Nachman said Monday that he felt as if he had been turned into a criminal by the very government he had supported.

Settler leaders agreed on Tuesday not to cooperate on any level with the civil administration, and have instructed their staff, including their engineers, to follow suit.

They also have refused to attend a meeting Tuesday with the civil administration, in which IDF officials had intended to explain the new edict.

Settler leaders did meet Monday with Housing
and Construction Minister Ariel Attias and explained to him that they planned to ignore the edict.

“No defeatist governmental decision will stop us from building,” they told him.

Ariel Mayor: PM Better Cool Off Before It’s Too Late

In National on December 13, 2009 at 11:17 am

( Mayor Ron Nachman of Ariel said Monday evening that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “better regain his composure before it’s too late,” regarding the construction freeze announced by the government for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria last week. Nachman spoke to Arutz Sheva after placing an angry phone call to government secretary Tzvika Hauser over the actions of inspectors from the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria, who confiscated construction equipment in Ariel, ordered builders to stop work and detained them for questioning despite Netanyahu’s decision to delegate the serving of the freeze orders to local leaders.

The mayor told Arutz Sheva, “This is something that has never been done in Israel. Netanyahu sees the 300,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria as second-class citizens.”

Ariel Mayor: Netanyahu Worse than Rabin

In National on December 13, 2009 at 11:16 am

( Mayor Ron Nachman of the Samarian Jewish community of Ariel said Friday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria is worse than the freeze imposed in 1992 by then prime minister Yitzchak Rabin.

Nachman said the freeze imposed by Rabin has been maintained solely on Ariel since then, restricting its growth to a population that is now barely in the 18,000 range, as opposed to Ma’aleh Adumim, near Jerusalem, which has twice as many people. But he gave Rabin credit for discussing the step with local leaders, something he said Netanyahu did not do.

Ariel Mayor: I Won’t Enforce Building Freeze, by David Lev

In National on December 13, 2009 at 11:11 am

Ariel Mayor Ran Nachman on Saturday night called on mayors of cities in Judea and Samaria to cut off all ties with the Defense Ministry in protest over the decision to impose a building freeze in Judea and Samaria – and, he says, he has no plans to enforce the freeze.

“Is this freeze so important that they had to distribute the orders banning construction on Friday afternoon, right before Shabbat?,” Nachman asked rhetorically. Speaking to Arutz 7, Nachman said that “when the Defense Ministry called me on Friday afternoon, I thought that a war had broken out. I do not intend to remain silent in light of the humiliation and shame that the mayors of towns in Judea and Samaria have been put through. I plan to petition the High Court over the despicable way the authorities chose to distribute these orders, without giving us the right to respond, without listening to us, summarily taking away our rights.

“The Defense Minister, without feeling or intelligence, ran roughshod over our rights,” continued Nachman. “He thinks he is still leading an IDF intelligence unit and that we are the enemy. Because they took away my authority as mayor to authorize projects in my jurisdiction, I hereby give up my authority to enforce these orders. If anyone violates this building freeze in my jurisdiction I will not act against them. If the Civil Administration wants to handle it, they are welcome to. I am out of the picture,” Nachman added.