City of Ariel

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Hanukah message from Mayor Nachman

In International, Letters on December 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Dear Friends,

Today we celebrate.

The first day of Hanukah is a time for us to consider just why the City of Ariel is so important. The message of witnessing miracles “in those days, and in these times” resonates with us. To fully appreciate why, we need to take a look at the greatest challenge that Israel faces today.

Yes, Iran is building up a nuclear program that threatens Israel and the entire free world. True, the so-called “international community” consistently attempts to find fault in Israel. Indeed, Prime Minister Netanyahu is condemned by the United Nations for building homes for Jews in our ancestral homeland. The list goes on and on. But there is an even more profound challenge that we face.

The greatest danger that we face today is the transformation of Zionists into Israel’s greatest adversaries. It’s sad but true. As time goes on we see the impact of the anti-Israel propaganda campaign hitting harder and harder. For the first time, growing numbers of Jews are proud to be critical of Israel. They are fed not only by the general anti-Israel media bias, but by a small but vocal group of extreme leftwing Israelis who fight Israel from within. Politicians such as Yossi Beilin, who cannot influence Israeli politics due to lack of domestic support, opt to apply international pressure on Israel through foreign governments and organizations. Our greatest challenge is our very own people.

As opposed to other holidays when we celebrate the survival of the Jewish Nation, on Hanukah we celebrate the survival of the Jewish soul. The Greeks waged a spiritual war against the Jews, attempting to strip us of our culture and our faith. The Greeks were extremely successful, with significant numbers of Hellenist Jews adopting the Greek culture and its anti-Israel perspective. Ultimately, it was a small group of Jews who successfully resisted the Greek Empire. Their message was simple; the spirit of the Jewish People cannot be extinguished. Our light will live on, forever.

As disturbing as it is to see just how many have fallen into the anti-Israel camp, be reassured that there are people in Israel with a proud Jewish spirit. Everything that we have built in Ariel – and everything that we continue to build– proclaims the success of Zionism. From immigrant absorption to education, from culture to youth development and from community health to regional stability, every element of life in Ariel is enhanced and enriched with a sense of purpose. Whoever visits Ariel is infused with sincere pride in the Zionist Enterprise – and for good reason. Ariel is a reminder to all that the Jewish spirit is alive and well, and it will never fall prey to the empires of the world that choose to undermine it.

I invite you to celebrate with us. I am extremely appreciative of our many friends, both Jews and Christians, who walk with us and lend us encouragement. Now, during this holiday season, I want you to be inspired. Every time you think about Ariel, be proud. Think of what you have done and will do in partnership with us. Let that sense of pride grown within you. Let it motivate you as you celebrate this special time with your friends and your family. And don’t forget to tell them about the City of Ariel, where the light shines as strong as ever.

Happy holidays,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Open letter: Mayor Ron Nachman to Secretary of State Clinton

In International, Letters on June 29, 2011 at 10:50 am

ARIEL, ISRAEL – June 29, 2011 –

The following is a letter that Mayor Ron Nachman issued to Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel and the Consul General in Jerusalem.

Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton  U.S. Secretary of State

Mr. James B. Cunningham  U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Mr. Daniel Rubinstein   Consul General

Dear all,

I appreciate your invitation to Mr. Daniel Rubinstein’s reception honoring the 235th anniversary of the United States of America which will take place on June 29, 2011.

When I was a Member of Israel’s 13th Knesset I received invitations to celebrate America’s Independence Day at the home of the Ambassador to Israel in Herziliya. Since being a Member of Knesset, however, I receive invitations from the Consul General but not from the Ambassador.

Although my family has been in Israel for four generations it seems that I’ve been deemed a second class Israeli citizen, due to my role as a mayor in Samaria.

I assure you that I have great respect for and warm sentiments towards the United States of America. And yet, this approach is insulting. I would like to suggest that you cease distinguishing between Israelis, as the current policy does not compliment you and serves only to harm us.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman: Open Letter to President Obama

In Ariel City, International, Letters on January 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

Mr. Barack Obama

President of the United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

USA

Dear President Obama,

Ariel Demands to Grow

I, Ron Nachman, am the elected Mayor of the City of Ariel since its establishment 32 years ago.

Over three decades ago I dreamt of establishing a city in Samaria, in the heartland of the State of Israel. My dream was to create a home for Israeli citizens, replete with education, culture, employment and a high quality of life. My dream has been realized.

The City of Ariel is named after Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. Approximately 20,000 residents call Ariel home. In addition, the city’s population swells daily, with an influx of 12,000 students that study at the Ariel University Center.

I believe that you and I have a great deal in common. You are a productive person who believes in the value of actions and in those who take action, irrespective of race or creed. I, too, believe in concerted effort and meaningful actions, through which we can achieve our goals. If I would have to choose a motto that could summarize my belief system it would most likely be “yes we can”.

Please allow me to recognize our achievements. Peace is a lofty goal, which we achieve on a daily basis, here in Ariel. We live alongside our neighbors, we share our employment, we share our infrastructure and resources, we make higher education available to all and we conduct ongoing initiatives which successfully demonstrate the successes of a viable co-existence.

Similarly, I would like to recognize the United States’ significant contribution to peace in this region, as well as your personal efforts to achieve a feasible agreement, for which I am very grateful. Having said that, it is my personal belief that we will not achieve a true and lasting peace through negotiations on the White House lawn, rather through human interaction and cooperation amongst neighbors.

Mr. President, I cordially and respectfully invite you to the City of Ariel. I would like you to see with your own eyes the very issues that are currently being discussed, as maps and even photographs fall far too short of capturing reality. Only the land, the people, the views and the environment are capable of presenting the backdrop for creative and, ultimately, successful solutions.

Both of us, Mr. President, are driven with an intense motivation to achieve a lasting peace in the region.

This letter represents my official invitation to you to visit the City of Ariel, as an integral element in our pursuit towards achieving a true solution that will bring and end to the conflict, improved relations with our neighbors and a better future, forever.

Respectfully,

 

 

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Message from the Mayor: Blessings for a Year of Unity

In Ariel City, Letters on September 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm

New Year’s Message from Mayor Ron Nachman

9/6/10

Blessings for a Year of Unity

As we near Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we review and evaluate the events of the recent past in anticipation of a promising future. It’s my pleasure to share some of our recent achievements with you in this bulletin. As you will see, the City of Ariel has proven that we can achieve our goals in the face of formidable challenges, due to our tireless commitment and our guiding vision.

Unfortunately, this past year was characterized by a number of events which threaten to undermine the State of Israel and challenge our unity as a People. The unprecedented decision of Israel’s government to freeze construction in all of Judea and Samaria came as a shocking surprise. This never happened in the past, even in the worst of times. The government theorized that by imposing the freeze they would appease President Obama, who disregarded the natural and historic alliance between Israel and the U.S. by displaying antagonism towards Israel since he first took office. The building freeze theory was, as the many American and European manufactured policies that preceded it, a failure. Instead of bringing us closer to peace it merely served to strip 300,000 Jews the right to live normally.

Peace cannot be achieved through force. He who does not understand that will not understand why we have not yet achieved peace. We are now five years after the unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the destruction of Gush Katif by Ariel Sharon. Then, too, we were told that unilateral initiatives would bring peace. Instead we continue to suffer the tragedy of those who lost their homes, communities and livelihood in exchange for incessant rocket fire on Israel’s civilian population. As in the past, all theories of land for peace explode in our faces – we give land and we receive war.

This year, instead of a world which accepted Israel’s self imposed building freeze and attempts at appeasement, Israel was condemned with the infamous Goldstone Report. The report marks a new genre of anti-Israel politics. By embracing the Palestinian narrative and ignoring Israel’s basic right to self defense, the report serves as the foundation for delegitimizing Israel by portraying a racist country whose leaders are guilty of war crimes. These irresponsible claims are none other than anti-Semitism, plain as can be, hidden under the guise of anti-Zionism.

The Goldstone Report was followed by yet another media ploy known as the Gaza Flotilla. This time the active participation of foreign governments and the unscrupulous practices of “humanitarian organizations” were plain for all to see. Here too, the anti-Israel camp orchestrated a dangerous attack on Israel’s international reputation.

And yet, as we look towards the coming year, we must understand that our greatest challenge is internal and not external. When we consider all those who protest our existence as a sovereign state we need to band together for mutual support. As I’m sure you know, the Ariel Center for the Performing Arts has come under attack. A small group of performers declared that they would boycott us. Can you imagine – Israelis boycotting Israelis? What have we come to? Are the People of Ariel to be deprived of culture, the arts, dance and music? Should we be stripped of our humanity so that a handful of performers can use us as a stage for a political agenda?

Let’s be wiser this year. Let’s learn from our recent history. Let’s stand united in the face of those who seek to undermine Israel as a Jewish State and a democracy. Let’s focus on progress and continuity. Let’s declare that after 2,000 years of exile we’re going to stick together and stay where we are. We will not allow others to tear us apart. We will be confident in knowing that Israel is our G-d given land, home of our ancestors and the promise of our future. Next year those who choose to challenge us will be met by a unified people, who will sooner survive and succeed than crumble under adversity and pressure. Our objective is simple: unity, unity, unity.

May we be blessed with a year of health and happiness – together.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Letter from Ariel’s Mayor Ron Nachman: Israel Under Siege

In International, Letters on June 3, 2010 at 7:11 am

“The world needs to open its eyes.”  — Ron Nachman, Mayor of Ariel

6/3/10

Mayor Ron Nachman of the city of Ariel in the Shomron, Israel, on the current ‘flotilla’ crisis, Iran, the international community, the media, and the myriad of threats facing the State of Israel.

Israel is at war.

This war is a very different war than those that we’ve known in the past.

The Arabs understand that they cannot break Israel on the battlefield. Time after time they’ve tried, and time after time they’ve failed. But they are not planning on giving up. To compensate for their failed strategies they’ve chosen to operate on two alternative fronts, each of which poses a fierce challenge to the continued existence of the State of Israel.

The first front is the Iranian nuclear weapons program.  Ahmedenijad speaks aloud of his desire and intention to annihilate the State of Israel, and the world remains silent. While the United States suggests imposing sanctions of little consequence, the Arabs stand by, mocking Western naiveté and foolishness. Of course, this should not be new to us. The world was also silent as the Nazi’s rose to power before World War II. They didn’t want to hear about the threat of the Third Reich. They didn’t believe that Hitler would act in accordance with his words. They opted for appeasement, imagining that the problem would dissipate on its own. The world was silent, and they were horribly wrong. Today, too, the world is silent, even while Israel’s very existence is being threatened.

On the other front, the Arab world has mobilized itself with a sophisticated anti-Israel propaganda campaign. They use each and every media tool available as a platform for their message: television, radio and mass media are only the beginning. They enroll university students to sympathize with their cause, and equip them with the tools to instigate provocative demonstrations and misconduct. They use the façade of international organizations as a vehicle for funneling money to serve their cause, primarily with backing from European countries and, to a degree, with American funds as well. Under the guise of international law they seek to discredit and ultimately destroy the country whose existence they refuse to acknowledge or accept. What they can’t accomplish through direct confrontation they seek to achieve by creating a new, multifaceted public relations battlefield.

This insidious campaign has an underlying and unifying theme. Its proponents seek to convince the world that Israel is a racist “apartheid” nation. In truth, it is the Hamas, not Israel, that controls all of the Gaza Strip. It is the PLO, not Israel, that controls the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria. And yet, it is Israel who bares the blame for the circumstances of the Palestinians. When Israel builds a defensive fence with the goal of self preservation in the face of terror, the world cries out.  When Israel retaliates in reaction to years of relentless attacks and thousands of rockets fired from Gaza, the Security Council lashes out with claims of war crimes. The Arab world uses the United Nations, The Hague and international pressure to disparage, undermine and delegitimize Israel.

The anti-Israel propaganda campaign reached its apex with the Turkey-endorsed attempt to penetrate the Gaza blockade. The comprehensive media stunt broke all records. The aggressors spoke of “peace” and “humanitarian aid”. Unfortunately, the “aid” that they had aboard ship paled in comparison to the weekly aid that Israel provides to the Gaza Strip, and the “peace” that they spoke of was demonstrated by their brutal premeditated attacks on the Israeli Defense Forces. Sadly, the IDF simply didn’t understand just how far these people were prepared to go in order to delegitimize Israel.

Instead of sitting down at the negotiating table they insist on waging war. Instead of recognizing Israel’s existence they invent new battle grounds. Instead of launching a direct attack they use civilians and the media to do their dirty work. They will do whatever they can to isolate Israel from the world community, until it stands alone in the face of a nuclear threat. Their plan is very thorough and well coordinated. And what does the West do? They keep silent. When oil and money are involved nobody wants to threaten the Arabs.

Now, more than ever, the world needs to open its eyes. Danger is imminent, and we cannot keep silent. At a glance, Israel’s borders may seem reasonably secure, but more and more of the world is gradually putting Israel under siege. Boycotts, sanctions, relentless pressure from the media and the United Nations continue their encroachment. We cannot and must not remain silent.

I urge you to speak out. Speak out for Israel. Speak out for democracy in the Middle East. Speak out for the one and only Jewish Homeland. Speak out because it’s the right thing to do. Speak out because you care. Speak out, because silence is not an option.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

The America-Israel Crisis

In International, Letters, National on March 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Dear Friends,

The papers are plastered with headlines concerning the current American-Israeli crisis. Indeed, the situation is very grave, but it is by no means a surprise to me.

Ever since President Obama took office I warned that his administration would be antagonistic towards Israel. I noted that there are Israeli “insiders” from the political left, who coordinate their efforts against Israel’s elected government with President Obama’s closest advisors. From the Oslo Accords and to this very day, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Aaron Miller, Dan Kurtzer, Martin Indyk and even Dennis Ross play strategic roles in developing plans to undermine Israel’s sovereignty. This time it is President Obama who they’ve convinced to execute their agenda.

What Israel’s political left could not accomplish in democratic elections they attempt to achieve through their personal ties with the American government, American organizations such as the New Israel Fund and J-Street, and European governments. They seek to advance their political agenda by escalating external international pressure against the Netanyahu government, with the goal of driving Israel to new elections and the hope that an Obama-pleasing politician might replace Prime Minister Netanyahu. Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy, is being pushed up against a wall by an American administration that doesn’t care what Israeli voters have to say about their own survival.

They’ve developed a clever yet baseless campaign in order to execute their plan. They’ve chosen the politically irrelevant issue of construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as the focus of their anti-Israel rhetoric. Though Israeli construction will have no effect on supposed peace negotiations, the topic does have the potential to tear up the Netanyahu government coalition from within. This well orchestrated international intervention in Israeli politics is clearly displayed by America’s unabashed and disproportionately firm criticism of Israel’s conduct.

When was the last time we heard Secretary of State Clinton criticize Abu Mazen or Egypt for their flagrant disregard for Israeli attempts to convene negotiations? When was the last time we saw President Obama press Iran or Pakistan with cries for immediate action?

Sadly, it seems like the anti-Israel rhetoric has sunk to an even deeper and unexpected low. There is a new blood libel that has begun to spread. It is the irrational suggestion that American troops are at risk because of Israeli policy.

Have American troops been under attack in Iraq due to Israeli policy? Are American troops fighting in Afghanistan due to Israeli policy? Does Ahmadinejad want to destroy America, the “Great Satan”, because of Israeli policy?

It’s time for President Obama to set the record straight. America is Israel’s greatest ally, but let us not forget that America needs Israel as an ally as well. It’s time for America to take confidence building steps towards Israel, its worthy ally. I hope that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton will finally respect the decisions passed by Congress to move America’s Embassy to Israel’s capital – the City of Jerusalem. I hope that the Obama administration will realize its natural and necessary kinship and affiliation with Israel, that it will seek opportunities to advance the two countries’ mutual interests and that it will address the State of Israel with the respect and dignity that it deserves. Anything less would be an insult – not to Israel, but to President Obama and to the United States of America.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman
Mayor of Ariel

Letter from Mayor Nachman to Prime Minister Gordon Brown

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

To:
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.

Respectfully,

Ron Nachman
Mayor 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

Political Intervention

In International, Letters, National on June 8, 2009 at 11:04 am

Dear Friends,

As I’m sure you’ve all seen in the news, Israel is currently under extreme pressure. I met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of the Likud party following his recent visit to Washington D.C. The Prime Minister spoke of the pressure that President Obama is applying to reach a so called “solution” within an unrealistic timetable. He explained that he is working to advance a policy in which he will avoid harming the Zionist enterprise, whilst maintaining Israel’s relationship with America. At this point Prime Minister Netanyahu has made Iran’s nuclear threat his first priority. Make no mistake about it – we are dealing with the very survival of the State of Israel.

The Obama administration, which includes many individuals who support the radical positions of the Peace Now movement, has set itself along a very dangerous path, placing both Israel and America in harm’s way. My impression is that the State Department, in coordination with “moderate” European governments, is developing an orchestrated strategy to remove Prime Minister Netanyahu from office, as was done in the past to Prime Minister Shamir. No good can come from such an overt attempt to manipulate Israel’s sovereignty.

It’s too early to know how things will develop, but it is obvious that America’s current policy will not bring peace. Unfortunately, if it brings disaster then no public official will take responsibility. It’s a true shame that the pursuit of oil and money are threatening the very survival of the State of Israel.

We are doing all we can to hold the fort here in Ariel. Despite all of the challenges we continue to move forward. We continue to initiate and implement a variety of projects and programs throughout the City of Ariel – each of which provides the People of Ariel with the tools to persevere in challenging times, to hold their heads high day in and day out and to serve as an example of true leadership for the rest of Israeli society. I turn to you to do what you can to take a stand as well. Whether through letter writing campaigns to President Obama, Hillary Clinton and your elected officials, or through volunteering and supporting the American Friends of Ariel organization, you can make a real difference.

With sincere gratitude for your support,

Ron Nachman

Mayor 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