City of Ariel

Posts Tagged ‘Ariel City’

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

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

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

(Israelnationalnews.com) 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

(Israelnationalnews.com) 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.

Ariel’s 30th Anniversary

In Ariel Events on September 18, 2007 at 12:35 pm

In honor of Ariel’s 30th birthday, Ariel’s founder and Mayor, Ron Nachman, was interviewed to get a look at the past, present and future of Ariel through his eyes.

Q: You were the chairman of “Garin Tel Aviv”, the group of people organized to establish Ariel, and you led these first families to settle the fledgling community in 1978. What are some of your best and worst memories? 

A: One good memory I have is of great excitement right at the start. During Golda Meir’s government, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan called on the young people of Israel to do more for the defense of the country and for the settlement movement. 

We formed a group in the Israel Military Industries who wanted to take him up on that challenge and we responded to his call in a letter, telling him we were interested in forming a “settlement Garin”, a nucleus of potential settlers. 

He wrote us back very quickly and I remember how excited we were at receiving his letter. Dayan said he would help us to further our plans and encourage the government of Israel to allocate land for us, according to the government’s policies. That was a great day!

One of the worst memories from that time was the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War. Many of the original Garin members were called up and as history has shown, even though Israel was victorious, it was a terrible war with great losses for Israel. In terms of the Garin, it stopped all our activities and put our plans on hold for close to 4 years.

A really interesting aspect of Garin Tel Aviv was that we decided to adopt the methods that the Kibbutz movement used to screen potential residents: this was socio-metric testing for both men and women, questionnaires to fill out, home visits and we charged monthly membership dues. In short, we made great demands of the people who wanted to join us. And yet, almost 6,000 people joined and they fought to be among the first to settle. There was a real spirit then that showed that young Israelis had values. They wanted to do for their country. Those are the values that made Israel “a light unto the nations.” 

If I look at recent years, the worst thing that happened since Ariel was founded is that Israeli politics have eroded those values. Since Israel was reborn, leaders like Ben-Gurion regarded settlement as one of the key elements in creating the Jewish homeland – Aliyah (immigration), security and settlement were the critical factors in creating the Jewish State. 

Since Oslo, however, the idea of settlement has been denigrated and belittled. Let me make this clear: without settlement, there would be no Israel. Moreover, the left began accusing us of being “occupiers” but if this is our land, if we have the right to this land – and we do – then we are not “occupiers”, we are the rightful owners of the land. 

Q:  You have been the elected Mayor of Ariel for 23 years and now, you are running for another 5 year term. What have been:

a)     Your most important accomplishments in 23 years

b)     Your regrets or disappointments during that time. 

a: There is no doubt that the most important accomplishment is that we built a city from nothing – and we did it against all odds. Despite the political discrimination and the years of being “frozen”, we built a city that far surpasses any other founded in Israel at the time. The City has an amazing array of services and facilities that provide a wonderful quality of life for the people who live here. And we did it because it was the right thing to do for Israel – the Zionist spirit lives here. And we get confirmation in the reaction of every visitor to Ariel… “Wow, I did not expect this”… “This has been the highlight of my trip”… “This is so different from what the media shows”. 

Another very important decision we made was to bring Russian immigrants to Ariel. They doubled our population and created the critical mass that truly makes a city viable. Moreover, strengthening the Zionist spirit for immigrant absorption is the mandate of Israel. 

No less important was the development of a university in Ariel. Ariel University Center, with over 10,000 students, has made Ariel a university town and that is invaluable. I have family in Princeton, New Jersey and always see a parallel when I visit. There is a very special quality to a college town. 

What cannot be emphasized too much is the fact that in building and developing Ariel, we have secured Israel’s borders and retained Samaria for the Jewish people. I think that overall, that is by far our most important accomplishment. 

b. In terms of regrets, I think I would have to say I am disappointed that we have not yet become a population of 30,000. Even though that is primarily because of the continual building freezes, I still feel responsible. 

Q:  What are your goals, your hopes for Ariel, in the next 5 years? 

A:  I have many goals and hopes for this wonderful city but I think I can categorize them into four main topics: 

  1. To expand Ariel to a population of 30,000 within the next 10 years. 
  2. I feel we are on the right path to making Ariel’s educational system one of the best in Israel and I hope to make progress toward that goal in the next 5 years. 
  3. I want Ariel to be known as a healthy city. Here in the mountains, with clear air, there is no reason we cannot become leaders in ecological development and in our concern for the environment. 
  4. By the same token as the home of Israel’s 8th University and the first to privatize and develop the R & D Center established by the government for Russian immigrants, Ariel can and should become known as a leader in the development of R & D, new start-up and hi-tech industry. 

Q: In another 30 years, when people talk about Ron Nachman, what do you hope they will say? 

A: I hope they will remember me like the people of Nes Ziona remember my grandfather –as the man who built a city. Ariel really is my life’s work. I gave up many other opportunities to be the mayor of this city. I hope I am remembered for my consistency – of opinion, of vision and of achievement.

Inside the Fence

In Ariel City, Letters on September 24, 2003 at 12:17 pm

Dear Friends,

Ariel has been prominent in the media of late and I wanted to make sure that our friends fully understand recent events and are not dependent only on the media for information.

There has been much talk about the separation fence and whether or not Ariel will be “inside” the fence. Because Ariel is the largest Jewish city in Samaria and well known internationally, the headlines read Ariel when it should be the “Ariel Bloc”. This is an area that includes not only Ariel but Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Emanuel and a number of smaller communities. Moreover, it is important to know that almost 50,000 Jews and only some 4,000 Arabs live in the “Ariel Bloc”.

The Israeli government says this fence is a security fence, with no political ramifications. I would prefer to see no fence built at all. If, however, a security fence is being built then the people of Ariel and the area, taxpayers all, who serve faithfully in the IDF, deserve that protection as much as the people of any other Israeli city.

Let us hope that in this New Year, our government will be gifted with wisdom and make decisions that lead to a peaceful and secure year for all of Israel.

In Ariel, we will continue to make the welfare of the residents our first priority, to see in them our most precious asset. We will continue to make Ariel attractive to new immigrants from around the world, investing our skills and resources in facilitating their integration. And with your help, we will continue to provide the people of Ariel with the safest and richest quality of life we can.

I wish you all a joyous year, a year rich in special moments with family and friends, a year of prosperity, peace and security. Shana Tova!

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Re-Election

In Ariel City, Letters on June 16, 1995 at 11:32 am

Dear Friends, 

On May 23, 1995, I was re-elected Mayor of Ariel for a third term with an unprecedented majority of over 85%. Moreover, my list for the City Council won 8 of the 11 council seats. Clearly, I am gratified by this overwhelming vote of confidence and I am very aware that it carries with it a tremendous burden of responsibility, particularly in terms of Ariel’s future. In light of the current political climate, that future sometimes seems uncertain and often, dangerous – not only for the people of Ariel but for all of Israel and all of the Jewish people. 

We are in the midst of a serious crisis. The basic Jewish values upon which the State of Israel was founded, the strong sense of national identity that has always characterized the Israeli people seems to have vanished. When an Israeli Deputy Minister can request that the words “Nefesh Yehudi” be removed from Israel’s national anthem, we see how dangerous the situation has become. For without this “Nefesh Yehudi”, without the Jewish soul and spirit, there is no Jewish people, no Eretz Yisrael, no Torah. 

This atmosphere is a by-product of the agreement, signed between the government of Israel and the PLO, an agreement that brought an army of terrorists from Tunisia and Beirut to new bases in cities only a mile from Kfar-Saba, 9 miles from Netanya and 15 miles from Tel Aviv. 

Aware that his political future is tied to that of Arafat, Prime Minister Rabin is prepared to go to any lengths to keep the PLO leader strong. He is willing to give away the assets of the Jewish people and receive nothing in return. For the only things this agreement has brought us are death and bloodshed. 

The brave families of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights are the only “impediments” to Rabin’s plan and so he has singled them out for the fiercest abuse. He has established policies that harm our children’s education, that deny benefits to immigrants and elderly in the region, that negatively affect the income of thousands of young families. His hope is that, under this non-stop pressure, people will give up and leave their homes. If that does not work, he will use the IDF to “transfer” them physically.

Every government is entitled to set its own policies and establish its own priorities. That is the democratic way. But the prime directive of a democratic government must be to protect and defend its citizens and provide them with their basic needs. A government that neglects its citizens’ needs and endangers their security has betrayed the people’s trust and must face the consequences. 

Yes, the government has the right to set its policies, but it does not have the right to single out one sector of its citizens for discrimination. A prime minister that reveals in every interview in the written or broadcast media his extreme distaste for 140,000 men, women and children who have fulfilled their Zionist ideology by settling in Judea and Samaria, that incites against them consistently, is no longer the leader of all of the people. 

At the same time that the government holds back budgets for Jewish communities in Judea & Samaria, Rabin and Peres jetset around the world trying to raise funds for Arafat. While their agents prohibit the Jewish Agency from providing assistance for the Jews in Eretz Yisrael, they devote their efforts to strengthening the terrorist haven in Gaza. Our Arab neighbors look on and laugh. They themselves, of course do not contribute funds to support their PLO brothers. They do not need to. After all, American taxpayers are doing it for them. 

This is Rabin’s solution to the 100 year Arab-Israeli conflict. Every Prime Minister since the founding of the state of Israel has sought avenues to peace, but peace with security. Any Prime Minister could have chosen to give half the country away in the hope that the problem would go away. For this, our Prime Minister received the Nobel Peace Prize. But this is no solution. This is an ostrich approach – a hope that if you push the problem out of your sight, it will disappear. All Rabin has really accomplished is endangering Israel’s security and not only for the present-day Israeli population but for generations to come. 

We, in Ariel, have crated a strong political fact – almost 15,000 people, thousands of children, 6 schools, the College of Judea & Samaria with over 4000 students, an industrial area with 110 plants and factories producing 500 million dollars worth of goods – all evidence that this is no temporary settlement. Ariel is a permanent and strong, dynamic young city and our strength radiates outwards to tens of other communities in the area. Only as long as these communities remain strong will we be able to prevent katyushas from hitting Tel Aviv, to keep Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, undivided, to protect Israel’s borders. 

We are doing our part but we need your help in our struggle to ensure Israel’s future. Stand with us now – politically, morally, financially – so that the government’s discriminatory policies will not destroy the communities that are keeping Israel strong. 

Sincerely, 

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Absorbing Olim from the East

In Ariel City, Letters, National on April 16, 1990 at 11:10 am

Dear Friends, 

These last few months have truly been a landmark period in Ariel’s development, a time of building, of laying new cornerstones, both literally and figuratively. As we enter 1990, we see the opening of a second commercial center for Ariel, a new high technology industrial park, the first stages of construction of two new sports centers and the Ariel Cultural Complex, groundbreaking for a new Torah Center, and the most welcome addition of all, the advent of hundreds of new immigrants from the Soviet Union. 

These are only some of the signs of the strength and optimism of Ariel. We have gone through a difficult two years of “intifada”, and yet Ariel has grown by leaps and bounds. With the change in area commanders, there had been a major decrease in violent activity in this area. Though the brutal murder of Arabs by Arabs continues, incidents involving Jewish settlers or Israeli soldiers have been drastically reduced. Ties between the resident of Ariel and the IDF forces serving in the area have strengthened. In fact, the city and its residents have recently “adopted” the division serving in this area and organized a great number of activities to express their appreciation to the soldiers and to make their service more pleasant.

Moreover, we recognized that Ariel could answer the specific needs of so many families, that we had the facilities and services and most importantly, the human resources, to make newcomers feel welcome in our community. And so we came forward. We did not wait for others to do for us. We initiated. 

Several years ago, we set up an independent Municipal Aliyah & Absorption office so that we could welcome South Africans and South Americans. In essence, we made Aliyah Ariel’s number-one priority. Now, when everyone is merely talking excitedly about the wave of Russian Aliyah, we are ready. We have just opened our sixth ulpan class for the study of the Hebrew language. We set up a network of volunteers to act as adoptive families and to help these newcomers thought the early and sometimes difficult stages of integration. We opened our hearts and our homes to our brothers from the Soviet Union. 

This has been no easy accomplishment. We have no official absorption center in Ariel, nor do we receive any assistance from either the Jewish Agency or the Jewish Federations. We are, in fact, the victims of a political boycott. This will not stop us. We have prepared the groundwork for the most successful, efficient and warmest kind of absorption of these new immigrants, and we are confident that not only will they benefit from all that we have to offer, but that our community will be enriched by their presence. 

There are some hard, cold facts that simply cannot be ignored. We are facing one of the most serious sequences of events in the history of the Jewish people – a danger to the very existence of the Jews of Eastern Europe. The stories of anti-Semitism that we have been hearing from recent arrivals from the Soviet Union are truly frightening. Glasnost and Perestroika have, among other things, brought to the Russians the freedom to express their hatred of Jews. It is time for every for every one of us, both here and abroad, to put aside his political biases. We must not allow internal conflict to distract us from this most vital of all missions. First and foremost, we must ensure the speedy release of every Soviet Jew who wishes to come home. And then, we must facilitate their resettlement in those places that are best equipped to absorb them. 

This task does not rest with Ariel alone. It is a responsibility shared with Jews everywhere. Now is the time for industrialists from every country around the world to open branches of their businesses in those cities that are absorbing Russian Jewry, so that more places of employment are created. Now is the time to stretch our budgets to their very limits to ensure the successful integration of the Soviet immigrants. Ariel has undertaken the construction of 1,000 additional homes for our brethren from the Soviet Union, and we are counting on your assistance and support. 

This final decade of the 20th century brings to Ariel – in fact, to all of us – new tasks and new objectives. If we meet these challenges with courage and efficiency, if we explore new ways to make this new wave of immigration a path way to the fulfillment of the Zionist dream, then we will not only have succeeded in persuading the leaders of Eastern Europe to “Let My People Go”, but we will have truly brought them home. 

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor