City of Ariel

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Defense Forces’

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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A Fourth Term

In Ariel City, Letters on September 18, 2000 at 12:28 pm

Dear Friends,

On May, 2000, for the fourth consecutive time, I ran for Mayor of Ariel in the municipal elections. Once again the public overwhelmingly expressed confidence in me and my team, giving us a 77% victory in the mayoral race and 7 of the 11 city council seats. These results are unprecedented for Israel, particularly for a fourth term of office.

Among the many election issues during the campaign, the important work of Friends of Ariel around the world and the amount contributed annually to foster the development of social services and facilities in our city played an important role. These generous gifts to our community, earmarked for projects in areas like education, health and welfare services, immigrant absorption, recreation facilities and religious services, benefit each and every Ariel family.  The voters wanted to ensure that the co-operation between the leadership of our city and these wonderful friends continues.

I want to convey my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your help and good wishes on my election. My victory is your victory, as well, for our goals are one: to further the growth of Ariel by improving the quality of life in the city and in doing so, strengthening Israel, the Jewish Homeland.

The fulfillment of these goals becomes more important with every passing day. Seven years ago, at the time of the first Oslo Accords, I wrote that no Israeli government would be able to reach an agreement on three major issues: 1. the establishment of a Palestinian State in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with Israel returning to its pre-1967 borders; 2. the division of Jerusalem to create a Palestinian capital and 3. the return of million of Arab “refugees”. Moreover, I warned that in attempting to do so, the government of Israel would be embarking upon a collision course. I repeat that warning today.

Peace is not the Palestinian goal. No matter how many concessions Israel makes, the Palestinians will never be satisfied, as long as Israel is a presence in the in the Middle East. To the Arabs, we are the “Infidels” and the so-called “peace process” is simply a way of playing for time.

We made great concessions to reach a peace agreement with Egypt, yet Mubarak has never made a state visit to Israel (he only came for Prime Minister Rabin’s funeral) and there is virtually no Egyptian tourism to Israel. Is this peace? We have given almost all of Gaza and 40% of Judea and Samaria to Arafat and the PLO, something no Arab country has ever done. When Jordan and Egypt controlled these territories, they were never prepared to give up land to establish a Palestinian State. Only Israel has done that and it is still not enough. The Palestinians continue to spill Jewish blood and Israel continues to give in.

The Prime minister and his government were willing to concede the Golan Heights to Syria but that did not bring peace. We must ask ourselves why?

The behavior of this government, its disregard for democracy and administrative norms and its disrespect for the Knesset have gone beyond all acceptable limits. And all this has been done with the excuse that it is to further the “peace process”; in other words, everything is permissible – abandoning moral and ethical codes, damaging Jewish values and Jewish rights – in the name of that media catchword, “peace”.

If a foreign government would do what our government is doing, with the support of US President Clinton, cries of anti-Semitism would be heard around the world. Imagine the American Administration deciding that 1/3 of the Jews of California – America’s West bank – were to be transferred east of the State line. Would this be acceptable? Yet, the Jewish world establishment remains quiet as Jewish rights in their own land are threatened.

It would be easy for us, here in Ariel to do the same. Ariel is not at risk. Ariel is a “consensus” city today, considered non- negotiable by every major political party in Israel. But here are some 80,000 residents of Judea and Samaria whose homes, whose very futures are in danger. It is my responsibility – all of our responsibilities – to act on their behalf.

It is my hope that our American friends will contact their political representatives, Congressmen and Senators, and tell them to stop pressuring Israel. We, Israelis, whose children serve in the Israel Defense Forces, want peace, more than anything but we want a real peace, a peace that comes with security, trade, tourism and cultural exchanges, a peace that will hold for our children and their children.

May this New Year bring Peace to all of Israel and to you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous year.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel