City of Ariel

Posts Tagged ‘Judea’

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

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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

In the Wake of the Persian Gulf War

In International, Letters, National on April 16, 1991 at 11:18 am

Dear Friends, 

The war is over. The mastery of the Coalition forces has resulted in a permanent ceasefire. We cannot, however, measure the extent of the victory, not as long as Saddam Hussein is still in power. We must keep in mind that this is the Middle East. Many Arabs refuse to accept that Iraq has been defeated because Saddam Hussein still leads his country. Had the Americans marched into Baghdad, pulled the cruel Iraqi dictator from his bunker and arrested him for committing heinous war crimes, there would be no doubts about the American victory or about what actions are acceptable, even in war. 

Iraq waged war against the civilian population of Israel, launching missiles against women and children with no regards to age or infirmity. As each attack rocked the country, Israelis entered their sealed rooms. The isolation was terrifying: waiting in sealed rooms for the missiles to hit, as fears of chemical warfare grew – a clear reminder to Israel that poison gas had been used before in an attempt to eradicate the Jewish people. 

Israel has been commended by the world community for not retaliating against Iraq’s vicious attacks, but it is not just the government who has behaved with admirable restraint. The people of Israel were the true heroes of the war. After the first few Scud attacks, I watched the young men and women of my city return to routine, despite the stress of sleepless nights in sealed rooms. I saw the children of Ariel after a night of screaming sirens and broken dreams, walking resolutely into their schools, gas masks in hand. I watched our teenagers come forward to help, eager to do their part in any way the could. I saw the people of my city open their homes and hearts to relatives from Tel Aviv, many of whom would not even visit Ariel during the three years of Intifada. I have watched and felt a new love for these brave young families and a new pride in being their mayor. 

We have regained the respect and affection of the free world during this war, and we are indeed worthy of this solidarity and support. Still, I have no doubt that when the war ends, President Bush will remind us in no uncertain terms that it was U.S. soldiers and weapons that fought Iraq, Coalition forces funded by Coalition governments the defeated Saddam Hussein, eliminating the Iraqi threat. And then he will present us with the bill – an itemized list of concessions we are expected to make. That is when Israel will begin to truly fight for survival, to stop our friends and allies from gouging pieces of our flesh in the name of peace. I wonder if we will still be everyone’s darling then. 

In the last issue of “Shalom Ariel” I stressed three main points. The first was about territory and its importance in times of war, even in this age of missiles. I said then that a ground war would be the decisive factor in the war. In the end, foot soldiers and tanks overrun a country or serve to defend it. This has indeed been the case, for it was the ground offensive that brought about the Iraqi surrender. For five weeks, Allied bombers pounded Baghdad. The United States, England, Saudi Arabia, France… all the great powers did their utmost, but in the end, territory dictated the outcome of the war. Yet there are those who suggest we give away our “territories”. Are we seriously expected to relinquish our little margin of national security?  

In the six weeks of the war, Israel was attacked by 39 scud missiles. Those that hit their mark left devastation in their wake. But what if Israel had given in to world pressure to cede territory? Can you imagine Iraqi soldiers marching through Jordan to join their Palestinian brothers and move against Israel’s eastern border? Add the dangerous potential of such conventional weapons as artillery and tanks, to the destructive capability of missiles, and it becomes clear that Israel would be facing a dangerous and cruel Arab alliance, bent on eradicating the Jewish Homeland. 

I also emphasized how long it took for American to deploy troops in the desert after the invasion of Kuwait. Moreover, seven months elapsed from the Iraqi invasion to the liberation of Kuwait. What if it had been Israel depending upon the world community in time of war? Here on a strip of land only 50 miles wide, we could not wait all that time. The price would be too steep. We could be risking a second Holocaust – this time in the Jewish Homeland.

My third point was that finally, the world saw the true face of the PLO and the Palestinian Arabs. Until the Gulf War, American policy-makers regarded them as moderates, suggesting they would be amenable partners for peace negotiations. The war exposed the truth – that Arafat, the PLO and all their adherents in Judea, Samaria and Gaza sided fully with Saddam Hussein. They are the real enemies of the United States, the enemies of peace. 

The true character of King Hussein of Jordan was also exposed when he allied himself with Iraq and took a firm stand against the U.S. and the western world. Today, he gives lame excuses and makes frail attempts to explain his difficult position, but the world will not be fooled. We can draw our own conclusions, looking to the future, but keeping the lessons of the past in focus. 

Israel proved once again to be the only true Middle Eastern ally of the United States. As such, it is Israel’s security that must be of first and foremost concern. To this end, Israel will continue to seek bridges to peace – a real peace – with sovereign Arab States. Once we have peace agreements with Arab States, then – and only then – can we begin to concern ourselves with the rights and needs of other people. 

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel