City of Ariel

Posts Tagged ‘Oslo Accords’

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

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Unilateral Cease Fire

In International, National on January 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Dear Friends,

Israel’s declaration of a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza is an opportunity for us to develop a sense of perspective regarding what has transpired in the region. Israel has, over the last several weeks, sent a clear message to the Hamas and the residents of Gaza that it is determined to defend itself from the incessant rocket fire, mortars, suicidal bombers and other terrorist acts that have been launched against the People of Israel. However, the unfortunate reality is that Israel did not succeed in freeing MIA Gilad Shalit. Furthermore, the Hamas leadership continues to survive and to regenerate itself.

Of course, the tragic Oslo Accords of 1993 are the true source of the harsh reality which faces us today. Those who wrought the accords upon us ignore any hint of accountability. From the moment that they spoke of “land for peace” we have been plagued with war. Sharon destroyed Gush Katif. Today it cannot be claimed that there is an Israeli “occupancy” of the area and yet there is no semblance of peace – only war.

Many of the sights that the world saw during the attacks on Gaza were indeed difficult to view. And yet, how is it that the world has not been exposed to the similar sights that have been the ongoing narrative of the residents of southern Israel for the last eight years? Indeed, I express my remorse for each and every sacrifice. However, southern Israel has been under fire for far too long, and the People of Israel needed to be defended. The Israeli Defence Forces did not choose to fight under the given conditions. Disturbing as it is, those who choose to use their own civilian population “strategically”, as human shields, are the cause of the unnecessary casualties.

America’s “Road Map” plan has only brought bloodshed, placing tremendous pressure on Israel. I am very skeptical with regards to the future. I am not concerned with President Obama himself, rather with the staff that he has appointed to shape America’s foreign policy. The horrific acts of terrorism which took place during the Clinton administration need not be repeated. A long lasting regional solution requires a drastic change in approach and policy.

We are on the threshold of national elections in Israel. It is my hope that the National Camp, under the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu, will create a strong government. I hope that our leaders will open their eyes to the current reality, and that they will take the necessary steps to ensure a healthy and stable future for the State of Israel.

Yours Faithfully,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

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

The Occupied Territories

In Ariel City, Letters, National on September 18, 1997 at 11:24 am

Dear Friends,

In the wake of the New Year, I want to share some thoughts with you regarding my vision for Israel’s future and the challenges we will continue to face in the cominOccupied Territoriesg year.

Since 1967, news coverage of events in Judea and Samaria, both in Israel and abroad, have been inherently biased. A prime example is the use of the term “Occupied Territories” to refer to Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

From 1949 until 1967, the Gaza strip was occupied by Egypt, while Jordan annexed Judea and Samaria, referring to the area as the West Bank of Jordan. Although nearly every nation refuses to recognize this one-sided act, journalists never referred to the area as the Jordanian Occupied West Bank.

In June of 1967, Israel was attacked by her Arab neighbors. In a defensive move, Israel liberated the territories which for thousands of years had been central to Eretz Israel, the very source of the term Judaism – the area of Judea and Samaria. Suddenly, journalists began referring to these areas as occupied territories, a classic case of the double standard that journalists and politicians find so convenient when applied to Israel.

In contrast to the harsh occupation by Jordan, the administration of the area by Israel brought running water and electricity to Arab towns and villages, supported the creation of five universities for Arabs and guaranteed basic human rights to all residents of the area. The use of the word occupation with regard to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is a cynical manipulation of international law. Israel acquired these areas in a defensive war, holding on to the territories in order to prevent recurrent attacks from these areas against Israeli civilians. It is our legitimate right to hold on to this territory. The press and the international community have used the word “occupied territory” to deprive Israel of her most basic legitimate rights.

The media continues to characterize Israel as the wrong-doer, by calling settlements “obstacles to peace.” This too, has been used repeatedly to demonstrate Israel’s aggressiveness. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

From 1948 to 1967, when Judea, Samaria and Gaza were occupied by Jordan and Egypt, there were no “settlements’ and Jews were prohibited from even visiting these areas. Yet, our Arab neighbors refused to live in peace with us. If settlements are such an obstacle to peace, when there are no settlements, there should be peace. However, that has never been the case.

In fact, the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country – Egypt – was only signed in 1977, after the first Jewish communities were created in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Today, with 144 Jewish communities spread throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Israel has signed two peace treaties and is negotiating a third with our Arab neighbors. Clearly, the settlements are not obstacles to peace. If anything, they are catalysts for peace.

My friends, this proves only one thing: Oil talks. Its influence reaches as far ad the Unites States in the West and Japan in the East.

I once met a fellow in Germany and we started talking about Israel and the Middle East politics. At one point, his tongue loosened from imbibing alcohol, the fellow commented: ”Ron, I don’t care about Israel or about the Jews. I only care about oil to heat our homes in the winter.”

The world is hypocritical, applying one standard for Israel, and another for everyone else. Jordan and Egypt were cruel occupiers of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority today is no less cruel, depriving their own people of basic human rights. But the world says nothing. When Israel liberates her own homeland, careful to protect basic human rights of the Palestinian Arabs, we are the occupiers.

Israel has already given up 30% of its territory with full autonomy for Palestinian Arabs. No Arab nation has ever given the Palestinian Arabs nearly as much. And yet, Israel is constantly criticized for not having done enough.

The current government of Israel has no choice but to adopt the Oslo Accords which had been signed by the previous government. However, it insists of modifying the Accords for they threaten the very existence of Israel.

A true and lasting peace is a peace with security. And Israel can only guarantee her security where there is an Israeli presence. The people of Judea and Samaria are the true guarantors of peace for Israel for they are present in the area – just as the U.S. maintains NATO forces around the world to defend itself. Moreover, Judea and Samaria are located just 15 miles from Israel’s population centers, while NATO forces serve thousands of miles away from the U.S.

Ariel and the communities of Judea and Samaria are vital to the security of the State of Israel. By strengthening Ariel, the Capital of Samaria, you contribute directly to the continued stability of Israel. Only a strong Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria will force the Palestinian Arabs to seek peaceful co-existence with us. As Ariel continues to grow and develop, the chances for a real and secure peace in the area become stronger.

Sincerely,

Ron Nachman

Mayor of Ariel

Victims of Peace

In Letters, National on April 18, 1995 at 12:43 pm

Dear Friends, 

The terrible atrocity at the Bet Lid intersection in Netanya has left its stamp upon all of us. Although terrorism has been consistently on the rise since the signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993, Bet Lid is truly a watershed event. The horror and bloodshed was televised around the world on that terrible day. When the Israeli public saw the murder and bloodshed perpetrated by two Arab terrorists from Gaza and the anguish of the families of our young soldiers, they said, “no more.” They realized that the so-called peace process, promoted by the Rabin government as the end of the terror, was actually accomplishing the exact opposite. This is not peace. 

Since the handshake on the White House lawn between the head of a terrorist organization, the PLO, and the Prime Minister of the sovereign State of Israel, more than 100 innocent Israelis have been killed, so called “victims of peace”. 

I never knew that peace could have victims. I always though that peace was supposed to bring security to the citizens of that country, to the children, young soldiers, men and women. After all, the prime directive of every government is to protect its citizens. 

Under International Law, a sovereign state is responsible for terrorists operating out of its territory. The Peace Treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been signed with a sovereign state. King Hussein is a man of honor and principles, the recognized ruler in his own country. Under his control, there will be no terrorist activity, aimed either against Israel or against Israeli tourists in Jordan. The parties to this treaty, Israel and Jordan, are equal partners, both sovereign authorities, able and willing to control all activity emanating from within their borders. 

The agreement between Israel and the PLO is another matter. The signing of the Declaration of Principles,was a terrible mistake. We have learned very quickly that Arafat’s word cannot be trusted and that he represents only a small minority of Fatah members. 

When the massacres in Afula, Hadera, Tel Aviv and Netanya took place, when Nachshon Waxman was kidnapped, Arafat refused to take the blame. The people of Israel, however, know the truth. The terrorists responsible for the Netanya bombing came from Gaza. Under the Gaza Jericho First Agreement, Arafat controls those areas and is obligated to bring a halt to terror. With 15,000 soldier “policemen” available to him, he still does nothing to prevent terrorists from operating against Israel, nor does he punish those terrorists who have found shelter in Gaza. 

And so, today, Israeli mothers are afraid to send their children to school, their young soldier to their army bases. This is surely not what we expected from “peace”. 

The signing of the DOP has not weakened Arafat’s insistence on three main concessions: A Palestinian State in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; Jerusalem as the capital of that state; and the Law of Return, initially bringing an additional 1 million Arabs to Judea and Samaria, and later to the rest of Israel. The Labor Government, according to Prime Minister Rabin, will not allow for the return of Arab refugees nor the establishment of a Palestinian State. Moreover, it is adamant that Jerusalem remain the undivided capital of Israel.

These two contradictory policies have propelled us on a collision course, and the explosion is imminent. The Foreign Ministry would like to bring forward the permanent status negotiations, in an attempt to avoid this explosion. But it is inevitable, for every government concession to terror only brings more “victims of peace”. And this tragic policy only weakens us in the eyes of the Arabs. Today, the people of Israel know that the Oslo Accords are dead, despite the government’s repeated attempts to resuscitate them. In fact, able to compare them with the peace treaty with Jordan, Israeli realize that this misguided agreement never really had a chance.

In the Knesset, I have repeatedly asked: How does this government intend to prevent the creation of the Palestinian State they so clearly oppose. By causing Jews to leave Judea and Samaria and making it judenrein? By creating a vacuum to be filled by Arafat and his PLO terrorists? And when Arafat declares the Palestinian State, will they finally concede that the PLO is not honoring the agreement and do away with the Palestinian Authority? The government has no solution but the answer is clear: The Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are not an obstacle to a Palestinian state. 

The current Israeli borders will remain in place only if Jews continue to live throughout Eretz Israel. Living on the strategic highground, the people of Judea and Samaria secure the future of the State of Israel and remain a true obstacle to Palestinian ambitions for statehood. Therefore, if you want to protect Israel, you must strengthen the communities that are ensuring the continued existence of the only Jewish Homeland and building a stronger and more secure Israel. 

Sincerely, 

Ron Nachman

Member of Knesset

Mayor of Ariel