By Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, Women in Green
‘The Time and the Mindset are Ready for Sovereignty. The Time has Come for Action’
Ministers, public figures and more than a thousand supporters of sovereignty participated in the Fourth Sovereignty Conference of the Women in Green movement, just before Netanyahu’s flight to his meeting with the American president, Donald Trump.
More than a thousand supporters of the vision of sovereignty crowded into the conference hall on Sunday night (12.2.17) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem, where the Fourth Sovereignty Conference was held
led by the Forum for Sovereignty and the Women in Green movement. Ministers, MKs, public figures, spiritual leaders and even representatives of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria, who support the process of the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, took part in the conference.
The event opened with a sort of “newscast” where ministers, MKs and
even American senators expressed themselves, blessing the attendees to
the conference and encouraging the continuation of momentum toward the
vision of sovereignty in the political and practical spheres.
After words of welcome and thanks from the heads of Women in Green,
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, the speeches and lectures of the
event began with a lecture by Zeev Jabotinsky, the grandson of the
leader of the Revisionist Movement, who laid out the historical truth
behind International Law, a law that stated even from the beginning of
the previous century, that national rights to the Land of Israel
belong exclusively to the Jewish People, including over Judea and
Samaria. This fact, as well as the American law about the rights of
the Jewish People in its Land, stated Jabotinsky, has been hidden and
distorted by the media, which describes International law in such a
way that considers the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as
Rabbi Avi Gisser, rabbi of Ofrah, spoke about the ethics and the
justice in the vision of sovereignty and about the racism and
avoidance of regional and Jewish responsibility inherent in the two
state scheme. “The time is right, the soul is ready, there is
awareness and now is the time for action”, said Rabbi Gisser, relating
to the vision of sovereignty, and noted that we are not afraid of the
demographic aspect and millions of more Jews are expected to come to
Israel from all over the world.
Emmanuel Shiloh, editor of the periodical Basheva, which stood behind
the entire production of the conference, presented, in summary, the
various proposals regarding the status of the Arabs of Judea and
Samaria after sovereignty has been applied and the challenge inherent
in each of the proposals. Later, he presented his view, supporting the
proposal of Minister Bennett, to apply sovereignty in Area C and grant
a status of citizenship to the Arabs of this area, where their
demographic influence would be slight.
Likewise, Shiloh also spoke about the first step of sovereignty,
which, in his opinion, should not end with Ma’ale Adumim, but with a
much larger and more significant step. Since we expect to pay a
political and public relations price, it would be more correct if the
first step of sovereignty was more dramatic, so that it could negate
the future possibility of establishing a Palestinian state. For this
reason, Shiloh believes, sovereignty should first be applied in the
Jordan Valley, which is included in the consensus, along with
Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and Environmental Protection, Zeev
Elkin, also spoke, repeating the view that the proper way to promote
the vision of sovereignty is in phases, which he likened to “the Arab
salami method”. According to him, Israel has the obligation to apply
sovereignty on the every possible area. “We must do this and it is a
timely task, more than any other time”, he said.
Later on in the evening, the Sovereignty Prize was awarded to Uri
Elitzur, obm. The prize was awarded by Minister of Agriculture Uri
Ariel, who defined Elitzur as “my teacher and mentor”, to Yael, Uri
Elitzur’s widow, who also spoke, and told of his words in the last
months of his life, when he stated that the task remaining for him to
do in his life is to embed the obligation for sovereignty in Israeli
Minister Ariel expressed his emotion on seeing the open discussion
around the vision of sovereignty and also related to the matter of the
Temple Mount, saying: “The reality that they (the Arabs) are above and
we are below is not Jewish, not reasonable, not acceptable and it
should not be so. Such a reality wherein a minister cannot ascend the
Temple Mount by the directive of the prime minister will not be, and
we will not accept it”.
He sealed his words by relating to the Netanyahu-Trump meeting, and
called on Netanyahu not to surprise the American president, as is
accepted between leaders, and to tell Trump that “we intend to annex
all of Judea and Samaria quickly”.
Head of the Council of Judea and Samaria, Avi Roee, stated that: “This
is a historic moment for the People of Israel. And you shall proclaim
liberty in the year of the Jubilee. This is a historic moment for the
leadership to take courageous decisions even if they seem problematic
in the eyes of the Americans or the Europeans, and if we hesitate
slightly, heaven sends us the U.S. president, who speaks straight. How
many signals does the People of Israel need in order to understand
that this Land is ours? Is there anyone among us that still doubts it?
If, after ’67 the government had taken the decision to apply
sovereignty, no one would have remembered the noise today and we would
already be ruling from the Jordan to the sea, because this is the
Head of Samaria Council, Yossi Dagan, spoke, focusing on the economic
aspect of sovereignty and mentioned the expected reduction in the cost
of housing with the easing of land sales in Judea and Samaria for
building, increased immigration of Jews who now are reluctant to
immigrate to Israel because of the high cost of living and housing and
other aspects that strengthen the advantages of sovereignty.
Acting head of Gush Etzion Council, Moshe Savile, presented the civil
difficulties in the reality lacking sovereignty, a reality that brings
severe harm to human rights and equality under the law, apart from the
essential failure of the civil administration, with its patchwork of
mandatory, Turkish and military law.
Afterwards, Deputy Foreign Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely awarded the
Sovereignty Prize to journalist and authoress Caroline Glick for
promoting the idea of sovereignty in her book, which has won broad
resonance in Israel and abroad.
MK Hotovely stated that “In the years when we did not dare to seek
sovereignty, we lost out, we lost the right, the truth, the Israeli
story. In those years when we told the world that we can solve the
matter with compromise, because we are a people that seeks peace, we
did not deal with the battle for Israeli justice. Anyone who does not
believe in his right to live in Shiloh, Eli and Beit El, has nothing
to look for in Tel Aviv, Herzeliyya and Rishon Lezion”.
After these words, began the panels, with Dr. Yoaz Hendel, Caroline
Glick, publicist Dr. Dror Eydar and Prof. Avi Diskin speaking first.
Dr. Hendel claimed that the time has come for Israel to determine her
interests, and with this approach, the areas of consensus will become
defined, around which the People of Israel will unite. Among other
areas, it is the Jordan Valley and the settlement blocs where, in his
opinion, it is possible to enlist the aid of the American president in
the importance of Israeli control of these areas.
Caroline Glick stated that “We must be courageous and not fear. Not be
messianic or delusional. To understand that there are difficulties”
and she declared that “we have not yet realized the idea of a unified
Jerusalem”, and for the sake of understanding the difficulties and the
challenges inherent in sovereignty, Israel must have basic facts such
as the number of Arabs living in Judea and Samaria, a data point where
there is a dispute between the false Palestinian count and the data of
an independent research institute that arrived at totally different
results. Without clear data of this sort it is impossible to progress
in the necessary and serious discussion of the question of
Prof. Avi Diskin admitted that he does not know what is the right and
proper goal for Israel, but cautioned against taking a step that is
too radical and would be considered by the Palestinians as significant
pressure that would lead the international community to force a
solution upon Israel that is not good for her.
Dr. Dror Eydar believes that the process of sovereignty must be done
patiently since Israel is just a babe, from a broad historical point
of view and it is not possible to place on her shoulders immediately,
the entire burden of full sovereignty. “We have a lot of time. My
wife’s grandmother was in Auschwitz and today we are seven million
Jews, so where will we be in another seventy years. We must have
patience and faith”.
In the second panel there were Arab guests, Muslim and Christian, who
participated, expressing their support for Israeli control that would
bring an end to the corrupt rule of the PLO, and would lead to
prosperity and coexistence with two peoples, side by side.
In this panel, journalist Shalom Yerushalmi participated, presenting a
gloomy demographic scenario that would bring about, in his opinion,
the social and economic collapse of the State of Israel, and as
evidence of his words, Yerushalmi brought up Jerusalem, which, before
’67, was 98 percent Jewish and now there is serious concern that the
Arabs of the city will become mobilized and might bring about the
election of an Arab mayor, a step that would succeed, in his opinion,
only they desired it.
In response, Prof. Aryeh Eldad claimed that Yerushalmi’s approach is
racist, since it sees the Arabs of Jerusalem as having one status and
one vision. “You want a racist ghetto of Jews”, Eldad slammed
Yerushalmi, and stated: “The manipulation that the Left uses to
frighten us with demographics has eroded. We are no longer frightened
Eldad added that if the State of Israel does not strengthen the voices
of the Arabs who wish to live under her sovereignty in peace, the
forces that support terror will increase and murder them as has
happened in the Arab past in the Land of Israel.
The conference ended with a sort of newscast of the future, where the
advantages of sovereignty were described in the aspects of security,
the environment and the economy, and with the joint singing of Hatikva
to the large audience that filled the hall for all hours of the