Friday, July 22, 2011

An Israeli Judea and Samaria

Where has the State of Israel been for the past 44 years? Why didn't it apply Israeli sovereignty to its ancient homeland in Judea and Samaria?
The best answer I think I got to that was a quote I heard tonight at the Conference on "Regaining the Initiative - Applying Israeli Sovereignty to Judea and Samaria". Three months after the liberation of Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza), Golda Meir asked Levi Eshkol what Israel was going to do with a million Arabs. "I get it," he said. "You want the dowry, but you don't like the bride."

No matter how much benefit Israeli governments of the past 40 years have seen in the blossoming Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, the sweetness of Jewish settlement was always soured by the Arabs who lived around them.

Now, as the State of Israel faces worldwide pressures to create a Palestinian State in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and part of Jerusalem, Israeli politicians, writers, professors and thinkers are responding with their solutions to our local conflict in the Middle East - declare Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and deal with the Arabs there in one or more ways from giving them citizenship to encouraging them to emigrate.

The Conference was held in the Machpela Visitors Center in Hebron next to the Machpela Cave. Buses and private cars came from Jerusalem, Rechovot, Bet Shemesh, Bet El, Gush Etzion and Efrat.
The Conference debunked many incorrect ideas pushed by the media and the left, and explored the different aspects of asserting Israeli sovereignty: Jewish, Zionist, political, diplomatic, economic, legal and in terms of Arab-Israeli and American-Israeli relations.

Conference organized by Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover of Women for Israel’s Tomorrow (Women in Green) with the cooperation of Arutz 7, Professors for a Strong Israel and the Machpela Visitors Center, welcomed more than 300 attendees to the program.

Among the speakers were MK Tzipy Hotovely, MK Arieh Eldad, journalist Caroline Glick, former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, Professor Rafi Yisraeli, journalist Eran Bar-Tal, Dr Gabi Avital and more.
The evening was enlightening and thought-provoking. It may have been preaching to the converted, but I just found it a relief to be in a room with so many people of like minds.

There's lots to say about the conference, but it's pretty late, so we'll have to continue talking about it tomorrow.

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