Hevron Conference speakers call for Israeli sovereignty over Judea, Samaria
August 14, 2012 | Atara Beck - Israel Correspondent
Photo: Jeff daube/zoa The sign above, stating that the road is forbidden to Israelis, is a common sight in Judea and Samaria. The Jewish Tribune recently travelled for 40 minutes from Jerusalem to the settlement of Dolev in Samaria. The shorter route, which would have taken 10 minutes, was for Arabs only, although everyone was permitted on the other road.
HEBRON – Hundreds of supporters from across the country packed the hall at the recently held, second annual Hevron Conference, organized by Just Peace for Israel, to discuss the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
Emceed by political activists Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover, prominent speakers included retired Ambassador Yoram Ettinger; Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz (Jewish Home); MK Uri Ariel (National Union); MK Tzipi Hatovely (Likud); Hevron Rabbi Uziyahu Sharbaf; legal expert Itzik Bam; journalist Daphna Netanyahu; Gershon Mesika, head of the Samaria Council; economist Eran Bar-Tal; journalist Emanuel Shilo; and Montreal-born-and-raised Howard Grief, an eminent international lawyer.
Renowned journalist Caroline Glick, MK Miri Regev (Likud), MK Zev Elkin (Likud) and former MK Geula Cohen addressed the crowd via satellite.
Discussing the widespread notion of an inevitable Arab majority in the Jewish state should Israel annex Judea and Samaria, Ettinger, whose findings contradict this theory and who has lectured widely on this issue, declared: “There is a phenomenon of disseminating spurious demographic data, which is a source of depression and defeatism, and there are the correct data, which are a source of optimism – and this optimism is based on reality.”
Ariel stressed the importance of “creating facts. We have been doing that for 44 years, and we are approaching half a million Jews in Judea and Samaria, and that doesn’t include the neighbourhoods all around Jerusalem [about 300,000] that are not recognized internationally.”
Hatovely warned not to “fall into the trap of pushing for control of only Area C [which is under Israeli administration]. That’s accepting the tradition of Oslo.”
Calling the Levy Report a “revolution in the way that Israel relates to Judea and Samaria, she declared:
“I am willing to represent the political right that is willing to take a step forward and discuss this vision. I am not alone. Half of the Likud faction has acknowledged that we have to apply Jewish law to Judea and Samaria.”
Glick, who cited Europe as an even greater threat than the Palestinians, gave a detailed analysis of the political situation, in which she concluded, “What are we afraid of?” Israel’s enemies “are already carrying out all their threats to weaken us, so we should move to a position of strength.”
Hershkowitz said, “The real courage and heroism is to actually go and settle.”
Second in importance is to “declare to the world that this is the land of Israel, and there’s no better declaration than by applying Israeli law not only to the settlements, but also to all of the land….
According to Mesika, “90 per cent of the people have never visited Judea and Samaria, including decision makers and journalists.”
When they finally do, it’s “a turning point. When they arrive in Barkan (in Samaria), they see it’s only 15 minutes from Tel Aviv….
“They see Jews and Arabs working side by side, and they can’t believe it….
Shilo maintained that Israel “cannot continue with the status quo. If we don’t advance our agenda, others will advance theirs, like we saw with Gush Katif.”