Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant (Kulanu) told Yesha Council supporters in Washington on Tuesday that “there is no way that Israel can exist without the high mountains of Judea and Samaria.”
Galant spoke at a pro-Judea and Samaria event, coinciding with the annual AIPAC conference. The celebratory event marked 50 years since the liberation of Judea and Samaria. Attendees were invited to sample some of the fine produce of the region including wine, dates, halva and dead sea cosmetics.
Ministers Galant, Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud), Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) and Tzippy Hotovely (Likud), as well as Consul General Dani Dayan, joined 350 AIPAC delegates.
Minister Hanegbi said: “Defense is important and security is important, but the most important thing is the moral claim of Israel and we are committed to living in our regional land, land that was given to us not by Google or Wikipedia but by the Bible, King David, King Saul, King David, King Solomon, Abraham and this is the right, which we are going to demand our right forever and ever.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzippy Hotovely was greeted with applause as she stated: “We need to reach a million settlers in Judea and Samaria – with a US embassy in Jerusalem. We need to come up with new ways of thinking that will include Judea and Samaria under Israeli sovereignty forever.”
Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan committed to doing everything in his power to strengthen the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria by improving “roads, infrastructure, laws and everything that needs to be done to ensure that there will be one million Israelis living in Judea and Samaria – that’s not far away, its doable.”
Dani Dayan. Former Yesha Council Chairman, explained that he left Tel Aviv 29 years ago to live in Samaria because “it was the right thing to do” He added: “I have a large living room (in my home in Samaria), from one window we see the west, we Tel Aviv as if it’s in the palm of our hands and every morning when we see Tel Aviv from my window we know that we are shielding, we can prove mathematically that its either us, my neighbors and especially the IDF or a Palestinian hostile entity that will use those very hills to an attack Tel Aviv, so we guarantee the existence of Tel Aviv.”
Elie Pieprz, a former Washington insider and current Yesha Council Head of External Affairs organized the event, which he described as: “The first time that the Yesha Council has harnessed the deep support for Judea and Samaria that exists within the robust pro-Israel community that AIPACs delegates exemplify, it was a perfect representation of the motto of the 2017 AIPAC policy conference: Many Voices, One Mission.”
Yishai Fleisher, International Spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron emceed the event and opened by pointing out that the weakness of traditional response to the accusation that Israel stole and is occupying Palestinian land. “They say ‘you stole our land’ and we say ‘but we created the cell phone.’” Instead, Fleisher urged clarity, and to tell the world that the land belongs to Israel and that Israel intends on holding on to it, developing it, settling it, and indeed, annexing it.
However, Fleisher explained that the event was “not intended as a protest but rather as a celebration of the miracles of the Six Day War and of the reunification of Jerusalem and the liberation of the ancestral homeland.”
The Yesha Council event was held in partnership and with the support of the One Israel Fund, COFIC, Ariel University, Jordan Valley Regional Council, Megilot Regional Council, Gush Etzion, Binyamin Regional Council, Southern Hebron Hills Regional Council, The Jewish Community of Hebron, Achva Halva and Ahava cosmetics.
The Yesha Council is the official representative organization for the 420,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.