On this episode of Israel Uncensored Josh speaks to Efrat Mayor and new Foreign Envoy of the Yesha Council Oded Revivi who says that groups around the world are starting to wake up and understand the realities about life in Judea and Samaria. His Succot experience in which his invited breakfast guests, neighboring Arabs, were arrested by the Palestinian Authority, drew world headlines exposing the PA’s true identity.The Land of Israel
Posts Tagged ‘Yesha Council’
This week, Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria this week joined forces with the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs to promote their products as well as products from the Golan Heights at the annual IAC National Conference in Washington. Representatives of the council and ministry handed out five thousands Medjoul dates from the Jordan Valley, two hundred bottles of wine, and hundreds of samples of Ahava cosmetics and other products to conference participants.
The imitative was part of a broader plan to educate and encourage Israel supporters worldwide to buy blue and white and support businesses most threatened by the BDS campaign. Three months ago, a similar program was held in Moscow, and many more such events are anticipated worldwide in the coming months.
Oded Revivi, Chief Foreign Envoy of Yesha Council said in statement: “Israeli industrial zones in Judea and Samaria are islands of peace and coexistence where Israelis and Palestinians work together for a better future. With no political solution on the horizon, it’s time to tell the world that Israelis and Palestinians can live and work together in peace without being pushed into an agreement that neither side wants. Boycotting Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria actually harms Palestinian workers far more than the Israeli economy and is therefore and act against peace.”
While in Washington, Revivi met with more than a dozen Senators, Congressmen and staffers on Capitol Hill from both the Republican and Democrat parties, where he stressed that Yesha Council would welcome continued dialogue and cooperation with both sides of the aisle.
The Yesha Council delegation met privately with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and requested his assistance with new initiatives to strengthen the connection between the Jewish people and their ancestral homeland. They reported that Adelson was extremely excited to hear about a new Amazon-like Boycott website that the Council is in the process of launching. He also agreed to come on a VIP tour of the thriving Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
Revivi told Adelson that “businesses in Judea and Samaria are on the frontline of the battle against BDS, [which is] currently targeting Ariel and Efrat but their ultimate goal is the destruction of the entire Jewish State. The Yesha Council is now going on the offensive launching a new Boycott website to promote Israeli goods directly to consumers.”JNi.Media
On today’s show Josh Hasten speaks to Elie Pieprz Director of Foreign Affairs at the Yesha Council about the council’s preparations to commemorate 50 years of the reunification of Jerusalem, and the reclaiming for the Jewish People of Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights. While anti-Israel NGO’s will use 2017 as a platform to falsely accuse Israel of perpetuating an “occupation,” Pieprz explains how the council is encouraging and providing the means for pro-Israel supporters around the world to show their solidarity with Israel’s heartland and its residents.The Land of Israel
The US Administration has warned Israel against demolishing the Arab village of Susiya in south Mt. Hebron, according to a story in Ha’aretz this week. Both Israeli and American senior officials have warned that should Israel go ahead and demolish the village, US response would be harsh.
Susiya is a legitimate archaeological site in the southern Judean Mountains that bears the archaeological remains of a 5th century CE enormous synagogue, one of the largest and most magnificent ever discovered, which was turned into a mosque by the Arab invaders in the 8th century.
The name has bee usurped by Bedouins who have stayed in area caves during grazing season. It is also the name of a religious Jewish community established in 1983 under the jurisdiction of Mt. Hebron Regional Council. In 1986, the area of Susiya claimed by the Bedouin shepherds was declared an archeological site by Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), and the IDF expelled the Bedouins, who then moved a few hundred yards southeast of the original location.
The Zionist Regavim movement, whose goal is to reclaim areas of the land of Israel from Arab occupiers, has been conducting a bitter court battle to declare Bedouin Susiya illegal and to remove its structures, which are, for the most part, tents and lean-tos. It should be noted that since 1994 the Arabs have been establishing illegal settlements in the entire area between Jerusalem and Susiya, which Israeli governments have failed to challenge for more than two decades. Susiya is only the tip of the sand dune (somehow using the iceberg metaphor in August, just doesn’t work).
As Jewish Press Online reporter Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu wrote back in 2013 (The Saga of Ancient ‘Palestinian Susiya’ – The Town That Never Was), “None of the land was ever registered as owned by anyone. During the Ottoman Empire, and under the British Mandate, the rulers of Hebron would sit in their living rooms and parcel out lands arbitrarily. That was the extent of ‘ownership.’
“When Jews came to Beit Yatir, the Arabs followed. Three families from Yatta, a city adjacent to Hebron, fled because of family crimes, such as rape, and set up camp on a hill adjacent to Yatir, Their village quickly became known as the ‘Thieves’ Village,’ for obvious reasons. They claim, of course, that they have been living there from time immemorial.”
And now, apparently, the future of the Middle East depends on those few dozen shepherds getting to graze their flocks on rightfully owned Jewish land, and so, following intense propaganda from the Palestinian Authority, the US, the UK and the EU, as well as several international NGOs have been threatening that should Susiya be wiped off the map, they, Israel’s friends in the world, would find it difficult to continue defending it in international forums.
Israeli senior officials have told Israel’s many friends that at this point it has no intention to demolish the Susiya “homes” (a term that is being used generously), and that Israel would act based on the expected ruling of the Supreme Court. While Regavim has been pushing the case against the Bedouin enclave, a group called Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) has appealed the pending evacuation and demolishing of Susiya in the high court.
RHR is a foreign agent representing anti-Zionist entities in Europe and the US. Its annual budget of $1.6 million (most recently reported in 2014) is funded by AECID (Spain), European Commission, Misereor (Germany), Trocaire (Ireland), Norwegian Church (Norway), Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), Church of Sweden, Foundation for Middle East Peace (US), New Israel Fund, Social Justice Fund, and Moriah Fund (source: NGO Monistor).David Israel
By Jonathan Benedek/TPS
Israeli officials emphasized the importance of maintaining a clear and undivided Jerusalem this morning at the annual conference held by the Yesha Council, an organization representing the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.
“Givat Hamatos is a strategic point for the future of Jerusalem,” said Education Minister and Jewish Home Party Chairman Naftali Bennett. “It is where the fate of the unity of Jerusalem will be set.”
Minister Bennett made the remarks following the approval of 600 new housing units for Arabs in the neighborhood of Beit Safafa, located on land in southern Jerusalem territories annexed by Israel after the Six Day War in 1967. The new housing units will further connect the Arab neighborhood to Givat Hamatos, also located on southern Jerusalem lands gained by Israel in 1967.
“The goal of the world and the Palestinians is to create Palestinian territorial continuity through Givat Hamatos from Beit Jala to Malha,” continued Minister Bennett.
Beit Jala is a Palestinian town located next to Bethlehem and south of Givat Hamatos. Malha is another neighborhood in southern Jerusalem to the west of Givat Hamatos.
“We are opposed to such a goal,” Bennett stressed. “We want continuity between Talpiot and Gilo and to preserve the unity of Jerusalem.”
Talpiot is a neighborhood located southwest of Jerusalem’s Old City and Gilo, like Givat Hamatos, is another neighborhood in southern Jerusalem located in territories taken over by Israel in the Six Day War.
Although Israel maintains that Givat Hamatos and Gilo are part of its capital city, many in the international community refuse to accept Israel’s annexation of those neighborhoods or Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital city.
Minister Bennett asserted that authorization for Palestinian construction without Israeli construction in such areas would only serve to further divide Jerusalem.
“Arab construction without Israeli construction in Givat Hamatos will create [Palestinian] territorial continuity up to the Malha mall,” Bennett noted. “It will create a de-facto divide of the city and create a Palestinian buffer in Jerusalem. I urge the prime minister not to only allow Palestinian construction and I trust that he will permit Israeli construction as well.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has often cancelled or postponed plans to build additional Jewish housing units in neighborhoods like Givat Hamatos and Gilo due to intense pressure from the international community. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who also spoke at the conference, insisted that Netanyahu not abide by such a standard, which he implied to be prejudiced against the city’s Jewish residents.
“Building in Jerusalem should not be stopped for no reason,” Barkat asserted. “We need to allow construction within the framework of the work plans of the city of Jerusalem without prejudice.”
“I would argue that it would be a mistake not to allow construction and that it is a mistake to only authorize it after an attack,” continued Barkat.
Israel has often announced construction plans near the site of a terror attack shortly after its occurrence. Netanyahu announced over the weekend that 42 new homes would be built in the Harsina neighborhood of Kiryat Arba, where 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was stabbed to death by a Palestinian Arab last Thursday. Critics countered that such a plan was already in the works.
Barkat contended that Israel should insist upon continuing to build sans any discriminatory standards. “The message is to allow construction without prejudice in the city of Jerusalem,” the mayor reiterated.TPS / Tazpit News Agency
On Thursday, during an emergency meeting on water shortages in Samaria in the office of Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi), it was revealed that systematic water theft by Arabs, as well as dereliction of duty on the part of the Israeli water authorities, are to blame for the current crisis.
Over the past two weeks or so, the Jewish communities of eastern Samaria—Karney Shomron, Ariel, Kdumim—have been under emergency water procedure. These communities, with roughly 60,000 residents, experience interruption of their water service every few days, and it has been presumed that the shortages are due to the failure of the water authority to expand its infrastructure to match the Jewish and Arab population growth in Samaria.
On Monday, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) ordered Knesset Finance Committee management to freeze debates over budgets intended for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), including freezing its budget of about $20 million until the water crisis in Samaria is resolved.
Also on Monday, Yesha Council heads met with Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and presented alarming data on the absence of long-term infrastructure planning by the various government ministries throughout Judea and Samaria. Steinitz promised to take over the coordination of the different entities, including the Water Authority and the national water utility Mekorot.
The Thursday night meeting in Ben-Dahan’s office on the water shortage in Judea and Samaria (most acutely in Samaria) included representatives of COGAT, the Civil Administration, and the water Authority. During the meeting, Ben-Dahan stated that “for many years there has been neglect of everything having to do with the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, which resulted in the absence of promoting master plans to develop the water resources in the area. Unfortunately, none of the entities involved has been properly prepared to deal with the growth in both the Jewish and Palestinian populations, as well as the growth in agricultural land which require a great deal of water.”
“In addition,” Ben-Dahan stated, “there’s the phenomenon of water theft by the Palestinians in the amount of 5,000 cubic meters of water daily, a factor in the shortage of water.”
To illustrate, 5,000 cubic meters is the equivalent of 1,100,000 gallons a day. Over one year, water theft by Arabs in Judea and Samaria reaches a staggering 401,500,000 gallons.
The debate in Ben-Dahan’s office, reported by Srugim, resulted in short- and long-term solutions. Over the next few days there will be a regular rotation of 15 water trucks that will refill the reservoirs in communities where they have dried out. In addition, the entities involved will examine the possibility of constructing 27 above-ground pools to provide for locations where the crisis has been particularly acute. Existing pumping stations which have been left in disrepair in Ariel and additional locations will be repaired speedily.
In coming weeks, both Deputy Minister Ben-Dahan and Minister Steinitz will meet to plan the promotion of a master plan for the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.
Interestingly, not one word was said about ways of preventing the flagrant theft of water by Arabs.
Meanwhile, on the Palestinian Authority side, the responsibility for the shortage is being placed squarely on Israel. In mid June, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that Israel was “waging a water war against the Palestinians. Israel wants to prevent Palestinians from leading a dignified life and uses its control over our water resources to this end; while illegal Israeli settlements enjoy uninterrupted water service, Palestinians are forced to spend great sums of money to buy water that is theirs in the first place.”
Ayman Rabi, executive director of the NGO Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera that “some areas had not received any water for more than 40 days. People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity. Families are having to live on two, three or 10 litters per capita per day.”
Mekorot denied cutting the water supplies, but admitted there was a reduction in water supply “as a result of the shortage of water supply.”
“We have made a broad reduction of the supply to all residents in the area,” Mekorot told Al Jazeera. “All the facilities are working and the capability to supply is less than the rate of consumption. The water authority recently approved a master plan for the water sector and accordingly we will build the systems that will meet the West Bank’s required consumption.”
Now, if only Mekorot had told Ministers Ben-Dahan and Steinitz about this new master plan, it would have saved everybody a lot of time.JNi.Media
Samaria (TPS) – Amid the intense heat wave in Israel, the water crisis plaguing Samaria is taking an unprecedented toll as residents and community leaders scramble to find solutions for the water scarcity. To date, eight settlement communities have experienced water shortages and three have had no water at all last week.
“We’ve been saving water, not wasting a drop,” said Rachel Shalev of Elon Moreh, a community with over 1,600 people located in Samaria, northeast of Nablus. “We were told to limit the amount of water we are using. In my neighborhood there is water but there are other parts of the community where the running water isn’t working.”
“On Shabbat, at the synagogue, people were wondering if they’d have to go back to drawing water from a well.”
“Every moment that we have water, I thank God,” Shalev said. “But I’m not doing any laundry for now or taking any chances.”
In some cases, emergency water tanks as well as water bottles have been delivered at special water stations set up in settlement communities like Kedumim and Eli.
“We knew this was coming but we never expected the water issue to be this severe,” said Yisrael Ganz, deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council to Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “We are at the height of this water crisis, which has left residents unable to maintain a normal way of life at this time.”
Arab residents of the region have been severely affected as well. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, sent a letter to the government of Israel claiming that Mekorot, the Israeli water company, has significantly reduced the amount of water that it supplies to the region since early June 2016.
Adalah provided TPS with the text that its lawyer, Muna Haddad, wrote to Israeli authorities.
“The reduction in water amounts and pressure prevents the filling of holding reservoirs in the Palestinian communities. As a result, in some of the communities, including the villages of Salfit, Azmut, Salem and Dir Al-Hatab in the northern West Bank, water flow to residential homes has been almost completely cut for more than two weeks,” Haddad wrote.
“The cuts have also caused factory shutdowns, damage to gardens and agricultural lands, and the deaths of livestock due to dehydration. The situation, exacerbated by a period of heavy heat over the past several weeks that is expected to continue through the summer months, is causing significant harm to West Bank residents,” Haddad added.
According to Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat and a Yesha Council representative, the reasons for the water shortage are varied and are sometimes influenced by ideological motives. “There is no dispute that both Jews and Arabs in Judea and Samaria are suffering from a shortage of water during these hot summer days,” he commented to TPS.
“The people behind the Oslo Accords foresaw this situation and drew guidelines to prevent specifically such a crisis,” he explained. “Unfortunately, the funds of the European community dedicated to this purpose did not reach its objective.”
Revivi believes that the only way to overcome the situation at the moment is to understand that money must be invested in the proper infrastructure so that drinking water can be provided for both populations.
“At the end of the day, it is the Jews and Arabs who live in this region that need to set rules and come up with a working system that will benefit both sides so that they can live side by side in a peaceful and beneficial co-existence,” he concluded.Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency