In his speech at the Pompeo Conference of Forum Kohelet and Forum Shiloh, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at length on the importance of Israeli possession of Judea and Samaria and the long-standing historical connection of the Jewish People to this piece of Land, a connection that cannot be severed.
Netanyahu related to the changes in the Middle East, adding that “in recent years the Trump administration, together with the wonderful ambassador David Friedman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who spoke here with a clear voice , proved that fairness, justice and truth are before us. The American administration moved the embassy to Jerusalem, stated that the Golan Heights is part of the State of Israel and now, that the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria does not violate any international law”.
“Pompeo’s declaration determines that we are not foreigners in our own kingdom. Fifty-three years ago we returned to the area where we were forged. As a soldier and commander in the Sayeret Matkal, I remember the tremendous excitement of the tours that we took of Judea and Samaria, and I saw that the communities blossomed in all of the places that we read about in the Bible – Mount Grizim, Mount Eval, Shiloh, Anatot. Jews have the right to live in Hevron and east Jerusalem as well as the right to live here in Haifa and in all parts of the Land. Thousands of world mandates and documents support this. No one differentiated between Judea and Samaria and all the other parts of the Land. On the contrary, this is where most of the historic events of our People occurred”.
“The only thing that we lost is the right to exercise our sovereignty there… In places such as Hevron and Jerusalem Jews have lived continuously for decades and hundreds of years in Judea and southern Samaria. This is why, even as a young soldier, I believed in my heart, not only that it is the heart of our homeland, but that every clod of earth, every crevice, every mountaintop, every terrace, are part of the backbone of our Land. In every way. This is where our identity was inculcated and it cannot be that this place would remain deserted. We developed the area, we established wonderful communities, infrastructures, for the benefit of all. Jews and Arabs. They have no economy, unfortunately, but this is the truth. The Jewish settlement in the area is important to us as well as to them. We know the important contribution of the settlement enterprise to everyone. I will not allow anyone to uproot even one community in any political plan, made by Jews or others. There will not be any uprooting of communities. What happened when we uprooted communities? We got terror and missiles. We will not return to the mistakes of the past”.
Later in his remarks, Netanyahu presented the main points of his position on the future of Judea and Samaria: “The principles are not complicated. For all of the area west of the Jordan River, security control was and will remain in Jewish hands. Jerusalem will not be divided. Leadership that advocates appeasement will set us back years”.
“Opportunities may pass. David Ben Gurion also had an opportunity and if he had not taken it, Jewish history may have turned out differently. The changes are occurring because we are here. There is a window of opportunity and the window is open at this moment, but can also close. In my personal opinion Judea and Samaria are Israel’s defensive wall. The peaks of Samaria are the State of Israel’s lookout points and if we are not there, terror armies will be there and they will be able to control the entire area of the Land. We see what happens when Islam settles in an independent territory, even in a state that is not hostile to us. One thing is sure – when Israel controls the area there is no such threat and this is very important to our security and the security of others”.
“We have an opportunity with friends that Zionism has never had since its inception, and beyond the legal question, there is something very profound here. Many peoples have lost their land, most ancient peoples have disappeared; many were exiled and became assimilated into new peoples or were destroyed. There is only one case of an ancient people that was exiled from its land, did not become assimilated and managed to return to its home. But think about a people that wants to return to its land, “Next year in Jerusalem”, and eventually returns to Zion. If it returns and another people has built its home, even then, the people has the right. There was no Arab state here, there was not a nationality or state for the Arabs. No one built a different home here. So, 100 years ago in Versailles, in the Mandate, there was no one in the world who did not recognize the right of the Jews to live in their homeland and first and foremost, in Judea and Samaria. Our adversary understood the connection between military victory, political victory, public opinion and justice… We will continue to strengthen the settlement enterprise. Pompeo’s declaration is the culmination of years of much hard work. Thank you, Secretary Pompeo, thank you, President Trump and thanks to you, our good friend, America”.
The Sovereignty Movement welcomes the main points of the Prime Minister’s remarks and views them as a strong and just basis for the political course required at this time, the course of sovereignty. “The Prime Minister knew how to lead the entire western world in the battle against a nuclear Iran. With his personal statesmanlike way with world leaders he knew how to take dramatic steps to fortify Israel. We believe that with his powers, he can now lead Israel to the next just, correct and Zionist step, the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria”.