Our movement has had a week full of continuous activity and we would like to share with you at least some of the events, emotions and thoughts arising from them and to update you on our plans for future activities.
We are approaching the days of decision, when the Israeli government and its leader must continue on their way in the matter of Judea and Samaria and the political plan of American President Donald Trump. The sense arising from the field, as well as from the leadership, is that the dangers of the plan are being internalized.
Even those who, at first, were blinded by headlines of the sovereignty that would be granted by the plan have taken a closer look, have read the plan, have examined the data and have understood that this plan, as defined by its formulators, is actually a plan to establish a Palestinian state in the heart of our Land, and sovereignty over the parts of the territory is nothing but a cellophane pleasant wrapping, concealing the painful truth.
The Members of Knesset and ministers with whom we spoke are increasingly aware of the truth and promise to completely clarify this before it comes to a vote.
Summarizing the Days of Reserve Duty
In the beginning of the week, together with many others from all parts of the Land, we set up The Sovereignty Tent Vigil opposite the Prime Minister’s Office with the motto ‘Yes to sovereignty, No to Palestine’.
We met many elected officials, people of action and the settlement enterprise and most important, with the People itself. Indeed, the impression is that a phenomenon of increasing awareness is in process. The voice of the Land of Israel is heard and with it, the understanding that you don’t make deals on your mother or on your homeland and you don’t surrender these things, even as a distant theoretical idea.
All of this is aside from the immediate dangers of the plan, which demand that Israel abandon, already in the first phase, large parts of the open areas in Judea and Samaria (Area C) and turn them into American bargaining chips in the negotiations with the Arabs. This means there would be unrestricted and unsupervised illegal Arab building along with a strict requirement that Israel stick to the terms of the plan, meaning, a building freeze and total blocking of development for the Jewish communities.
The Tent Vigil won sweeping media attention, both by the Israeli media and journalists as well as some from abroad, and it really did seem that these messages, which were so just, simple and clear, were absorbed and will continue to be absorbed.
For those who did not attend but would like to see the highlights
At the Sovereignty website you can have a glimpse of the pictures from the Sovereignty Tent Vigil and watch the videos of speeches and remarks made by members of Knesset and public figures who came to the Tent Vigil and expressed solidarity and commitment to sovereignty along with totally rejecting the idea of negotiating the establishment of a Palestinian state.
See the pictures
Watch the videos (Hebrew)
Take part in the dissemination. Share
During the tent vigil we continued with the distribution of the special issue of the Sovereignty Journal, which was published in light of current political events.
The journal won much resonance and is in high demand. Since it is so important that it be distributed as early as possible, we attach a link here to the on-line version of the journal as it appears in the Sovereignty website. Please take a look, share with others and pass on the link to the journal in English or in Hebrew:
To issue no. 13 of Ribonut, click here
Updates with the Minister of Settlement
After dismantling the Sovereignty Tent Vigil, we met with the Minister of Settlement, Tzipi Hotovely for a mutual update. We told the minister about the uplifting sense that arose from the tent vigil, about the enthusiastic participation of the many supporters, about the great sense of encouragement that we received from the speakers, from the audience and from passersby, who found it correct to add to the public, Zionist call.
For her part, the Minister updated us on details of the Trump-Netanyahu plan. According to her, the White House continues its withdrawal from the extent of preliminary sovereignty that was talked of at first. As we recall, when the plan was first announced, it was said that the government of Israel would be able to apply sovereignty on the first day of the plan, but it quickly became clear that the White House expects that this would happen only after the Israeli elections, and as a result of disputes that were revealed within the American administration, the implementation of this step of sovereignty has not happened yet. As of now, Minister Hotovely tells us, the Americans intend to reduce the extent of sovereignty, which, it seems, will not be applied over the full thirty percent of Judea and Samaria, but over a smaller area.
During our discussion, the question arose of the correct response to such a phased scheme of applying sovereignty.
We have made it clear that as long as the steps of sovereignty progress, regardless, even in principle, of any recognition of a Palestinian state, then it will be welcomed. Therefore, if the options are sovereignty over thirty percent along with willingness to negotiate on a Palestinian state or less than this, but without a commitment for such willingness, then we will consider only the second option.
The discussion with the minister ended with a good feeling and a promise to continue the updates and maintain close contact.
We also are in the area- update from Oz veGaon
We will soon be commemorating the sixth anniversary of the ascent to the ground of Oz veGaon, on the terrible night when the murder of the three youths, Gil-Ad, Eyal and Naftali, Hy”d, became known.
The activity in the reserve continues with full force and vigor. Tours for individual visitors as well as groups, discussions and lectures, youth sessions, workshops, camping, a warm corner for refreshment for the security forces and more.
There have already been tens of thousands of visitors at the preserve and they pass the experience of the visit on to others who come. And these people pass it on to many others who come from all parts of the Land, of every age to volunteer for agricultural work and maintenance work at the preserve, which continues to spread the light of settlement in the heart of Gush Etzion.
The development of the preserve is also possible thanks especially to those whose donations, enable us to acquire equipment, to improve and repair equipment and to add many initiatives and activities.
We will commemorate the six-year anniversary of returning to the land of the preserve next Friday, the 11th of Tammuz (July 3, 2020), with the dedication of a Zionist playground, a new, creative, Zionist and fresh initiative, which will take its first steps at the preserve immediately after its dedication.
We will dedicate the playground together with the parent of Gil-Ad, Eyal and Naftali, Hy”d, the Head of Gush Etzion Council, our friend Shlomo Ne’eman and we will combine an appearance of the Illusionist Rav Viktor Attia and musical activity by Emuna Stein. We would love to see each and every one of you together with us.
Beit Midrash Havruta at Oz veGaon has completed another fruitful, enjoyable and enlightening year of study (the fourth year). Dozens of women from surrounding communities and from Jerusalem gathered for joint study of the Tanach, faith, history and art. Leading male and female lecturers shared their great and deep knowledge with us, building another layer in the deepening connection that we all share to the Land of our forefathers.
We are already prepared with a plan of studies for next year, with new and veteran lecturers, with fascinating and enriching topics. We will update you when the details of the plan become consolidated. Leave time for it in your schedule.
Excavating and Connecting
We take this opportunity to update you also on the Archaeological Camp that we will hold soon at the Oz veGaon preserve for four days.
We will combine hard, but satisfying work, full of surprises, with the ancient history our people. This archeological camp is being sponsored by our dear friends from AFSI, Americans For a Safe Israel. We thank you Helen, Judy and AfSi friends for your continued support and partnership. We call upon young olim to join this special experience.
The camp, which will begin on the 13th of Av (August 3rd), is intended for a group of no more than 25 youths. First come, first served, for this rare experience of solidarity and contribution.
Sovereignty is Cool
Here, we return to the Sovereignty Tent Vigil and the impressive activity by members of the Sovereignty Youth Movement, who were full partners in the production and operation of the place for the three days.
We can tell you that the active involvement of the youths left a deep impression among many of the veterans and public figures who came to the tent vigil. In discussions with us, they spoke of their amazement with the youth, which they see as the next generation of Zionist leadership in the Land of Israel, a creative, active, ethical generation and especially, a generation with a sense of mission and understanding its task vis a vis the task of this generation, the task of sovereignty.
Be strong and of good courage, we love you and are amazed by you!
Dear youth, here is an update: We are now already preparing for a Summer seminar. We will continue together to become stronger and to strengthen the awareness of sovereignty and the ability to engage in hasbara and to be ambassadors of sovereignty in all parts of the Land. Be ready for more updates and details to come.
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar