On Monday, the Yesha Council held its annual Conference on Media and Public Relations in Jerusalem, enabling leading Israeli journalists to engage activists from Judea and Samaria in dialogue and debate. The topics included updates on the Middle East, how the settlement movement is viewed in the international media, and economic development in Judea and Samaria.
Mr. Gidon Saar, Israel’s Minister of the Interior, opened the conference with a talk about the importance of Judea and Samaria to Israel’s security. “It would be totally irresponsible for us to withdraw from additional areas in Judea and Samaria,” Saar stated to the applause of the supportive audience.
He went on to quote Menahem Begin’s defense of his settlement policy which has formed the basis for all community development in Judea and Samaria ever since: “Where there are no communities, there is no IDF presence and the absence of the IDF threatens the security of all Israelis living within Israel’s pre-67 lines.”
Saar continued to state categorically that the terrible security situation in Southern Israel today is a direct result of the disastrous Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. And he negated any possibility of maintaining a security presence in areas where Israeli civilians have been evacuated.
Following Saar’s decisive analysis, MK Ayelet Shaked emphasized the need for Israel to assert its Biblical claim to the Land of Israel as the foundation for its claim to any part of the land. Again, quoting Menahem Begin, Shaked asserted that “we are here by the strength of our right, not by right of our strength.” Shaked pointed out what is clearly the most significant development in public discourse of the past year: for the first time, the idea of annexing Judea and Samaria has entered mainstream conversation!
Probably the most fascinating lecture of the conference was given by Dr. Guy Bechor, well-known expert on Middle East affairs. He analyzed the “Arab Spring” more accurately referred to as the Arab winter, and demonstrated how today, more than ever before, it is clear that the instability in the Middle East has nothing to do with Israel. It is deeply rooted in intra-Muslim conflicts that go back 1200 years! Citing recent demographic studies, Bechor also advocated a fresh look at alternatives that involve retaining complete control over Judea and Samaria.
The Yesha Council is the representative of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and is involved in a wide range of activities on the public and political level to advocate for an ongoing Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. CFOIC Heartland works closely with the Yesha Council to advance a better understanding of Judea and Samaria among Christian audiences around the world. CFOIC Heartland invites Christians to get involved at a grassroots level in advocating for these communities. For more information, please contact Sondra@cfoic.com or visit www.cfoic.com