Why apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria? Because we can, and because it belongs to us, said right-wing activists at the fourth annual Sovereignty Conference, organized by Women in Green founders Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover.
An A-list of speakers from the nationalist camp, including MKs, rabbis, settlement leaders and others braved a cold, rainy Jerusalem night to discuss a range of ideas to promote Israeli sovereignty over the whole Land of Israel. Topics included moral and legal justifications backing Israel’s claim to the land, economic arguments, strategies to accomplish that goal and more.
“Why should we apply sovereignty? I don’t even understand your question,” said Avi Abelow, a resident of Efrat and a social media activist on behalf of Israel. “As long as the world uses tax dollars to finance terror groups like the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, there will be no peace here. Ultimately, our neighbors want to destroy the State of Israel.
“Eventually, however, there will be peace between Jews and Muslims in Israel – very much by establishing Israeli sovereignty. Then, Jews and Muslims will be able to live peacefully in our land because it will completely disavow all our enemies of their visions of destroying us,” Abelow said.
Asked about political rights for Arabs in Judea and Samaria, Abelow said that “political minds wiser than mine” could figure out that question, by choosing from a political menu including autonomy, voting rights and other limited rights.
Conference organizers said the session was scheduled long before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump announced the timing for their first meeting at the White House, but the coincidence created a ready background for a politically charged conference. Acting Gush Etzion Mayor Moshe Saville, Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and others said they had sent the prime minister off to Washington with powerful messages from Judea and Samaria.
“Your base demands sovereignty,” Hotovely recalled telling Netanyahu. “They aren’t going to be satisfied with building projects in Judea and Samaria or in Gilo.”
“We stand here and tell the prime minister that we support him. ‘Stand strong in favor of our economic and ideological interests,” added Yossi Dagan.