Op-Ed: Thank You, Peace Now
Recently, Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika awarded a certificate of appreciation to leaders of the ultra left-wing NGO "Peace Now".
You might reasonably wonder why this leader of Judea and Samaria would express thanks to an organization whose mission statement includes: “Supports establishing a Palestinian state, dividing Jerusalem and displacement of Jewish residents from Israel's heartland.”
From the “What We Stand For” section of their website:
Peace Now views the settlements as a threat to the existence of Israel as a democratic and Jewish State.
Peace Now views the settlements as a main obstacle to any future peace agreement.
Peace Now views the settlements as an element that harms the state on many fronts: security, nationally, economically, culturally, and morally. They also harm Israel's international standing.
All of the above notwithstanding, Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer and Yesh Gvul attorney Michael Sfard were recognized by the Shomron Regional Council - for achieving the opposite of their goals - though their aggressive efforts to sabotage the growth of the Jewish communities Judea and Samaria.
The results of their organizations’ efforts have again and again turned into blessings for those they intend to harm.
Three communities that specifically benefited from their activities were named in the decision by the Shomron Council to grant this honor. Kiryat Netafim, Bruchin and Rechilim all received approval for their general town planning, as well as official zoning certification. These communities, whose growth had been effectively frozen for the past few years, due to the lack of final approval and signatures from the Minister of Defense, are once again able to move forward with general development, since they have been officially recognized and approved.
Legal motions aimed at hurting these communities and initiated by these two organizations, in effect caused Israel's government to re-examine their status and determine that they should actually be approved. From this point on, the Shomron Municipality is now authorized to approve construction of new housing and public buildings by the signature of its director, Gershon Mesika.
For the people of Shomron, this is a reason to rejoice. I don't know if there is another group of people in the world who appreciate and celebrate building permits, the right to use bricks and mortar, as do the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.
The floundering attempts by Oppenheimer and Sfard remind me of the Biblical tale of Bilam the Magician and prophet, who, with all his power and experience in magic spells, couldn't curse the Jewish people, and all of his efforts to do so flipped to accomplish the opposite of his intent.
He opened his mouth to bring evil on the children of Israel, but only blessings emerged. His wish was to deny the entry of the Children of Israel into their Promised Land, but instead he could only say kind words of optimism and hope for their mission: “Behold, the people rises up as a lioness, As a lion he lifts himself up. He shall not lie down until he consumes his prey.” Numbers 23:24
Peace Now's aggressiveness and Gershon Mesika's dedication and positive attitude come together to make a winning combination for the continued development of the Jewish communities in the Shomron. In light of the amazing turn of events that has promoted official approval of these communities, and the overall positive assessment by the recently published Levy Report, we in the settler communities lift our voices in gratitude to all who have worked hard to make this happen - whatever side you were working for.