Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday that the Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria are the most deprived minority in Israel.
Lieberman made the comments during a special ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the Shomron Jewish community of Hinanit, which was established in 1981 by Mountain Jews from the Caucasus.
“Today we mark 30 years of a great Zionist act in Samaria,” Lieberman said. “On my way here I was asked by journalists: ‘Why would you come at this time as Foreign Minister to Samaria?’ And I answered that today of all days is the right time to come here as Foreign Minister.
“We are not looking for confrontation but we have to ensure a normal life in Samaria,” he added. “The residents here are the most discriminated against minority in Israel: they work, serve in the army, pay taxes - what is expected, that they not build schools and parks? The attempts to strangle the settlement movement – we will not agree to such conditions.
“I congratulate this community and I hope that it will continue to grow and grow together with all the communities in Samaria,” Lieberman said.
Sunday’s special events included a special exhibition of art by immigrants from the Caucasus, and a special performance by a dance troupe from the Caucasus. In addition, Lieberman and the head of the Shomron Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, inaugurated the community’s new cultural center. Lieberman cut the ribbon and Mesika set the mezuzah on the door of the building.
Mesika, who addressed the many visitors who came to take part in the celebrations, said, “The community of Hinanit is a model of settlement and immigration. The residents of Hinanit are pioneers. We build and settle the Land of Israel here and in all of Samaria, as emissaries of the Jewish people throughout history. We build the Land of Israel with joy, we have to build and develop northern Samaria, the birthplace of the Jewish people, and we will be together in this important Zionist mission.”