MK Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor), a strong proponent of the idea of Israel giving up lands in Judea and Samaria as part of a future peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority, visited the Binyamin region on Wednesday as a guest of MK Ya’akov “Ketzaleh” Katz (National Union).
Ben-Simon visited the community of Migron, which the Supreme Court has ruled must be evicted within a week, and later visited Ofra, Beit El and Pesagot. As he visited the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El, where some residents were recently evicted from their homes, Ben-Simon expressed disappointment in the fact that a new neighborhood was built in place of the neighborhood to be demolished.
Katz, for his part, promised Ben-Simon that attempts by leftists to harm the settlement enterprise will fail, and said the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria will only further develop in the coming years. Ben-Simon called for future negotiations with the PA to be based on the indefensible pre-1967 borders and added that “any settlement acceptable to the PA would also be acceptable to the Labor Party.”
Ben-Simon later met with the mayor of Binyamin, Avi Ro’eh, and the two had a discussion about the two-state solution of which Ben-Simon is a supporter.
The MK asked Ro’eh whether he is bothered by hearing about the two-state solution, to which Ro’eh responded, “They’ve been talking about solutions for many years, and in the meantime we have been living here for over thirty years. The talk about a two-state solution does not bother me.”
He added, “What bothers me is that we are successful in doing what we have been entrusted to do in Judea and Samaria. We have a responsibility for what is happening in the country. Our children are settling in the Galilee and in the Negev to strengthening the Jewish hold in the area.”
Ro’eh concluded by telling Ben-Simon, “Even if we have disagreeing opinions, we are brothers and the dialogue should continue.”
Katz has brought many MKs from all the Knesset parties on tours of Judea and Samaria, so they can see with their own eyes how the region has developed with Jewish construction.
He recently said that the settlement enterprise is still as strong as ever and that the latest population data from Judea and Samaria is proof that Land of Israel activists have won.
“Seven years after the disengagement, when 10,000 Jews were expelled from 28 communities in Gaza, today we have over 700,000 Jews living beyond the Green Line – in east Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria and in the Golan Heights,” said Katz.
“This means that over 14% of the Jewish population in Israel today lives beyond the Green Line,” he noted, adding that a recently conducted poll found that the population grows by six percent every year.
“In four to five years we will have over one million people, in ten years we’ll have 1.3 million and in 20 years we’ll have two million Jews living beyond the Green Line,” he noted.