Israel’s coalition government took the time on Sunday to remember Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman, 70, who succumbed over the weekend after a long, fierce battle with cancer.
In his opening remarks at the weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted that this is the week in which the Jewish nation marks the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, the festival of trees. Jews celebrate the planting of trees in Israel during the one-day holiday, which children often learn about by going on field trips to plant their own small saplings, or by carrying out other similar projects.
“This good green is in the State of Israel – part of this work is in Samaria (Shomron), in establishing a Jewish city in Samaria,” noted the prime minister. “This mission was carried out by our friend Ron Nachman, who passed away.
“I think that everyone who knew Ron, and many here did, are familiar with his unique contribution in establishing Ariel, both in vision and in deed.
“He gave his life to this vision and he realized it,” Netanyahu continued. “Today we part from our dear friend who managed to build Ariel into a city of culture, with a university. I regret that he did not have additional years in which to enjoy the fruit of his labors.”
Nachman, the first and only mayor of Ariel – today a major city – was to be laid to rest at 3:00 p.m. in the place he grew from two pitched tents atop a rocky hilltop in 1978. Netanyahu plans to attend the funeral.