Danny Dayan, the outgoing head of the Yesha Council, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Monday to summarize his six years as head of the Council.
Last month Dayan announced his resignation so he could publicly support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He explained at the time that as an official of the Council, he was not allowed to engage in political lobbying, and that he felt that working for the success of the Likud Beytenu ahead of the elections now requires all of his efforts.
Dayan summarized his time at the head of the Yesha Council as “intensive and exciting years”, recalling sad moments such as the slaughter of the Fogel family in Itamar as well as happy moments of building and rejoicing in Judea and Samaria.
“If I look back at where we were six years ago and where we are now, I think we’re in a much better situation today,” he told Arutz Sheva.
“We were only 270,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria back then, and now we’re 360,000 Jews. That means a third more,” said Dayan, adding, “When I started we were on the eve of a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria by the Olmert government, and now a Palestinian state seems to be as far away as ever. Most of the outposts are in the process of legalization so I think we can be optimistic about the future.”
He said that now, Israel needs to launch what he termed “political and diplomatic activity” to present its case to the world and bring about a change in attitude towards Judea and Samaria.
“We’ve neglected this front for too long,” said Dayan. “I was in Washington and London recently and I think it’s very much needed that Israel present its case in a form that the government of Israel currently does not. I think that the world understands today that we are a key player and there is a willingness to listen to us and understand our points of view.”