Over 15,000 people participated in a march Thursday to demand that the government begin building in the Mevasseret Adumim area, also known as E1, between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim. Participating in the march are leaders of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, rabbis, ministers, MKs, and members of dozens of groups, religious and secular, that advocate a strong Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.
Speaking at the event, Housing Minister Uri Ariel said that Israel would not surrender to pressure “no matter what its source” on halting Jewish settlement efforts in Judea and Samaria.
“The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people,” he said, adding that “there are people who believe that if they follow the dictates of the rest of the world in these matters we will have peace and quiet.”
Israel already succumbed to pressure and withdrew from Gaza, throwing 10,000 Jews out of their homes, Ariel said, and the results speak for themselves. “Look at the missiles being fired at Beersheva, Sderot, Ashkelon, and many other cities,” he said. “We cannot surrender. The more we back down, the more they pressure us. As Housing Minister, I am declaring before the Prime Minister that we are here to ensure that you fulfill your promise to build here,” Ariel added.
Ariel invited leaders and members of the hareidi community to join the efforts. “Together with the hareidi community we will strengthen the world of Torah,” he said. “I call on them to settle Judea and Samaria and strengthen the entire Land of Israel.”
Also speaking at the event was Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, who said that “the people have decided – we want building, not building freezes, in the Land of Israel. We must remain determined, because justice is with us.
“They are threatening us now with boycotts and demanding that we accept conditions that will damage our security,” Elkin added. “We want to create a solid belt of settlement in Jerusalem, from west to east, and the Palestinians want to create their belt of settlement from north to south.” E1 was where the showdown would take place, Elkin said. “Someone will win in the end, and they are not prepared to surrender. We must overcome the Palestinians and build in E1. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said this,” Elkin reminded listeners, referring to past comments by the PM prior to taking office.
Also speaking at the event was Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, who said that the government “is with you. The reason I am in politics is to be doing exactly this. I joined the government in order to raise my hand at the right time and to say the right things. We will not lose faith in the justice of our path, and only with faith will we be able to complete our vision.”
Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba called for an immediate imposition of Israeli sovereignty on all of Judea and Samaria. “How can the official representatives of Israel say that Israel's rule in Judea and Samaria is an 'occupation?' These lands belong to the Jewish people. This is the Torah's point of view,” he said adding that the government needed to understand that the public that supported building in E1 was “young, dynamic, and healthy with the bravery to say that the Land of Israel is ours.”
Daniela Weiss, one of the organizers of the event, said that she called upon Israelis, especially young ones, to join in with the protesters. “We marched today and we will march tomorrow” until all of Judea and Samaria is settled. “This stream of people will become a large river in the coming months. We will not be satisfied with marches and declarations. We call on young, idealistic people to join settlement groups that we will soon be establishing and to plan on settling the Land of Israel until every hill blossoms,” Weiss said.