Nationalists to Netanyahu: Don't cave in!

Nachala movement urges Netanyahu to work to stop the planned demolition of the Ayelet HaShachar synagogue in Givat Ze’ev.

Eliran Aharon,

Ayelet Ha'Shahar Synagogue in Givat Ze'ev
Ayelet Ha'Shahar Synagogue in Givat Ze'ev
Arutz Sheva

The Nachala movement, headed by Daniella Weiss, on Wednesday night urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stop caving in to pressure and work to stop the planned demolition of the Ayelet HaShachar synagogue in Givat Ze’ev.

The synagogue, which has been in use for over 20 years, was ordered by the High Court to be demolished after leftists filed a petition claiming the structure was built on privately-owned Arab land.

Synagogue members argue that the land was legally purchased, but offered the land's alleged owners a high price for the purchase or rental of the land; however, the owners and their lawyers have insisted that the synagogue be torn down.

In a sharply worded letter to Netanyahu on Wednesday evening, Nachala said the elected government of Israel must prevent the demolition of a place of worship and offer the High Court an alternative solution to the demolition.

"This is a fight about the face of the state of Israel, its character and its future," the letter read, adding, "The majority of Israeli citizens, including most of the residents of Givat Ze'ev, democratically elected the current government - a government whose members respect the holy sites in Israel and are willing to assist their constituents."

"The Arabs who claim ownership of the land, if they can prove their ownership, must be offered monetary compensation or alternative land, instead of the synagogue worshipers being offered an alternative, cheap and small structure over a magnificent synagogue that was built from the pockets of the worshipers,” the letter continued.

"Even when a road is constructed in Israel, it is unthinkable to destroy the road when there is a claim on the land through which the road goes. Similarly, and even more so - a synagogue must not be demolished over any land claim. The same compensation that is given in the case of the construction of a road, should be given here - but only once the plaintiff proves ownership of the land."

Nachala further noted that "the Levy Committee, which was asked to write a report at the request of the current Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, clearly stated in its report that there is clear discrimination for the benefit of the Palestinian Arabs in some cases.

"The case before us, the synagogue in Givat Ze'ev, is the same as the case described in the report of the Committee. It would be appropriate for the members of the government, headed by the defense minister and the prime minister, to meet soon with the congregation, hear their version of the story and not make up false stories fed by accusations from public bodies who are not exactly in their favor,” the letter continued.

"The High Court was not elected by the citizens of Israel. You, the elected members of government, should bring a real solution to the High Court, and not to bring in place of a solution a threat of imaginary scenarios that it is not at all clear who is behind them. We urge the Israeli government: Hands off the synagogue! Continue building and not destroying! Yes to expansion [of construction]! No to withdrawals and caving in [to pressure!]”, concluded the letter.