Arutz-7's Haggai Segal asked a leading Yesha rabbi, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of Har Brachah, if he agrees with Sharon that the "conquest is bad." "I agree that it's bad," the rabbi responded, "and the solution for this problem is provided in the Torah: Whoever loves us, and believes in our right to this land, can live here, and then will not feel that he is under conquest. Whoever doesn't recognize our rights, shouldn't live here. This is the solution."
Arutz-7: "But the Prime Minister could say that he might even agree with you, but that we presently don't have the strength to impose that solution - such that the bottom line is that they are under our occupation."
Rabbi Melamed: "True, it's not easy - but every long trip begins with the first few steps: by declaring that these our intentions, and by taking strong measures against terrorist families, and proceeding from there, step by step... It [appears] that the only way to solve the problems here is by Arab emigration, such as happened [with transfers of population] in World War II. Most of the Arabs in Yesha do not want to live in peace with us, so we have to continually remind the world that in Saudi Arabia, for example, there is plenty of oil and plenty of space, and that there is no reason that they should not help out their poor brothers... Israel should also offer to help in these efforts... I simply do not see any other solution to this problem. To give a state to the Palestinians is simply pushing off the war for another few months, and then it will just be harder for us."
Arutz-7's Yosef Mantinband found a recording of Ariel Sharon, when, as a government minister under Prime Minister Netanyahu in late 1996, he spoke at the funeral of terrorist victims Ita Tzur and her son Ephraim. Sharon told the mourners, "Beit El and Ofrah; Ateret and N'vei Tzuf; Beit Aryeh and Peduel - these [southern Shomron communities] are the last line of defense for Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And the residents of Yesha - they are Israel's faithful soldiers, guarding its borders, despite the pressure of the Arabs, and unfortunately, also from some of us."