The World Likud movement toured Gush Etzion yesterday, and began their tour at the Oz VeGaon Reserve located in the heart of the Gush.
Nadia Matar, one of the heads of the Sovereignty Movement and one of the leaders of the Jewish presence in the reserve together with Yehudit Katsover, greeted the guests and related to them the history of the reserve, which in the past had been a center of Arab crime and a garbage dump for the local Arab villages.
As a Zionist response to the abduction and murder of the three boys five years ago, it became an agricultural and tourism center in their memory.
Matar described the night when the bodies of the three boys were found after eighteen days of search and prayer, and the sense that it was necessary to provide a Zionist response that very night in the form of settling that site, an initiative to which hundreds of volunteers from the surrounding communities, who mobilized immediately and together changed the appearance of the preserve.
“Zionism today is not only settlement of the land, but also sovereignty that will make it clear to the whole world that this place belongs to us,” Matar said, and reminded the members of the World Likud of the vote in the party’s Central Committee that established that sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is one of the objectives of the movement.
Yaakov Hagoel, the Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, greeted the many visitors, mentioning, as one who had visited the reserve on many occasions, the constant development of the reserve and the vibrant, lively activity there.
“The last time I was here was for the dedication of the Zionist library, to which I was privileged to bring Zionist books, and there are people who come here to study them.”
“This site is like any other place in the Land of Israel. I see no difference between Gush Etzion and Tel Aviv, between Modiin and Netanya and the Jordan Valley, Yitzhar or Ariel. This area is the site where our forefathers walked,” Hagoel said and noted the Cave of the Patriarchs to the south, Rachel’s Tomb to the north, and Jerusalem, a bit farther north.
“Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob walked here. This is the State of Israel and it is necessary to apply sovereignty here, too; not only de facto by raising our children here, but de jure as well. We must apply sovereignty here just as we must do so everywhere else,” said Hagoel to the loud applause of the audience.
In his speech, Hagoel explained the connection between last Shabbat, November 2, the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Tuesday, the 7th of MarHeshvan, which was established as “the day of aliya,” and this Shabbat Lech Lecha, in which Abraham is commanded to leave the land of his birth to go to the Land of Israel and settle it.
Matar thanked the hundreds of volunteers who accompany the activity and development of the preserve, who are vigilant in maintaining the Jewish presence in the reserve, the donors who fund the facilities and activities, the security forces and the Gush Etzion Local Council that assists and supports the activists of the reserve and the presence at the site.