Beit El celebrates 40 years

'It's not 40 years in Beit El.  It's 4000 years from the time of Abraham.'

Eliran Baruch ,

Bennett at Beit El celebration
Bennett at Beit El celebration
Hillel Meir

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) in Beit El Tuesday night to attend the event in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the community's establishment.

The event was attended by 3,500 residents of the Samaria community and by many Israeli politicians. Edelstein praised the thousands of residents of Beit El. "I hope that at the 50th anniversary celebrations we will have tens of thousands [of residents in attendance] and not just thousands."

The Knesset Speaker added that he would continue to work with the local council until the prime minister's promise to construct 300 new housing units in Beit El is fulfilled.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) also mentioned the prime minister's promise during his address at the event.

"This is an old promise, and we who serve in the government will fulfill it," Bennett said. "But that's not enough. In the late 1970s, even when the Labor Party was in power, they established more and more new settlements. It all stopped in the 1990s. I understand that there were those who spoke about the vision of a Palestinian state, but today it is clear to everyone that that can no longer be. And since there will never be [a Palestinian state], it is time to change the basics of the situation."

The education minister also said that "the time has come to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. I call on you, Mr. Prime Minister: we are behind you in taking this Zionist step of applying sovereignty, and it will then be possible to restore the momentum of construction."

Bennett addressed the criticism Israel would receive for applying sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. "I know that some people will not like it in Europe. When Beit El was built, President Carter was angry. So he was angry and we went on and there are 6,500 people here. No matter what they say anywhere, no one will stop us. Our vision is a million residents in Judea and Samaria."

Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem said at the event: "It has been 50 years since our return to the inheritance of our forefathers. Those have been 50 years of vision and integration of the love of the people, the Torah and the land, and this brought about the establishment of Beit El 40 years ago."

She said that when the housing units are built starting next month, "Beit El will be the beginning of the renewal of construction momentum in Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria."

MK Yehuda Glick said: "It's not 40 years in Beit El. It's 4000 years from the time of Abraham and our patriarchs. Their first steps here in the land [of Israel] were in Beit El, and I think we should remember that Beit El is as its name [implies], the house of G-d. It's a place that connects to Jerusalem. It's a place which has given stability from the time of the Jacob's dream here.."