Minister: This is our country, we must apply sovereignty

Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich tours Samaria, meets recent Olim from France. 'Evacuating communities did not bring peace.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Omer Yankelevich and Yossi Dagan
Omer Yankelevich and Yossi Dagan

Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich toured Samaria Tuesday with Council head Yossi Dagan. Together they visited local communities in Samaria, met French olim living in Peduel, and visited the Kabir Winery.

"I saw the connection between Samaria and the Diaspora," Yankelevich said at the conclusion of the tour. "I met immigrants who told me about their connection to the communities, the importance of their absorption here and their relationship with the Jews of the Diaspora. The Corona period marks a critical test for our commitment to the entire Jewish people, and we are still busy these days strengthening our ties with Diaspora Jews."

Addressing the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, Minister Yankelevich said: "Judea and Samaria are the land of our ancestors. There are those who talk about the places here in terms of benefit versus harm. We should constantly say that this is our land and not be ashamed to say it."

"This place is also strategically important and significant. The settlers are real pioneers, and that is how they should be treated. Applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria should be our ultimate ambition, under the right conditions," she added.

"This period is also a painful reminder," she said. "Fifteen years ago we learned the hard way that evacuating settlements brings terror and not peace. Today almost everyone understands this."

During the tour, Minister Yankelevich visited the village of Baruchin and met with families of new immigrants from France, talked to them about the difficulties they faced in France, their families and their community members' dealings with the Coronavirus, and the rising anti-Semitism in France.

"This place you chose to live in is very important to us, and you are important to the State of Israel," the minister told them. ''Connecting to the Diaspora is critical for the future of the Jewish people. These are our brothers and sisters who live in the Diaspora. We are all one family, even if it is physically distant. I ask that you be good messengers and help us connect with the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, in the variety of platforms that we at the Diaspora Ministry operate these days."

In a meeting with the head of the Dagan Council, Minister Yankelevich presented her plan for creating connections and collaborations between Jewish communities and local authorities in Israel, and Jewish communities abroad. "It is important to integrate Judea and Samaria within the framework of government plans, and to connect Diaspora Jewry to these historic places, where idealistic people with a sense of mission and caring for the Jewish people live."

Dagan thanked Yankelevich for her work on behalf of the people of Israel and Samaria, saying: "We are at a critical time, a time that represents a historic opportunity. In a short period of time, Minister Yankelevich has demonstrated a high level of performance and an ability to work at a fast pace. We expect all members of the government to apply full sovereignty to the localities, biblical sites and holy places we have in Judea and Samaria."

''This is a historic time. This government was formed on the basis of this promise and we expect it to come true. After 53 years, our residents, half a million civilians, live under military rule and need to get permits from military officers for everything. It hurts our quality of life. We want to be equal citizens like all citizens of the State of Israel," the head of the Samaria Council emphasized.