Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan explained on Wednesday why he chose to take part in the 12th Annual Herzliya Conference. Dayan is scheduled to make a presentation to conference attendees on Thursday.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Dayan stressed the significance of having a representative of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria being present, not just at the Herzliya Conference but at other events as well.

“We have to be everywhere in Israeli society,” he said. “We’re an integral part of the Israeli society and we have to be everywhere: On Rothschild Boulevard, at the Herzliya Conference, and of course also in Har Bracha and in Hevron.”

Dayan, who will take part in a panel at the Herzliya Conference dealing with the future of Israeli society, rejected a recent newspaper column by Yair Lapid, who wrote that part of the reason that he decided to enter politics is the fact that Israeli politics and society have become dominated by “pressure groups”. One of these groups, according to Lapid, is the Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria.

“I’m not going to apologize [for being a ‘settler’],” Dayan said. “On the contrary: I’m very proud of it. The fact that we are motivated by a sense of mission, by a sense of great faith – that is what makes us so influential in Israeli society.”

He added, “We haven’t forgotten that we’re part of the Zionist endeavor. The moment other groups gain the same sense of mission, they’ll also have influence. I’m not going to apologize for the fact that we are motivated by a great faith and a great sense of mission.”