Ron Nachman's grave
Ron Nachman's grave Yoni Kempinski

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu eulogized Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman, who passed away Friday after a long bout with cancer. At Nachman's funeral Sunday afternoon, Netanyahu called Nachman “a perfect example of a mayor, a builder of a city which is the capital of Samaria and a central plank in the defense of the Land of Israel.”

The word 'Ariel,' in Jewish tradition, is identified with both the Holy Temple and city of Jerusalem, Netanyahu said in his eulogy. “In the same way that Jerusalem will forever be the united capital of our land, so will Ariel always be a part of Israel,” he said. Reminiscing over a tree planting in Ariel together with Nachman several years ago, Netanyahu said “Ron, I swear that the tree we planted will never be uprooted.”

Also speaking at the funeral was Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin. “Ron, your were a unique individual, a descendant of the builders of the Land of Israel," he said. “You bridged the gap between a dream and reality. With your actions in building Ariel, you taught us a lesson in Zionism – if you will it, it is no dream.”

Nachman, who was 70, was the first and only mayor of Ariel, today a major city. He was buried in the place where the city began, the site of two tents pitched atop a rocky hilltop in 1978.

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