Minister Ayelet Shaked
Minister Ayelet Shaked self

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was invited to speak at the Independence Day celebration of Hashomer Hahadash youth pioneer movement at the Levi Eshkol Memorial near Yavne'el.

"Because in my view, the members of Hashomer Hahadash are a distilled essence of Zionism in our generation. The iPhones, the iPads, and even the clever robots that dictate the modern world to a large extent are not a substitute for physical presence in the area and redeeming land that many seek to undermine our connection to."

She added that, unfortunately, in recent decades we have been experiencing a phenomenon in which too many outlying areas - in the Galilee, the Golan, and the Negev - have two types: a law-abiding public and a law-breaking public.

"The facts are not simple, but it is important that we do not blur them. In the past two decades, the State of Israel has lost nearly 200,000 dunams of land, mainly because of its unwillingness to enforce its own laws in areas that have become a kind of wild west."

The minister gave as an example the story of Yehuda Marmur to illustrate the unbearable situation faced by the law-abiding public and Israeli farmers said.

"The conflict between Yehuda and a neighboring Bedouin family has been going on for decades, during which time it was plagued by thefts, flock bastardization, arson, and fence cutting. If, a hundred and seven years ago, when the Jews constituted an insignificant minority in the country, Yavne'el farmers needed the protection of Hashomer, today, when Jews constitute a solid majority in the State of Israel, the rule of law is the one that must protect agriculture and farmers.

"Recently, after decades of procrastination on the part of the state, justice was done with Yehuda. At the end of March, the court ruled that the area of ​​dispute belongs solely to Yehuda and his family, and that the squatters must evacuate within 90 days. This decision represents no less than a holiday for farmers and the Israeli justice system.

"As the representative of the government, I am here to tell Yehuda and all the farmers in Israel clearly: We are with you, we love you, your struggle is the struggle of each and every one of us, and I see myself as a partner in the courageous way you are marching. It is no coincidence that the first law that I legislated as a Knesset member directly touched on the issue of protecting the farmers.

"Following the law, which was passed in full in the Knesset three years ago, the prison sentence for trespass on agricultural land was doubled to six months - and the fine that the intruder was required to pay increased significantly compared to the period preceding the law. Our main task is to assure all Israeli farmers that they will be able to work their land quietly and safely and live their lives safely.

"The government is not only concerned with high words about the importance of settlement, but is also working on the ground to realize this worldview," she said. "In the past two years, we have worked energetically to renew the activity of the Settlement Division, which was almost destroyed by superficial politicians and bureaucracy."

The Minister concluded, "I have no doubt that we have a long way to go, both in terms of preventing theft and in raising the level of punishment and investigating violations, and we will have a lot of bumps on the way before we can remove all fear of harm to their grazing lands or their crops. But I am here to say that strengthening settlement is a national mission, and I am convinced that now that the Settlement Division is returning to full activity, we will be able to transfer success from the Gaza envelope to other places, and significantly increase the number of settlements in the Negev, Galilee, Judea, and Samaria."

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