Eliyahu Atia
Eliyahu Atia צילום: חזקי ברוך

Eliyahu Atia, director of the Young Settlement Forum, says that although they did not achieve their goal in fighting for recognition, the process has merits of its own.

"I feel we did everything we could. We gained a lot of valuable experience along the way, especially in raising the issue to the government agenda and making it a bipartisan issue. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister and Alternate Prime Minister couldn't come to an actual decision."

He said, "We will continue to push this. A new government will soon be formed, and with God's help recognizing settlements will be one of its guiding principles. "

He divides the blame for not passing the move between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. "Gantz stalled at the most crucial moment, despite promises and statements that he understood that it did not make sense to leave thousands of residents in such a situation. Eventually, his political needs increased and he opposed the government decision."

"I must say that the prime minister also got involved only at the end of the process, and did too little and too late. Like many other things, he was on the verge of greatness, but didn't quite make it."

"Even before the Knesset dissolved, we realized that it would be harder to pass anything in the new government. That’s what made us take action when we did - we knew what was about to happen and were trying to get recognition before it did, but the government didn’t listen fast enough.”

Atia remains optimistic about the chance for recognition in the new Knesset. “These laws were made under the Obama administration and Defense Minister Barak. This new government, no matter who it appoints to what position, will have a separate chance to decide on recognition.”

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