Oded Revivi
Oded ReviviYoni Kempinski

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

You are embarking on a first diplomatic visit as Prime Minister to our greatest friend, the United States, where there is also a new administration.

As in Israel, the president took office after a period of internal turmoil. The storms also somewhat dampened the political successes of the two previous leaderships.

You can continue the political achievements and also with respect to the current administration fortify settlement, whose leadership you previously were a part of - as long as the US realizes that settlement is not an obstacle to peace, as long as you see settlement as an integral part of the solution, as long as they do not try in a time machine to go back years to a non-existent reality. Settlement can exist and develop; The responsibility for this rests on your shoulders.

The various administrations since the establishment of the settlement enterprise have not been big fans - while the Republican administrations displayed consensual silence or turned a blind eye, the Democratic administrations, especially that of Clinton and of Obama, perceived and marked Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria as the enemy of peace.

In the last four years, there has been a fundamental change in the perspective on settlement and its contribution to Israeli-Palestinian relations. This is reflected in the visits of Ambassador David Friedman, to the support given by the United States to a long line of factories in shared industrial areas. The understanding in Washington was that Jewish or Palestinian settlement is here to stay and there is no way to move or uproot, therefore it is necessary to think about how one can produce life side by side and even proper neighborly relations.

Your task, Mr. Prime Minister, is to continue to entrench the same principles that were sown in the previous administration, to bring through your actions a real germination. After all, a Democratic government that does not come out in strong condemnation of Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria is a truly good sign and should be welcomed. You must present to the government the tens of thousands of Palestinians who work alongside Israelis in the same industrial areas in which they have invested, and present the social and economic rights which they enjoy unlike in the PA.

You need to tell them about the ability to help each other in the event of a car accident, even in the search for a lost animal. Mr. Prime Minister, expose them to the daily lives of the citizens, the Palestinians and the Jews who meet at the Gush Etzion junction. Hundreds of meetings every day, tens of thousands every month. Point to the common interests of those who live there. Push the politicians aside, expose them to the common man, the one who seeks to bring bread to the table, milk for his children, a comfortable bed and a warm home.

If you know how to continue to speak this language, the right one, detached from detached leaderships, the current administration will also be educated not to see settlements as an enemy, but as partners in peace, between people, between human beings, between Israelis and Palestinians. In the current administration, too, it will be learned that in a meeting of interests, it is possible to bring about collaborations, ones that will also remove walls of suspicion, apprehension and reluctance. If the current administration adopts this approach, then the settlement enterprise will not again become untouchable or disgusting. Thus, even if it does not promote the Annexation, Sovereignty or Trump plan, it will formulate a different policy but in the right spirit.

You, Mr. Prime Minister, have a rare opportunity to be the positive face of settlement - you were part of its leadership. You have the opportunity to express successes that have taken place recently and have almost permanently changed the reality. Good luck.