According to a publication by Channel 12 News Correspondent Amit Segal, "Not only MKs from the outskirts of Meretz but also the Labor party chairman, Merav Michaeli, met with the prime minister and made it clear to him that Evyatar will not be resurrected. The Labor party will not lend a hand." Nahala chairwoman Daniella Weiss responded to the report in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
Evyatar, a hilltop settlement in Samaria, was previously evacuated by the 50 families there based on the government's promise to build a yeshiva there.
Weiss regrets that "people in the Knesset of Israel, and I am not talking about the Arabs, I do not expect Zionism from them, people who live in Israel and are supposed to care about Israel's interests are expressing themselves in such a way that harms, by definition, Israel's interests. When the settlements in Judea and Samaria began, there were positive consequences for the establishment of observatories in the Galilee, if only that could continue."
We mentioned that in contrast to this position, some see the Israeli interest in stopping construction in the settlements and see it as a factor that will lead to a binational state, the loss of the Jewish majority and the end of the Zionist vision, and it seems that their position is more significant today. Weiss responds: "I want to believe that this extreme and perverse anti-Zionist opinion is not the one that will eventually take over the Israeli government."
"Whether in this government headed by Bennett or a government headed by Netanyahu or any other government, I oppose the participation of Arabs in the government. Non-Jews should not be allowed to run the state affairs of the Jews. These are things that stem from a religious and Jewish point of view."
"An Arab's finger can decide the destiny of Israel," she says, expressing confidence that even if the extreme left will not win "because the Land of Israel continues to be built and expand."
And yet, we asked about Evyatar and mentioned that about exactly three weeks ago in an interview with Arutz Sheva, Weiss said that within a week or two it will be possible to determine where the government is standing on the Evyatar issue, and currently the discussions around the cabinet table against Evyatar are only growing.
"I see that the time is trickling out. There is a stopwatch. We know there are discussions and I hear that there are intentions to bring the yeshiva and the fifty families back to Evyatar," Weiss says. When asked if despite strong statements from left-wing ministers in government she has news that can slightly balance things. "As a general statement there is no change, but there is progress that we in Nahala and the Samaria Council know about. It is not yet intended for public information. Things in politics progress at a different pace." Weiss estimates that "in two or three weeks we will be able to report that all preparations have already been made for the return of the yeshiva."
In her remarks, Weiss talks about her movement's preparations for the establishment of ten settlements that dozens of families and singles are awaiting approval in order to get on the ground. "I hear a lot of criticism about the focus on Evyatar. It's not without cause. Because Evyatar is a cornerstone, but it can be another place as well. Settlements are a cornerstone."
Weiss recalls the days of the establishment of Gush Emunim and the preparations for the first move to the land, days when they laughed at her, when she spoke of the intention to go and settle in the mountains of Samaria. "Even when I was sitting in Ramat Gan and we talked about settlement in Samaria during the Golda and Rabin governments, they laughed at me how I would move from Ramat Gan to a tent beyond the mountains of darkness."
The wait and preparation for settlement strike as one, she says. "When first rays of the sun at sunrise strikes. I know this process and I experienced it, even with my parents who were among the farmers of Bnei Brak. I also know it from them. These processes are constantly taking place- the sudden moment when there is an awakening of the public from below. The land of Israel will be redeemed when there is enough of a longing [by the people]."
We queried Daniella Weiss if the aspiration and hope to see Eviatar re-established did not constitute handcuffs that prevented her from protesting against the government's moves and sobering remarks against the settlement, for fear that too loud a protest would harm the chances of re-establishing the settlement.
Evyatar to be turned into yeshiva, residents to voluntarily leave
Weiss says that she and her friends at Nahala are aware of the criticism leveled at them from the right about the seemingly forgiving attitude they are showing towards the government. According to her, the movement is discussing this, with the main question being what the movement can contribute to the establishment of a full-fledged Zionist government, one that will serve the interests of the State of Israel. "I learned from my teacher and rabbi, Rabbi Levinger that if we place emphasis on settlement and the demand to settle, we will greatly affect the whole of Israeli politics. It seems to me that there is no safer prescription for overthrowing the government than establishing a settlement."
Weiss mentions that Evyatar was established during Netanyahu's reign in memory of Evyatar Borovsky, where Yehuda Guata was also murdered. "I am told to leave everything and concentrate on overthrowing Bennett, and I say if they want to overthrow the government, they will be mobilized for it. What causes the government to shake more than the talk of the Land of Israel. What evokes the most excitement and tension more than the settlement. Climb the hills or find a way to overthrow a government other than shouting like a rooster. The land of Israel is a measuring test for any government."