The convention
The conventionמאיר אליפור

Roughly one thousand people gathered at the Sovereignty Convention Thursday in the neighborhood of Beit Orot, in eastern Jerusalem.

The particpiants included Members of Knesset, rabbis and other public figures.

Thursday's event is the fourth Sovereignty Youth Convention, hosted by the co-chairwomen of the Sovereignty Movement, Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, with the aim of strengthening the governance and enforcing Israeli sovereignty in eastern Jerusalem.

Speakers at the event included Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu; MKs Bezalel Smotrich, Idit Silman and Ofir Sofer; journalist Amit Segal; heads of councils in Judea and Samaria, Hagit Moshe, public figures and other rabbis.

At the convention, the co-chairwomen of the Sovereignty Movement Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar said: “the coming years pose challenges, the demographics in Jerusalem are dangerous – 40 percent of the people are Arabs. Your victory will be crowned when Jerusalem becomes a metropolis, from Gush Etzion in the south to Mount Ba’al Hazor [Tall Assur] in the north. From Jericho in the east to Beit Shemesh in the west."

"Today, we in Beit Orot, promise –To turn Jerusalem into the metropolis of Greater Jerusalem will be our greatest happiness. Dear Youth, The Land of Israel is waiting for you, Jerusalem is waiting for you. Greater Jerusalem will be established thanks to you, and from Zion, G-d willing, Jewish sovereignty will go forth, over the entire Land of Israel."

Rabbi Dov Lior praised the Sovereignty Youth, saying: “You are correcting the sin of the spies. We must return to all parts of our Land and impose sovereignty. The Rambam says that even in difficult times, there were always at least ten Jews, and this is called Klal Yisrael."

"Even ten million Jews in America – are not called the People of Israel, they are individual Jews. It is not in the diaspora that the concept of the People of Israel is founded. Sovereignty refers to settlement in the Land of Israel, even if there are not yet actual buildings in the area. The People of Israel has the power to change reality, we must apply sovereignty and settle here."

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, rabbi of Sovereignty Youth, blessed the participants with “until today, we have seen the People of Israel flourish for 74 years. The Almighty will continue for the next 74 years, the People of Israel will increase, it will conquer the Land, it will apply sovereignty, it will apply governance, it will settle the entire Land, it will expel all the enemies."

"The People of Israel is also increasing in quality – once, the People was weak, persecuted; it was chased from place to place, the People was dispossessed, it had no power to respond. This People obtained a littler power. In the War of Independence, it succeeded, with great difficulty, to expel the Arabs from here. We obtained a small country. In the Six Day War, we gained more power, and we liberated Judea and Samaria. And even then, we were not very strong. With difficulty, by miracles and wonders. Today, Israel is one of the 10 most powerful and strong countries in the world. May it be G-d’s will to give all of us strength and courage, more sovereignty, more power, more settlements, more governance."

MK Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, explained that the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is a simple step, that depends on the public consciousness.

“In the Golan Heights, they applied sovereignty within 24 hours. They did it even before Jerusalem. What makes it complicated is public consciousness. For more than 40 years, the Right did not really rule, there was a majority that lived with the consciousness of a minority. We must correct this. In Judea and Samaria– we must dismantle the Civil Administration, establish new communities, preserve the territories of Judea and Samaria, acquire land for Jews, restore security. I am optimistic because we have an idealistic and talented public. Because of this, we will surely win, God willing."

MK Idit Silman spoke of the governance as a kind of Jewish identity of the state and about its unity.

"The kingdom of Israel is Knesset Yisrael. The first sovereignty for the People is the return of the sons. Not to return the bodies of terrorists and give them humanitarian conditions with nothing in return. Most members of Knesset are right-wing, there is no reason for us to subordinate the majority to the minority. There is a majority, and this majority is right-wing, and it must not be a silent majority. We must put all factionalism aside and focus on our important national mission. Ten degrees right or ten degrees left – we must move straight ahead."

MK Ofir Sofer lamented the increase in Arab agricultural crimes, calling the trend part of the 'struggle for land'.

“Arab agricultural crime, after all, is a struggle for land. Agricultural areas are, after all, deserted land – this is where the struggle takes place. We must settle the Galilee, strengthen the existing towns and cities. This week, there was a sad scene in the Knesset, when Walid Taha held a meeting in the Interior Committee on the law regarding agricultural crime. People who had been at the meeting left quite disturbed and understood why the government must be dismantled”.

Sofer added, “Every Jewish child must make the connection with his own feet, the heritage, the Torah and the holy places – to Jerusalem. This is where it all begins”.

Eliahu Friedman, the head of Sovereignty Youth, said at the event, “We are at war, a war of opinions, a war of consciousness, a quiet war for the Land of Israel. The People of Israel forgets that this Land is ours; this is why we are here – to shout to the People of Israel that the Land of Israel belongs to us and sovereignty is the expression of this faith and knowledge. Sovereignty is life. Sovereignty is not an ‘extra’ – it is as essential for us as water”.

Journalist and author Amit Segal emphasized the importance of sovereignty in addition to physical settlement of Judea and Samaria. “For years, there was a campaign that said that occupation and the settlements were the problem for the State of Israel. It is a campaign of words – words in the television, in the press, on the radio, on posters, on stickers, in the news and in songs. What did Shlomo Artzi sing – ‘We have a Land, why should there be another one’. Hanan ben Ari, who wrote about Gush Katif ‘Mother, if I could’ come only 30-40 years later."

"After the Disengagement, the Right learned a painful lesson – cement is not enough. Building communities is not enough. This is where the Right’s counter-movement started."

"It is clear that we need territory, it is clear that we need settlement, wherever there are no Jews there is also no military presence. This is where the Sovereignty Movement began. Where is the Israeli Right? Cement together with words. These two things are both important. In recent years, the understanding has sunk in that it will not work without words. The movement that you are part of, the movement of the Right in the media, in music, in culture, all of these stem from the same thing. Houses alone are not enough, words alone are also not enough, we also need governance,” said Segal.

Later, Segal related to the matter of governance along with sovereignty – “There is no governance. How can it be that the western Negev has become the area with the most crime in Israel? That there is illegal building on the scope of Tel Aviv? How can it be? How can we change it? How can it be that 45 people died in Meron? A report was written every year. Why was it too complicated to take these stairs and turn them into something that would not cause a disaster? The place is controlled by different Hasidic sects and finaglers.

"Why is it that on the Temple Mount, a person who drinks from the fountain is arrested? Why, when the court determines that it is permitted to say 'Shema Yisrael' on the Temple Mount, the entire world turns upside down, and the District Court overturns the decision? Because there is no governance. Why is the Moghrabi Bridge not replaced? Because there is no governance. We must understand that sovereignty alone is not enough. It is impossible to say this and go home in peace. You are still young. You have the power to think of what the challenges are for the State of Israel and work hard. In the Negev, in South Hevron Hills, in Meron, Lod and Acre. I hope that you will have the privilege to realize these goals in Judea and Samaria and in all parts of the Land”, he concluded.

The conference was held under the title “I Stand guard on the Wall and Demand Sovereignty”, and with this, the Sovereignty Youth Movement demanded to strengthen the governance in eastern Jerusalem and enforce sovereignty there.

The movement also demanded to strengthen Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, and turn the capital into the Metropolis of Greater Jerusalem.