Praying the afternoon prayer while founding new settlements
Praying the afternoon prayer while founding new settlementsNachala Movement

Are we entering a new era in the history of Jewish settlement of the Land of Israel? The answer is clear: There is an awakening, such as we have not seen in many years.

The Nachala movement comprises dozens of garinim (seed groups) and hundreds of families - sure signs that a new era has indeed begun.

The awakening began on the 21st of the Jewish month of Tammuz, July 20: Tens of thousands of people packed their tents and families and went up to numerous locations simultaneously, demanding from the government of Israel the establishment of new Jewish communities throughout Judea and Samaria.

Since that day, a number of garinim have been organizing and conducting daily public activities at these locations. In addition, there are more garinim getting ready to move to various locations, and there are hundreds of activists throughout Israel who are organizing local chapters of supporters. They come to express their support, both ideologically and practically.

One of the new garinim, Maale Yonatan, in memory of Yoni Netanyahu, is located near Revava, on a parcel of land which was purchased back in 1980s by a Jewish family. On Tu B'av (the 15th of the Jewish month of Av), the garin organized a huge event, which was attended by rabbis, as well as by Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional council; MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism); and Tzvi Sukkot and Naama Zarbiv, candidates for the Zionist Religious party. The event was followed by an all-night Torah learning session and a gathering with Rabbi Arele Harel.

Yedidya Slonim, the coordinator of the Nachala seed groups, said: "Starting from the 21st of Tammuz we have been conducting non-stop activities in a few locations. There are daily Mincha (afternoon) prayers, followed by Torah learning and Maariv (evening) prayers in each location. At the Tu B'av event at Maale Yonatan, there were 20 families who camped out in tents overnight. Last week we had a group of young people who, after a brief training course, spent days working on developing the area.”

“The public is motivated and determined, especially in light of the absurd situation, where we see daily illegal Arab building activity, on government land.

“On Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of Av), hundreds of people were in various locations to conduct the traditional Kinot (lamentations) reading. This year, the mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temples was accompanied by positive feelings over the steps we are taking in rebuilding and settling of the Land of Israel. There were prayers at Maale Yonatan; Gofna near Nachliel; Ramat Arbel in the Galilee; Mitzpe Avichai; Mevaseret Adumim; as well as a number of other locations. MKs from all the right-wing parties expressed their full support for these activities.”

Lital Slonim, who heads the public relations for Nachala, said: "MKs from the Likud, the Religious Zionism party, and other right-wing parties are in constant contact with us. They are fully aware of the danger that Arab illegal building activities pose, and they support our efforts to put an end to it. It is clear to everyone that the establishment of new Jewish communities is the only way to prevent the illegal Arab occupation of government land. This is a crucial step, to ensure the security of Israel. It also raises the national pride within the Jewish People.”

The awakening caused by Nachala's activities is not limited to the Israeli public: The demand for the establishment of new Jewish communities by the government of Israel caused an awakening throughout Jewish communities across the globe.

Yedidya and Lital Slonim, currently in Australia, have received a warm welcome and strong support in Melbourne and Sydney. New groups of supporters are being organized in Sao Paolo, Brazil, as we as throughout the United States and Canada.

Lital Slonim explained, “Our goal is the continuation of the Zionist pioneering spirit and movement. Jewish communities throughout the world are looking to the leadership of Israel. They want to see the continued realization of our national aspirations. Individuals and entire communities are happy to be active partners in the establishment of new Jewish communities; in redeeming our Land; in educating the next generation to love the Land of Israel. Our ranks are growing.”

“The awakening which started on the 21st of Tammuz is having an impact on public discourse in Israel today. A number of right-wing MKs have signed a document drafted by Nachala, proclaiming their loyalty to the Land of Israel, as well as their obligation to work towards the establishment of new Jewish communities. This subject has once again been brought to the forefront of the public discourse in Israel.”