The Lobby for the Application of Sovereignty over the Jordan Valley First, led by MKs Dan Illouz (Likud) and Yossi Taieb (Shas), with the cooperation of the Sovereignty Movement, was launched in the Knesset on Wednesday.

The lobby was established with the goal of attaining a significant achievement in the area of the application of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley First, in the present term of Knesset.

During the event, the Jordan Valley Declaration was signed, calling for broad cooperation on the matter.

In addition, a comprehensive plan for the application of sovereignty, written by Kobi Eliraz and Atty. Eran Ben-Ari, and ordered by the Sovereignty Movement, was presented during the event, addressing its various challenges and solutions.

Three ministers participated in the event, Minister of Agriculture Avi Dichter, Minister of Settlement and National Mission Orit Struk, and Minister of the Negev and Galilee and National Resilience Yitzhak Wasserlauf, which illustrates the importance of the lobby, members of Knesset of the coalition and opposition Oded Forer, Amitai Halevi, Ariel Boso, Ehud Tal, Ze’ev Elkin, Dani Danon, Yitzhak Kreuzer, Limor Son Har-Melech, Moshe Solomon, Nissim Vaturi, Tali Gottlieb, Avihai Boaron, head of Jordan Valley Regional Council David Elhayani, Avraham Bezalel, Rav Avraham Wasserman, CEO of YESHA Council Shira Liebman, head of WZO Yaakov Hagoel and other dignitaries.

Head of the Lobby for the Application of Sovereignty over the Jordan Valley First MK Dan Illouz: The People of Israel’s historic roots are anchored specifically in the area of Judea and Samaria, and the way to secure our place here is to stand strong for our historic right to the Land of Israel. The path begins with the application of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. This matter is within the national consensus. We are now at a historic moment with a fully right-wing government, and it is our duty to promote sovereignty in these areas. If we do not have significant progress in this matter during the present term, it will be a misfortune for generations to come.”

His partner in establishing the lobby, MK Yossi Taieb, added: “I am excited to launch the Lobby for the Application of Sovereignty over the Jordan Valley First together with MK Dan Illouz. Sovereignty over the Jordan Valley is important to Israel for its security, economy, social welfare, agriculture, and other things. But above all, it is important because the Jordan Valley belongs to the Jewish People and the Land of Israel, especially since support for sovereignty over the Jordan Valley crosses different sectors within the various Zionist parties in Knesset; we will conduct an intensive and respectful dialogue to lead to the application of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley as soon as possible.

Minister of Settlement and National Missions Orit Struk: “Our government is doing a great deal to develop the Jordan Valley in many areas, but our goal, ultimately, is sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, and this is anchored in the coalition agreements; it all depends on this lobby’s resolute action, and I trust you to act in such a way that they will set the wheel in motion so that it will be impossible not to apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. We will be here to support you and stand behind you so that you will succeed in this goal, G-d willing.”

Minister of the Negev and the Galilee Yitzhak Wasserlauf: “I very much hope that the next time we will not be here – we will mark the finalization of the application of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. Of course, since there is a right-wing government, there is no excuse or reason needed to apply sovereignty and to have done it even yesterday. We, as members of the government, are working towards this and will continue to do so, whether with hasbara on the international level or to exert the necessary pressure here at home. When we are hesitant about our rights to the Land, it has security implications. Unfortunately, we have already seen this more than once. This is our home, and we must treat it as our home.”

Minister of Agriculture Avi Dichter said: “I happened to travel yesterday from the Knesset to Beit She’an on Route 90, and yesterday I traveled with an agriculture sort of ‘filter’. I was surprised about the agriculture all along the entire route, and I salute the farmers. I very much hope that this lobby will gain strength in the Knesset and will stand up to the government ministers so that we will be able to promote this story. I have been in the Knesset enough years to remember a few instances when we said that Jerusalem is not only the capital of Israel but also where the embassies must be located; it took time until it finally happened. It happened according to its own timing, and sovereignty over the Jordan Valley will also happen in our generation.”

MK Oded Forer of Yisrael Beiteinu said: “You said that in our coalition agreements, it is written that sovereignty will be applied when the conditions are right, so I say to you as a member of the opposition – the conditions are right. There is broad support. Today, in my opinion, such a bill that the coalition supports can obtain almost eighty votes or even more. From my limited political experience, no one can promise that it will be so in the next Knesset. So in this sense, you have the full backing of the opposition. There is a lot more to do on the way, from the point of view of infrastructure and agriculture, and we, of course, will lend a hand to anything that is possible.”

MK Yitzhak Kroizer said: “One of our obligations is to bring about sovereignty. It will be a shame for us to miss this opportunity. I hope that everyone’s dreams of sovereignty will become a de facto reality.”

MK Moshe Sa’ada said: “The first tour that I took with the Knesset was in the Jordan Valley, and I was amazed by the place, by the activity. I asked David why there was no sovereignty. It seemed so obvious to me that there must be sovereignty. After all, we all want it, we all agree, so go ahead and do it. There will always be reasons, but we must ask ourselves why we don’t do it, and the answer must be not with words but with action. We have an opportunity with a fully right-wing government, and we must prove ourselves.”

MK Uriel Boso said: “If we don’t fight for sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the places that are so clear to us, we will lose Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We must understand that it will strengthen the People of Israel entirely and not just the settlement or all kinds of mottos.
Such a large participation of members in the lobby shows that this is an important matter that many share. We have a right-wing government, and it must be expressed in this matter.”

MK Dani Danon: “Begin, who applied sovereignty over the Golan Heights, did not hesitate. The U.S. condemned it, the UN talked about it. He made only one mistake, which was that he did not also add the Jordan Valley. With Menahem Begin’s leadership, the law of sovereignty over the Golan Heights passed in three readings. It is in our hands. The law exists and has support in the Knesset. I intend, in this session, to raise it for a vote. The law can be passed, and we must not fear. We will pass the law now in the initial call and place it on the Knesset agenda.”

MK Ze’ev Elkin said: “I think that every reasonable person that understands anything about the State of Israel, its security challenges, must be ready to do anything for the Jordan Valley. We must promote sovereignty over the Jordan Valley as soon as possible and as urgently as possible – the sooner, the better. Of course, the moment this matter comes to a vote, I will support it. There is no difference between opposition and coalition in this matter.”

MK Amit Halevi: “This lobby is different from other lobbies. The number of lobbyists is in inverse proportion to the importance of this area. We see that this area is neglected from every point of view, and the Israeli government must change the situation. This lobby must make for itself an agenda and assign practical tasks that will, in the end, bring about sovereignty to the Jordan Valley.”

MK Limor Son Har-Melech said: “The most important word in this matter, my opinion, is ‘first’. Sovereignty must be applied over all parts of the Land of Israel. People in the field understand quite well the significance of the lack of sovereignty. The definition of sovereignty is, first of all, to say that it is ours. I think that we all understand this, and this crosses party lines, Left and Right.”

MK Moshe Solomon said: “It makes me very happy to see this hall so full because of the importance of the matter. The Jordan Valley is the State of Israel’s eastern security wall. If we are strong in our borders, if we expand these places, the center of the country will be stronger too. We will do everything for this to be realized.”

MK Nissim Vaturi: “Not the Jordan Valley and not Judea and Samaria. We have nothing to give away to anyone. Those who depended on this should understand that it is impossible. This is why we must continue onward, building the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria. We saw what happened two days ago when they tried to launch a rocket from there. This is just an example of what would happen to us if we give up one millimeter of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley in particular.”

Head of Jordan Valley Council David Elhayani said: “In December 1981, the Begin government approved, in one day, in three readings in the plenum, the law applying Israel’s law and jurisdiction over the Golan Heights, when the government actually established sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The law passed with a majority of 63 members of the Knesset, eight of whom were members of the opposition. In today’s situation, I cannot help but wonder why this is not happening now. In the present government, there are 64 members of the Knesset from the Right; it is years since we have had such a right-wing government committed to its electorate. I tell you, do not miss this historic opportunity. Apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley in the present Knesset. This is your duty.”

Aryeh Cohen, head of the Megilot-Yam Hamelech Council: “This is a holiday for me. When they say ‘Jordan Valley, ’ they mean Megilot-Yam Hamelech and Ma’ale Efraim as well, and I think that we should always mention in the sub-text that we are talking about sovereignty over these areas as well. I have been in Megilot-Yam Hamelech for more than forty years, and over the years, we have paved the way, we have shaped the rocks, and now all you have to do is add asphalt and drive. Megilot is the easiest place to apply sovereignty, and I will certainly be happy to join the Jordan Valley and Ma’ale Ephraim in this process."

Head of the World Zionist Organization Ya’akov Hagoel also participated in the event, saying: “It has been 56 years since we liberated Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, and there is still no sovereignty. We are patient people, but we are also running out of patience - we must act. Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin said, 'not by virtue of power, but power by virtue'. We must apply sovereignty; both the Right and the Left want sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, and the sooner, the better.”