The 4th issue of our Sovereignty journal is being distributed all over
the country with 100,000 copies in Hebrew and 50,000 copies in
English. The reactions are enthusiastic. If you wish to get a copy,
please send us your full name and snail mail address and we will add
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Below please find the interview with Minister of Transportation
Yisrael Katz that appears in this latest Sovereignty issue.
Parallel with our ongoing hasbara work for the application of Israeli
Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, we of course continue with our
daily work on the different hills in Judea on which we have returned a
Jewish presence. At Oz vegan we continue the preparations in order to
maintain our presence in the forest during the upcoming very cold
winter, in tents.
This coming Friday we will have, please G-d, the pleasure of hearing a
lecture at Oz veGaon by famous speaker Gershon Bar Kochva at 9:00 am.
With blessings for a good week,
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
Please continue to be partners: http://www.womeningreen.org/help
Minister Katz: We will reach the Goal of Sovereignty through Jerusalem
Subtitle: He is defined as the government's bulldozer and, along with the
changes in traffic patterns that he causes in Israel's roads, he also
promotes the establishment of 'Greater Jerusalem', which will include
Gush Etzion, Ma'ale Adumim and more. In his view, it will be difficult
to find opposition to this plan, and afterwards, the map will look
entirely different. An interview with Minister Yisrael Katz.
Minister of Transportation, Yisrael Katz is a Likud member who is
known for leading and presenting clear positions. For example, he was
outspoken against the release of terrorists while other ministers
remained silent. Today, while other Likud members are busy minimizing
the damage from Oslo and putting out fires that the Left has ignited,
Minister Katz again presents a clear position on the matter of
sovereignty, stating that Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is
the plan that must be placed on the table, and it should be done
Minister Katz supports the idea of applying gradual sovereignty, first
and foremost over area C, and even beyond this. Contrary to Bennett's
plan, Katz believes that it is possible to apply sovereignty over the
territory, even without including within it the Arabs who live there,
a population that stands at seventy thousand people. "But even
application of sovereignty over Area C is a good step," he says and
notes his relationship to Minister Bennett. "We have shared similar
opinions in the past, even before he became a Member of Knesset."
And what would happen regarding the Arab population? He returns to a
solution spoken of in the days of Camp David - autonomy. "My vision of
autonomy for the Arab residents is what was determined in Camp David.
This was the most correct position and it's a shame that the
discussion over this has been stopped. The entire attempt to go in
the direction of a Palestinian state was bound to fail. I am talking
about autonomy with a civil affiliation to Jordan and a type of
political affiliation in the future with Jordan, an autonomy that
would enable them to conduct their own lives but without matters
regarding foreign relations or security."
Until that time, Katz, being who he is, continues his activities. The
political, diplomatic affiliation, he sees as a battlefield in which
troops are facing each other; troops of the left against troops of the
right and in order to win the battle you must identify the enemy's
weak spot and that is where you will act with full power. This is
called the Battle of the Valley and the weak spot that will be
difficult for the Left to deal with is Jerusalem. As a first step in
the battle for sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, Katz began
with a course of action whose objective is called "Greater Jerusalem",
which will extend considerably over the Green Line. To the extent
that it will succeed, he knows the diplomatic and political picture
will change unrecognizably. Sovereignty will be almost here, within a
What will the dissenters complain about? Demography? Policy?
In his plan for Greater Jerusalem, Minister Katz includes Ma'ale
Adumim, Beitar Ilit, Giv'at Ze'ev and Gush Etzion. Israeli sovereignty
will be applied over these areas, while logistical matters - traffic
and infrastructure - will be combined under one roof in order to
provide municipal independence in many areas.
Katz points to two European capitals as examples of this model.
According to him, every Londoner or Parisian would accept this idea as
obvious. This is how it is for them and there is no reason that it
should not also be here.
Katz doesn't envision strong objection by the Left to the expansion of
Jerusalem. There is nothing in this, he notes, that represents a
demographic threat. All the Zionist parties, on the Left and of course
on the Right, repeat the claim that these areas would be part of the
State of Israel in any future agreement. The only objection that might
remain is that of timing, an issue that will require a political and
public relations battle. Katz is hopeful the importance of Jerusalem -
both to Israelis and to Jews outside Israel - will help on this front.
"There will be a battle here. I am leading the battle openly and with
all my strength and abilities. I will let the members of Knesset bring
legislation and I will fight to have a majority in the government.
This is a process we have not seen since the Six Day War and clearly
there will be a battle here but I believe the time is right and the
idea is correct. This will serve as a catalyst for remaining future
matters concerning Judea and Samaria. For the time being, it seems to
me this is an important matter for which we can muster maximum
Katz is not satisfied with only Israeli parliamentary and public
support. "World Jewry, and mainly the Jews of the US, support such a
process and support Jerusalem," he says, and adds, "In the US,
Israel's friends will see this as something clear and significant to
fight for. Not to be in a losing battle over small things, but to
fight for the main thing."
But also here, in Israel, Katz is convinced that the timing is right.
Abu Mazen's recent actions - his joining in a government with Hamas
and his appeals to the UN - convince increasing parts of Israeli
society and members of the government that dramatic steps must be
taken. He sees the expansion of Jerusalem as the correct and necessary
step to take now. "Something has changed. I have said in the past that
Abu Mazen would not relinquish the right of return or other basic
issues and now ministers from Yesh Atid are saying that they do not
see Abu Mazen signing an agreement and conceding. It is clear to the
public that over the next few years nothing is going to happen with
the PA. Israel must consider what measures to take, and in my opinion,
this is the necessary course."
"This process does not contradict other things and it has tremendous
advantages. It can take on the most powerful tailwind. WE must
concentrate efforts on this touchstone and bring to bear all the
political, parliamentary and media power for this thing because it is
easiest to fight for this. When this thing happens, all the rules of
this irrelevant game that we have gone along with for so many years
will be broken. This is Archimedes point," he says, and emphasizes
that there is nothing in this act to minimize the strength of the
practical settlement enterprise throughout Judea and Samaria.
And what is Prime Minister Netanyahu expected to say about the plan?
Won't he tell you to calm down?
It's impossible for him to say something like that to me. I believe in
this and will act with all my power to promote it and achieve a
majority within the government. I will try to convince him that it is
worthwhile for him. This is an initiative that is easy to explain to
the world. Just as it is important to speak of recognizing the Jewish
state, we will fight for Jerusalem. This is the biggest thing and has
the most support in Israel and in the world, in the Jewish communities
and in the American Congress. It is necessary, also from the point of
view of common sense. This is the way that cities in the world work.
This is worth fighting for."
This process might bring about changes in the composition of the coalition
"That may be. It is also worthwhile. While we are fighting for a
building, or the edge of a settlement, however important it may be,
let's also fight for the major thing. Let's weigh all these leaders
against Jerusalem and our right to Jerusalem. As long as there is a
supportive atmosphere among the public, this will bring about