(May 24, 2020 / JNS) Homer, one of the greatest Greek poets, wrote that dreams do not always come true. I dream of the Land of Israel in its entirety, of vacationing in Bethlehem, shopping in Ramallah and sitting in a café in Hebron. Not all my dreams have come true.
Still, 53 years ago, immediately after the 1967 Six-Day War, the biggest of them did: Shilo and Beit El, Efrat and Kfar Etzion, the Jewish quarter in Hebron, Ma’ale Adumim, Itamar, Elkana and more.
The patch back to Judea and Samaria and renewed building there was not an easy one. Not everyone shared our dream. The entire time, there were calls to evacuate us, stop our budgets, gather us into settlement blocs. Construction freezes were forced on us, and we were seen as an obstacle to peace. Now, after years of battles and a sword hanging over our heads, we have a rare opportunity to secure an insurance policy for our existence.
We must not forget that what exists was, until not long ago, in doubt, and didn’t even have the widespread public support it does now. It seems as if the Trump peace plan acknowledges the reality that has been created, in which settlements have become an anchor of peace, from shopping and manufacturing centers to joint struggles for the environment.
Now, at a time when we have a broad unity government, and the biggest superpower in the world is backing us, we have a chance to ensure that we can pass on to the generations to come at least what we have built thus far. It is in Israel’s interest to implement the “deal of the century.” We are part of the state. Israel wants to seek an end to the conflict, Israel needs diplomatic support and Israel needs broad-based agreement.
The Land of Israel is important, and the Jewish people are no less important. Settlement is important, as is maintaining Israel’s international standing. We are at a watershed moment. I am asking to ensure that tomorrow includes no less than exists today. That is why we need to adopt the Trump plan and apply sovereignty.
Oded Revivi is the Mayor of Efrat and the Chief International Envoy of the YESHA Council, representing the 450,000 Israelis living throughout Judea and Samaria.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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