For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
I’m writing to you in the name of the thousands of members of Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI) in the United States who are concerned about the illegal Arab land grab taking place everywhere in Israel, and in particular in the abandoned army base of Shdema.
I was recently in Israel, viewed the situation in Shdema firsthand, and took part in one of the weekly cultural events put on by The Committee for a Jewish Shdema. I have followed the Committee’s evolution from a small group of activists, to an established organization with ambitious plans for the area and strong support by the public, local authorities, and governmental figures and MPs.
I believe the Committee’s goals of keeping Shdema in Jewish hands is an imperative for both practical and principled reasons. As a practical matter, Shdema overlooks the highway connecting Jerusalem with Eastern Gush Etzion and southwards. Controlling Shdema is therefore vital to the safety and security of Israel’s Jewish citizens that reside and travel in those areas. As a matter of principle, for Israel to abandon sovereignty over its territory de facto and out of inaction will lead to chaos, violence, and a tsunami of Arab lawlessness, as we are already seeing everywhere in Israel, in the Galilee and the Negev as well as Gush Etzion.
The illegal Arab building in Shdema is a striking example of brazenness that was actually funded by the American (USAID) and European governments. AFSI has every intention of raising a furor over U.S. governmental funds going to fund illegal, politically motivated construction in the Israeli territory of Area C. The Internet sites of some of the international organizations active in Shdema are full of hatred for Israel and lies and incitement against her.
The Arabs have plenty of land under their own jurisdiction on which to build whatever they’d like. We at AFSI hope that as defense minister you will defend Israel’s vital interests and ensure that Shdema remains Jewish.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"