Miri Maoz-Ovadia
Resident of the Biblical heartland of Israel

A gift for a better future

Life’s gifts often times come at the most surprising moments. For me and my neighbors, US Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo’s wonderful statement was a beautiful gift which further deepens our appreciation for our American friends.

Imagine where you are at the end of each day. Like you, I am safely nestled on my living room couch after the kids are finally asleep. My home is in a small Israeli town located in the western Binyamin Hills of Samaria. Despite the exhaustion of the day, I could not help but stare at my phone when it was suddenly overwhelmed by a cacophony of tweets, dings, rings and buzzes.

For me and hundreds of thousands of my neighbors, Secretary or State Pompeo’s words were a welcomed blessing. “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.” A modest statement of truth, but we understand it as the promise to correct a historic injustice and lead to a brighter future.

We are filled with appreciation to those who must have worked so hard to create this remarkable statement. President Trump, his administration and his Ambassador to Israel David Friedman have shown yet again that their support for Israel is unparalleled.

For the residents of Binyamin, one of our biggest challenges for years has been overcoming unrelenting propaganda. We proudly share the historic truth that this territory has been the Jewish ancestral land for thousands of years. We did not “settle” an area that was not ours. No government convinced me or the hundreds of thousands of others like me to move here in order to make a political statement. Following the footsteps of thousands of years of our forefathers, we are living in our ancestral home.

The entirety of my 32 years of my life have been in the area that has always been and will forever be my home. Decades ago, my parents decided to build their home here in picturesque Neve Tzuf. Four houses away from my parents, I am raising my 3 children – the third generation of our family to live in this community that was established forty years ago.

I have been interviewed a few times today about how “the locals” have been feeling on the day after the announcement was made and it’s historic importance. This is my answer:
Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley are, and always will be, an integral part of Israel. Misguided international calls for us to abandon our homes are a historical injustice that have been perpetuated far too long. With this official statement from the world’s most important nation, the world is changing for the better.

The basis for lasting peace is understanding that coexistence is the key to the future. Like our Arab neighbors, this area is our home and forever will be. Just as the world has never called for them to abandon their homes, we never will abandon ours. We welcome the American statement as a major step in the recognition that lasting peace begins with understanding this reality.

This welcomed surprise on a cool Monday evening, puts Israel and our neighbors on the path for a better future. By changing the nature of the dialogue and accepting a long standing truth, President Trump and our Americans friends are leading the region and the world toward a better future.

About the Author
Miri Maoz-Ovadia 32 years old, married+3 children, lives in the community Neve Tzuf which is located in the west of the Binyamin Region. Miri is the International Desk Director of the Binyamin Regional Council and has been a spokesperson for the Yesha Council since 2012. She has hosted hundreds of international delegations throughout the region and been responsible for various projects focused on advocating for the Judea, Samaria and Binyamin communities.
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