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Notes from a Lunchbreak conversation with Nachala, The Settlement Movement

BS”D

As part of our new Lunchbreak Shleimus HaAretz conversations on ZOOM, Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel talked this week with Nachala’s leading ladies, Daniella Weiss, the doyenne of this indefatigable settlement movement and her younger counterpart Lital Mamerosh-Slonim who is Foreign Desk Director for the organization.

Lital opened the discussion by noting that although vast tracts of land in Judea and Samaria remain waiting for Jewish development, over 250 communities flourish in the area’s hilltops and valleys alongside stellar educational institutes, businesses, farms and blossoming cottage industries.

Evyatar, the “young” community featured prominently in the media last summer was the first new development to be built after a 20-year construction freeze Israeli leaders capitulated to under pressure from “friends” abroad and naysayers closer to home.

Despite enthusiastic support for Evyatar from almost all Israelis across the political spectrum, the community’s pioneers reluctantly signed an agreement with the government in July to leave their “unauthorized” homes on the promise they would be allowed to return within the year after a land survey and other minor issues were worked out.   Daniella and Lital believe the government will keep its pledge to let them come back.

The two also assert that just as it took only one month for 53 families to decide to join Evyatar (and there are 70 more waiting in the wings), in even less time, ten additional new settlements could be easily set up with affordable and spacious well-built homes ready for sale to hundreds of families eager to make the move to Judea and Samaria.

In the meantime, Nachala is asking families and groups of friends to draw colorful posters supporting Evyatar and snap photos holding them which Nachala will forward to Israeli officials.

We love the idea and suggest everyone take a picture on Purim.  The photos can be sent directly to lital.nachala@gmail.com.

A passionate and eloquent speaker, Daniella, who with her husband and friends founded Kedumim 46 years ago in the Shomron, went on to relate some of the challenges they faced back then, such as getting by without the everyday amenities we take for granted like electricity, gas, water and even sewage disposal!

Few will deny how invaluable a vibrant Jewish presence in these Six Day War liberated lands is to Israel’s overall security, yet all too often these communities face an uphill battle with the government when it comes to getting on the National Grid let alone cutting through the red tape for permits to buy and build in the first place.

Thank G-d, the tide is turning in their favor.   Recent legislation is now on the books to hook up every Jewish home in Judea and Samaria to the National Grid. Not only will this make life easier for residents there but will also help lay the foundation for the homes that will house our Jewish brethren from Ukraine on their way now in massive numbers to Israel.

In response to a question about former Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s proposal to alleviate Israel’s housing shortage by building high rises for up to two million Jews in Judea and Samaria, Daniella laughed and said, “if someone thinks they can live on a square meter, surrounded by Arabs whose plan is to grab all the land by 2030, they are living in a fantasy, for a Nation cannot live in safety without its land!”

In conclusion let us take a lesson from the invasion of Ukraine and reliance on even the best of “friends” with a quote from the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

“An entire calamity is unfolding.  They (Israeli leaders) have forgotten that they (said “friends”) are no more than an axe in the hands of the quarryman (Zohar, Bereishis 36.1) which can do no more than the wood chopper’s (G-d Almighty’s) command.

“Rather than seek favor in the eyes of the axe– which does whatever it pleases with no consideration for the welfare of the Jews – let us rely upon the Guardian of Israel Who neither slumbers nor sleeps and strengthen our resolve with Torah and Mitzvos.”

Here is the link to our conversation’s recording:  https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/qnDrwc3qEsO6o8zWsvKVE4WQSWTaPOdE-_DpCnKWvCrHbinZHfH3Z75iEIWiyjHL.9x2jLJpGNTENFIEw Passcode: WBu7^B.z

About the Author
I am originally from Buffalo, NY and although I did not have a religious upbringing I always felt a strong connection with Yiddishkeit and Eretz Yisroel. I still get chills recalling the moment the Rabbi announced that Israel had been attacked on Yom Kippur. In the weeks that followed, even though I really didn't understand all the details, I was the one student in my 10th grade Social Studies class who challenged our German-American teacher when he said Israel would be wiped out. Interestingly, the rest of Jewish kids in the class who came from much more Jewishly -oriented homes than I were silent. Years later I met one of them and was astounded to find out how they were all silently cheering me on. On the day the Jews were "disengaged" from Gush Katif, I was stopped in the grocery store (in Buffalo) by a little Jewish lady who whispered to me that she didn't think it was right what Israel was doing. Which just goes to show that there is a vast silent majority of Jews who agree with the Rebbe's approach to peace.
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