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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rivlin opens the school year 5772 in Itamar: "All of Israel is ours."

Knesset speaker Ruby Rivlin was in Itamar on Wednesday to open the school year. I received this press release by email from David HaIvri of the Shomron Liaison office.
Rivlin opens the school year 5772 in Itamar: "All of Israel is ours."

Council head Gershon Mesika, who hosted his visit, expressed hope that the government would make it possible to build for children of the town and Samaria, proper structures such as those that exist for every child in Israel.

The Knesset Chairman revealed during his visit that Arik Sharon had considered linking he mountain settlements with the Jordan Valley, "with a view towards strategic depth." The Chairman, Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin, this morning (Wednesday) opened the new school year at the Samaria Regional Council, which got underway in the schools of Itamar in Samaria, on Rosh Chodesh Elul, a day before September 1.

Rivlin, accompanied by Mesika, met with students in Grade 1 and visited the home of the Fogel family and the location of the Hesder Yeshiva study hall, headed by Brig. Gen. (res.) Rabbi Avichai Ronsky, where Rabbi Udi Fogel z"l had taught. The study hall is currently being built in their memory. [Rabbi Ronsky is a former chief rabbi of the IDF. CiJ]

"I chose to open the school year here, out of my identification with and salutation of the people here, who, after suffering such a terrible blow, proved with their courage that no one will beat them and will never withstand the test these people were put to", said Rivlin. "One cannot help but marvel at the resilience of the settlers here. They represent a paragon of strength of Jews returning to their land. Settlement in Israel, Zionism, is settlement policy. Everywhere there are Jews living, there will be studies. I came here to express my hope that as the old year and its curses passes, the new year and its blessings will begin."

From a political perspective, Rivlin noted: "I arrived from Jerusalem, on a road on which both Israelis and Palestinians travel. Peace will be achieved here only when everyone will really want to live together; Itamar is not an obstacle to peace, and it will be achieved if the Palestinians truly desire peace. I visited with Ariel Sharon here at one time, and he brought up the idea to link Itamar and the other settlements in the area with the Jordan Valley settlements, with a view towards strategic depth and territorial continuity. I believe with perfect faith - and I have never changed my views - that all the Land of Israel is ours."

During his visit to the Talmud Torah elementary school in the settlement, he told students in Grade 1: "You are quick to build up the land of our forefathers who built Jerusalem. There is nothing standing in the way of whoever wants to build up the land. The way you sound, it seems like you are already able to enter Grade 2", he complimented the children, and blessed them by saying: "May you be people who can stand their ground and explain their views", and he wished them complete success during the school year.

Council head Gershon Mesika, who hosted the visit, thanked the Knesset chairman for coming to identify with Itamar, and expressed his hope "that the government will manage to give these wonderful children classrooms fit to study in, just like any children anywhere in Israel have. We expect the Israeli government to cease preventing construction of classrooms and schools in Judea and Samaria and to enable each boy and girl to study under the same conditions as any other child in the country."

Mesika, who introduced the Knesset chairman to the Grade 1 students as "the chairman of the Knesset - Uncle Ruby", thanked Rivlin for being a "true friend of the settlement enterprise", and said that "he has many merits in the settlement movement."

Rivlin also visited the Fogel family home, where the attack took place, and received explanations of what happened there. "This is one of the worst criminal acts in the history of the dispute between peoples, the heinous murder of an infant is an atrocity that cannot be grasped by any human being", he said.

The Knesset chairman and the Council chairman crowned their festive visit with a tour and cheese, olive and organic yoghurt tasting at the Giva'ot Olam farm in Itamar.
So why did Rivlin come alone? I'd bet there were a lot of MK's who would have loved to accompany him.

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