Ron Nachman Demands Likud Mayors Not Cooperate with Geneva Initiative

By Avi Itzkovich, MyNet Petach Tikva

30.12.2010
via MyNet, translated by Geneva Initiative Staff (click for original in Hebrew)
 
A conference for mayors organized by the Geneva Initiative managed to upset Ron Nachman, mayor of Ariel. He sent a letter to the mayor of Bet Shean, Jacky Levi, and the Mayor of Ma'ale Adumim, Benny Kashriel, and asked them to condemn the event.
 
Two weeks ago we published new of the Geneva Initiative seminar that was held at the Dead Sea Hotel and was organized with cooperation of the head of the Union of local Authorities in Israel. When Nachman heard about the event he promised to respond.
 
"GI has erased Ariel from the map as well as most of the authorities in Judea and Samaria," he wrote to Levi and Kashriel. "Except Ma'ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Beitar Ilit around Jerusalem, all the other settlements are doomed to destruction. To date, I am not aware that this is the Likud Party’s stand and I am also unaware that the Union of Local Authorities in Israel plays a role in determining policies regarding the future of settlements."
 
He claims that "Geneva Initiative supporters systematically approach Likud Party members—Members of Knesset and Ministers, and now also Mayors—in order to brainwash and influence [their] perception regarding the peace process." Now Nachman is trying to hold a meeting of all mayors from Likud to stop GI activity.
 
He argues that if the Union continues to be involved in such initiatives the Likud will have to quit its membership. "The participation of a mayor in these conferences is not private. The GI intend to reach these people because they are in decition making positions and so they focus on public figures from Likud".
 
The head of the Union… and mayor of Ma'alot-Tarshiha, Shlomo Bohbut said: "I went to the conference as a free citizen and I have the right to do whatever I wish. Every man has the right to be angry. I can only say that people went from their own free will. Everyone has the right to say his political opinion."
 
The GI spokesperson said: "We understand Nachman's insecurity in his positions and his fear that other Likud members will be exposed to new information and different approaches. In his letter he merely strengthens our activity. We thank him and repeat our offer, which he has turned down before, for predictable reasons, to have a political discussion in Ariel."