Peres Asking U.S. Jewry To Push Aid For Galilee

By Ori Nir

Published August 05, 2005, issue of August 05, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

TEL AVIV — As Israel prepares for the Gaza pullout and presses Washington for an unprecedented $2 billion supplemental aid package to help develop its outlying regions, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres is urging American Jews to support his government on both fronts.

In an interview with the Forward, Peres said that Israel’s plan to shift its priorities from building Gaza and West Bank settlements to developing the Galilee and the Negev — Israel’s respective northern and southern peripheries — signifies a recognition of past misguided policies and a return to the original Zionist vision. Israel, he said, is “waking up from baseless dreams to a new reality” that requires rolling back the Jewish settlement enterprise in the territories.

“We have invested vast funds in the settlements, which were utterly lost. So we are now leaving Gaza and building Israel,” Peres said, sitting in his Tel Aviv office. “We will also leave vast areas in [the West Bank] and build Israel, an Israel of peace and security and advanced technology.” Israel plans to invest $5 billion in five years in roads, railways, education and job-creation projects in the northern and southern regions, where poverty and unemployment are much deeper than in Israel’s central, most highly populated areas. Israel has presented its plan to senior Bush administration officials and signaled that it intends to ask Washington for up to $2.1 billion in aid for the Negev and the Galilee. Another $1.5 billion will come from the Israeli budget. The rest of the money Israel hopes to raise from private investors, mostly overseas.

The push to develop the Negev and the Galilee is a “battle for the future of the Jewish people” that requires significantly more American Jewish support, said Peres, who is coordinating his government’s efforts to develop the two regions.






Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.