Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon on Wednesday insisted that Jews have a right to live wherever they please, but especially in the ancient lands of their biblical forefathers.
"Jews have an unassailable right to settle anywhere, particularly here, the land of the Bible," said Yaalon during a ceremony marking 25 years since the founding of the Samarian Jewish settlement of Eli.
Yaalon, who also serves as one of Israel's vice prime ministers, said that communities like Eli "breathe life into the Zionist vision in the face of rising Arab nationalism," and urged the rest of Israel to follow the settlers' example.
Yaalon warned that previous Israeli withdrawals had whetted the appetites of the nation's enemies, and that any further concessions would only make matters worse. Yaalon was head of the Israeli army when former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was preparing to uproot the Jewish communities of Gaza. Yaalon opposed the so-called "disengagement" and was prematurely relieved of his post as a result.