Critics of the right wing Israeli government should come and see for themselves how minority groups were treated, the leader of Israeli settlements in the West Bank says.
Israel Ganz, the Governor of Binyamin Region in Judea Samaria (known as the West Bank), showed me roads, medical centres and shopping centres that had been built by Israelis, insisting “these are open to all”.
Ganz said he could not understand Western critics who insisted Jews living in the West Bank hated their Arab neighbours.
Pointing at a recently built shopping centre he told me: “You can go to the shopping centre. You will see hundreds of Arabs and Palestinians employed here. We are living together and we will continue to do that.”
Ganz denied that Jews were occupiers in Israel.
He said that anyone familiar with the Bible would know that “most of the Bible stories happened here”.
“We came back after a long exile. We were here 3000 years ago. My mission is to provide services for everyone.
All the people drive on the same road. It doesn’t matter who are you. No one will check. We are building a medical centre. It is open to everyone. When you have electricity, water, it doesn’t matter who you are, we have to provide services for everyone.”
Ganz said left-leaning Jews in Western nations who criticised the election of Benjamin Netanyahu were welcome to move to Israel and vote in elections if they did not like the result.
But he said critics should first visit and see first-hand the way the government was providing services for Jews and Arabs alike.