Here is the full official release on the slapdown of Minister Uri Ariel by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu:-
PM Netanyahu Directs Minister Ariel to Reconsider Steps for Evaluating Planning Potential
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Tuesday, 12 November 2013), directed Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel to reconsider all of the steps for evaluating planning potential that he distributed without any advance coordination. The Prime Minister told Minister Ariel: "This step does not contribute to settlement. On the contrary, there is damage here for settlement. This is a meaningless step – legally and in practice – and an action that creates an unnecessary confrontation with the international community at a time when we are making an effort to persuade elements in the international community to reach a better deal with Iran. At this time, the attention of the international community must not be diverted from the main effort – preventing Iran from receiving an agreement that will allow it to continue its military nuclear program. As a member of the Government, action must be coordinated and have the benefit of forethought."
Minister Ariel told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he accedes to his request to reconsider all publications that were issued today regarding the evaluation of planning potential and said that in any case the issue was the potential for planning and not any sort of official stage.
Actually, I am amazed Ariel thought he could get away with this.
First of all, the anti-Yesha forces have access to all new plans, in all their stages. See how they deal with Jerusalem now.
Second, he probably hasn't installed his own people or shunted aside previous hacks.
Third, as it was Chaim Levinson who blew the cover, if you can't keep it out of the opposing press, expect the worst.
Fourth, we all know that for Netanyahu, Iran is the paramount existential issue. He went to a moratorium on construction a few years ago to protect what he viewed as the prime goal: keeping America focused on Iran.
Fifth, if you are going to something like this, announce it with full explanation before, not contritely afterwards.
Of course, that Obama and Kerry are proving our worse enemies on both fronts - that of security and defense as well as the ethos of Zionism - and that Netanyahu has placed a dodgy bet, still does not relieve those in power from acting with wisdom and even cleverness.
We expect - and need - better.