Calls for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's resignation were resounding throughout the Nationalist camp Wednesday, following a vote by Netanyahu's Security Cabinet to implement a 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria.
In a televised speech, Netanyahu said the "painful step" to constrict Jewish growth in the Biblical heartland is being taken to "encourage resumption of peace talks with our Palestinian neighbors."
Head of the Samaria Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, accused Netanyahu of deceiving Israeli voters and said he must resign. "I am ashamed and embarrassed that the Likud chairman is working exactly the opposite of the platform on which his name was chosen and is strangling settlement in a way even the most extreme left governments did not do," Mesika said.
Likud member and Zionist activist Moshe Feiglin warned that the building freeze, which halts all new housing development, is a sign of Netanyahu's future intention to abandon the Golan and divide Jerusalem. "The writing on the wall is clear," said Feiglin. "Anyone who participates in this objective proves he did not learn a thing from the crime of the expulsion [of Jews] from Gush Katif."
"I'm calling to anybody to whom the nation of Israel and the future of the state are dear, to join the Likud in order to replace Netanyahu with a leader who has a G-d."
Another Likud member, Information and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, said the impact of the freeze would effectively be a "childbirth freeze" and would lead to the transfer of Jews who want to settle in the Land of Israel. "I will not lend my hand to this process that will ultimately endanger the security of Israel and won't bring us even a tiny bit closer to peace," said Edelstein.
The Women in Green organization led by activist Nadia Matar accused Netanyahu of strengthening the vehemently anti-Israel president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The group said, "You grew the Iranian threat, you were the first to blink, you demonstrated weakness."
Jewish Home faction chairman and Knesset Member Zevulun Orlev announced that his party - a member of the government coalition - would try alternative political measures to crack the freeze. He called upon MKs from the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) and Shas parties to unite in an effort to stop the slide down the slippery slope of the building freeze.