Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat told Likud activists Thursday evening that “I do not envy the prime minister because I know he is in distress. It isn’t easy to face an American President.” The Likud Minister was addressing a meeting of party activists in Be'er Sheva.
Livnat was referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s press conference on Thursday where he announced that the government would temporarily freeze construction for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. The official announcement came after several months of intense American pressure on Netanyahu to halt all Jewish development in Israel’s heartland. Livnat insinuated that the freeze will do nothing to advance the State of Israel’s interests but that the prime minister is being forced into the discriminatory policy by the government of the United States.
“I'm having trouble feeling good about this unilateral decision which prevents the people of Judea and Samaria from even building a porch onto their homes. In return we got nothing. No one will appreciate the great sacrifice we are making. This policy will hurt us and I do not envy the prime minister.”
Minister without portfolio Yossi Peled also attended the conference and expressed skepticism as to whether negotiations with the American backed Palestinian Authority would even result from the government’s decision to freeze construction. “I wish I was wrong,” he said. “But it is important to remember that this policy is limited to the next ten months. I will not lend a hand to endangering the existence of the State of Israel.”