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Activists Compare Netanyahu to Pharaoh

New grassroots efforts are currently being planned to resist the government's construction freeze for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.
By Avi Yellin
First Publish: 11/27/2009, 10:16 AM / Last Update: 11/27/2009, 10:00 AM

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In response to Prime Minister Netanyahu ‘s announced ten month construction freeze for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, resistance activists have accused the prime minister of mimicking the decrees of Pharaoh in the Passover story. The parallel, according to activists who are calling themselves the Task Force in the Struggle against Pharaoh's Decrees, is that both leaders work to curtail the Jewish birthrate.

“By trying to prevent a new generation of Zionist pioneers in Judea and Samaria Netanyahu is behaving like Pharaoh. Like Pharaoh, Netanyahu preventing the Jewish nation’s development. Like Pharaoh, Netanyahu imposes draconian restrictions on us. Only unlike Pharaoh who targeted only male children, Netanyahu’s decrees apply to everyone regardless of gender.”

The Task Force has committed itself to thwarting the prime minister’s construction freeze and emphasized that its program is only in its early stages. Numerous strategies were suggested in a document released by the group to the public Thursday night. These include the rapid building of closed balconies in established communities, adding homes to hilltop villages often targeted for destruction, establishing a special school for young construction workers, reaching out to Ultra-Orthodox residents of communities also affected by the freeze and organizing protest vigils outside the homes of ministers who betrayed their voters by supporting the freeze.

The L’Herut Tzion (For the Freedom of Zion) organization, which works towards increasing political independence for the State of Israel, responded positively to the plan to struggle against the construction freeze but rejected the comparison of the prime minister with Pharaoh. A spokesperson for the organization argued that it is not Netanyahu but the American president who deserves the title of Pharaoh in this case.

“Our prime minister’s new construction freeze is just one more example of Israeli leaders giving in to the pressure of foreign governments. Netanyahu believes in our right to this land but he is clearly too weak to resist Barack Obama’s demands. We saw this at the prime minister’s Bar-Ilan speech where he broke his refusal to endorse a two-state solution and we are seeing it now with this ten month construction freeze. Even senior Likud ministers openly admit that the American pressure on Netanyahu has been immense. We must do everything in our power to keep building in our homeland but the long term solution must be political independence. Only when our elected officials are free to decide Israeli policy based on what they genuinely believe to be in the Jewish national interest will our communities in Judea and Samaria be secure.”