Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Faces Likud Party Opposition, Massive Rally

The Likud party faces growing opposition from within its own ranks over the building freeze. Court appeals continue, and a mass rally is planned.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/7/2009, 12:15 AM / Last Update: 12/7/2009, 7:33 AM

Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to calm the anger of Likud Knesset Members and leaders of Judea and Samaria fell on deaf ears Sunday evening as opposition continues to mount within his Likud party and throughout the country against a 10-month freeze on building for Jews.

Building freeze opponents, who include usually more passive communities in Judea and Samaria as well as many living in the rest of Israel, plan a huge protest rally in Jerusalem Wednesday evening.

Another appeal against the government order has been filed with the High Court, and Likud Knesset Member Yariv Levin lashed out at colleague Benny Begin for supporting the mini-Cabinet decree that he labeled "anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish.”

                     MK Yariv Levin (Flash 90)                   He told Arutz 7 that the building freeze will not succeed and also sharply criticized Likud Minister Benny Begin, son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin and considered one of the most principled MKs, for supporting the freeze. “The greater the expectations from him, the greater the disappointment,” MK Levin stated.

Danny Dayan, chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) vowed that communities will continue to try to stop building inspectors, backed by police and sometimes by soldiers, from entering their communities.

Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to convince opponents of the freeze that building in Judea and Samaria will resume after 10 months despite his noting that “two weeks already have passed.” Government leaders and some opponents to the halt in building have proposed several moves to lighten the freeze, such as exempting Gush Katif expulsion victims who still are without permanent homes more than four years after army bulldozers destroyed their homes as part of the "Disengagement” program.

However, most opponents of the freeze want to scrap the entire idea, using political and judicial pressure. Four families, including Gush Katif expulsion victims, appealed to the High Court that the freeze violates their basic rights. They also stated that the government order does not include any means for compensating them for their losses they sustained after purchasing lots and paying contractors for work that now cannot be legally carried out.