Yesha: A New Building Freeze Likely To Be Ignored

Leaders of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are on strike Sunday, but Yesha leader Dayan warns there is more to come, such as ignoring a freeze.

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 10:51

Building project for Jews in eastern Jerusale
Building project for Jews in eastern Jerusale
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Danny Dayan, chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria said Sunday morning that if the government agrees to a new building freeze on Jewish homes, he "estimates” that it will be ignored by most people.

Without calling for any actions that would violate the law, Dayan told Israel National News that no official decision has been taken on the freeze, which so far has not been presented in its final form to the Cabinet.

The ministers will not meet for their weekly Cabinet session Sunday (today). If it approves the freeze, the plan probably will face challenges in the courts, which previously upheld in principle claims of damages caused by the government’s 10-month building freeze that expired two months ago.

Yesha is striking its offices Sunday and demonstrating in Jerusalem to protest the new freeze proposed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in discussions with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington two weeks ago. School-age students who have written permission from their parents also will be participating in the protest.

In an official statement, Dayan said that the proposed halt to all building in Judea and Samaria for 90 days is “a trap where we are already addressing final status issues while the Palestinians have never made even a single concession.”

Previous Yesha protests, ever since the "diplomatic process” began in 1991 in Madrid with a debate between then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Yasser Arafat, did not prevent concessions. Camp David, Oslo and Wye agreements, as well as the expulsion of nearly 10,000 Jews and the destruction of their homes in Gaza and parts of northern Samaria, did not stop the governments.

Dayan admitted the protest itself  “is not the most important thing” but the  "additional pressure" it causes.  He pointed out Tuesday that mounting opposition by the Likud Central Committee to the proposed freeze "did not happen by itself but came about because of massive pressure” by Yesha and other nationalists.

Sunday’s protest is being held across from the offices of the Prime Minister, near the Knesset. The Yesha council issued a statement that the proposed freeze “represents a fundamental collapse of our government’s integrity…. The Israeli leadership should never allow its citizens to become pawns to the whims of the international community.  We are our own sovereign nation whose very security and future should not be dictated by President Obama or Secretary Clinton.”  The editors of the Makor Rishon Hebrew newspaper wrote the same this weekend.