Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s seeming agreement to surrender Jewish communities outside of “settlement blocs” sets the stage for the largest expulsion of Jews since the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, National Union chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz charged Tuesday.
The Prime Minister did not spell out which “settlement blocs” he meant during his Herzl Day speech in the Knesset Monday night.
“Now the truth has become clear,” said MK Katz. “This is the first time that the Prime Minister has stood up and declared, contrary to the platform of his Likud party, that he is prepared to expel 130,000 Jews, residents of the hills of Judea and Samaria, in effect advancing Kadima party policies.
“There has been no such wholesale expulsion since the Spanish Inquisition by the worst Jew-haters of Europe." He urged MKs and ministers of the Likud to join the National Union “to be true to the platform on which they were elected.”
The general consensus is that the "settlement blocs" include Maaleh Adumim, Ariel and the Jewish communities in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. However, the “Gush,” as Gush Etzion is called for short, the Hebrew term for “bloc,” never has been defined. It stretches from Neve Daniel, Elazar and Efrat in the west to the Gush Etzion Junction on Israel's Highway 60. Several miles of land and Arab villages separate Efrat and the communities of Tekoa and Nokdim, to the east.
Several communities and kibbutzim are situated immediately west of the junction, but several miles separate them from Bat Ayin and the hareidi orthodox city of Beitar Illit, located further north.
Another undefined area is the group of communities of Karnei, Ginot and Maaleh Shomron, which are connected by an internal road and are home to more than 1,000 families. Kedumim, Elkana and Emanuel are just as large and are to the west, east and south. Similarly, Beit El and Ofra, located north of Jerusalem and separated by several miles, are home to more than 2,000 families, not including dozens of other nearby Jewish towns that are home to thousands of Jews.