National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Bateinu) visited the Ulpana neighborhood in the community of Beit El on Tuesday, saying the reason communities are threatened is that "we went out from slavery to freedom, but the slavery did not go out from us."
Landau's visit was hosted by MK Yaakov Katz (National Union), who has mounted a campaign to bring both Ministers and Knesset members to visit communities in Judea and Samaria in order to impress upon them permanence of Israel's settlement enterprise.
At least 500,000 Jewish Israelis live in the 'disputed territories' of Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. In addition, a majority of Arabs with Israeli citizenship who reside in eastern Jerusalem wish to retain their status as Israelis rather than become subjects of the Palestinian Authority.
During his visit, Landau spoke with local residents about High Court's decision to demolish the buildings in the neighborhood, and received letters from neighborhood children, who expressed fear of soldiers and police coming in the night to destroy their homes.
Landau told Arutz Sheva, "I think Israel should not bow her head. Not to populist public, and not to organizations fed by funds from foreign states and foreign interests to promote measures against Israel. The Attorney General and the Israeli legal system should adopt and promote the Government's policy in these matters."
"We paid a heavy price standing strong and for tens of years and no one talked about a freeze, but now we give up on what belongs to us. We should stop talking about freezing and reject it outright," Landau said of demands Israel freeze construction a second time.
When asked about the deal that freed Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 terrorists, which Landau voted against, he said, "I do not understand what was going on in our [the government's -ed.] heads with Shalit."
"And now I'm surprised to see, when the Egyptians take an Israeli hostage [Illan Grapel] and throw him in prison without doing anything wrong, we agree to exchange him for more prisoners instead of standing firm and bringing pressure to bear."
About the IDF's recommendation to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority in order to bolster them after the deal with Hamas, Landau said, "I'd hate to see the military involved in politics at all".
"We went out from slavery to freedom, but slavery did not go out from us," Landau said, diagnosing the zeitgeist in Israel's government in recent years.
"The real struggle for democratic freedom is Jewish identity, which is a real departure from being slaves. I do not want to think of any 'solution' other than one where these buildings will continue to exist as part of our hold on Eretz Israel," he said.