MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) rejected on Thursday to the claim by President Barack Obama that Israel’s building in Judea and Samaria constituted an obstacle to peace with the Palestinian Authority.
In his speech in front of hundreds of students in Jerusalem, Obama said that “Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace.”
In an earlier press conference in Ramallah with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Obama did not condemn construction in Judea and Samaria, but did say that it was an "obstacle" holding up the peace process.
In response, Shaked wrote on her Facebook page Thursday evening, "Obama is a true friend of Israel, this cannot be denied,” but added that ultimately, it is only Israeli citizens who will be forced to deal with "the tragic and devastating consequences associated with the establishment of a Palestinian state."
Shaked added, "This is why the people elected, just this week, a government whose guidelines do not support the idea of two states. The president of the United States, for whom democracy is a beacon, has to respect that.”
“And speaking of Iron Dome, Judea and Samaria are our Iron Dome,” she wrote, referring to the anti-missile defense system that intercepted hundreds of rockets fired by Gaza-based terrorists at southern Israel.
Bayit Yehudi chairman, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Naftali Bennett, also responded to Obama’s speech and said, "Obama's statement certainly came out of concern for Israel and out of true friendship, but we witnessed the results of our previous withdrawal from Gaza in Sderot this morning and in the thousands of victims over the past several years.”
Bennett reiterated his opinion that the establishment of a Palestinian state is not the right way to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict. “It’s time for new and creative concepts to solve the Middle East conflict and in general, there is no such thing as an occupation in one’s own land,” he said.
The head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Davidi Perl, also reacted to Obama’s speech and said, “The people of Israel returned to their ancestors’ homeland after 2,000 years of exile and returned to settle the country out of a desire for real peace with our neighbors.
“The settlement enterprise is not an obstacle to peace, and in the place from which we pulled back to the last millimeter we suffered from terror and missiles,” said Perl. “We respect and value the strong support of the United States to Israel, but it is also permissible to have different opinions and different positions between friends and we expect the United States to honor that and act accordingly.”