Activists: Likud Must Speak Out Against Withdrawals
Likud activists are organizing against the government's apparent plans to make major concessions to the Palestinian Authority. Over 100 activists attended an event held by Gershon Mesika, head of the Samaria Regional Council, and called for an immediate caucus of the Likud members' committee to discuss the party's policy on land concessions to the PA.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Mesika said that “the purpose of the meeting was to clarify the Likud's path, which is well-known but apparently needs clarification” to party members, MKs, ministers, and the public.
“The activists want to make clear their stance, and the stance of the majority of Likud members, before negotiations take place on demands by the PA that Israel withdraw from large parts of Judea and Samaria,” Mesika said.
Negotiations between Israel and the PA started in earnest last month, and those negotiations have been conducted with the utmost secrecy, with even the locations of talks a major mystery. Israel is represented in the talks by Justice Minister and Kadima head Tzippy Livni, a major advocate of the “two state solution,” which would see Israel withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria.
It's the mystery surrounding the process that worries many Israelis, Mesika said.
“When we know the situation we can fight it, but it's a problem when we do not know what we are facing. The inner sanctums where Livni is conducting talks with her Palestinian partners is where they are brewing their version of a 'solution.' All the rumors and stories emerging from these talks must be taken into account, and Likud officials are required to take a stand.”
The members' committee is where Likud policy is decided, said Mesika, and even the Prime Minister cannot prevent the group from issuing policy statements. Nor can he prevent the committee from meeting, as a case last December, in which Binyamin Netanyahu tried to do just that, proves. In that instance, the Likud's rule enforcement committee said that Netanyahu could not prevent the committee from meeting.
On Wednesday, a major conference on the future of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is set to take place, and Mesika will be there as well. Called the “One Nation of One People” Conference, the get-together will gather thousands of people in Jerusalem to plan for the future of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria. Mesika said that he hoped many ministers and MKs would take advantage of the forum to voluntarily make their positions clear – in advance of the Likud committee meeting, where they will have no choice but to take a stand.