'PM's Staff, Aides Work Against Settlement'
Speaking hours before a major conference in Jerusalem on strategies to ensure the growth of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Samaria Council head Gershon Mesika said that a strong showing on the right, clearly stated, could help prevent further withdrawals and handing over of territory to the Palestinian Authority.
The “One State for One Nation” conference is being held against the background of the negotiations between Israel and the PA that started in earnest last month. 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.”
Dozens of rabbis, ministers, MKs, and community leaders will be speaking at the conference Wednesday night, stressing the importance of continuing to build and grow in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, to ensure that they remain Jewish.
“Since the Oslo Agreements were signed in 1993 there has been a tendency to concede on almost every point the PA demands,” Mesika said. “Not just in the international community, but even in Israel residents of Judea and Samaria are called 'criminals.' The government sets police and soldiers against young farmers who are working fields, but do nothing to stop the Arab rioters. The Civil Authority works overtime to stop Jews from building, while Arabs build thousands of illegal units.
“We will call on the government to stop this deterioration,” Mesika said. “Israel is the only place in the world that Jews cannot establish a new community. We must demand that the government do for the benefit of Israel and Israelis, not for their detriment. The government must help settlers and fight enemies, not the other way around.
“I hope that the dozens of MKs and ministers,” including Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin, and many others, “will provide an example that Prime Minister Netanyahu will not be able to ignore,” said Mesika. “He has good intentions, but all his advisors and key bureaucrats work against Jewish settlement. This has to change,” he added.