Dani Dayan: Building Must Be Our Priority
Former Judea and Samaria Council head Dani Dayan warned that those who opposed the designation of 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of land in Gush Etzion as state land, along with other plans such as the continued development of Jewish settlement in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, are seeking to demoralize and eventually destroy the entire settlement movement.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Dayan said that the bureaucratic snafu that was holding up development of plans in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria was choking off the life-force of these communities. “For months the government committees and the Housing Ministry have not issued any tenders for construction. It's true that development plans made in the past are now bearing fruit, but without new tenders construction will soon dry up,” he said.
In the past, governments responded to world political pressure against construction in “a more courageous manner. We were told that building would not be allowed publicly, but behind the scenes they would tell us to build outposts, which would later be legalized. Today the government doesn't have the courage to do this.”
Dayan worries that a crisis is developing in the settlement movement. “We cannot be satisfied with what we have accomplished. Any area that is not growing will eventually be lost. Building and growing must be a priority, even if there are pressures. We must bring the settlement issue back into the center of priorities, even if it has to be done politically. If we can't accomplish this now, we are setting a precedent for the future as well.”