Dept. Defense Min. foils smear attack against Judea and Samaria

Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan lashes out at Zionist Union no-confidence vote connecting 'settlements' to Price Tag attacks.

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Hezki Baruch,

Ben Dahan
Ben Dahan
Miriam Alster, Flash 90

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home) used the Knesset plenum to accuse the Zionist Union party of attempting to smear the name of the Jewish community in Judea and Samaria.

He was responding to the non-confidence vote of submitted by the head of the opposition Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) regarding the issue of illegal building in Judea and Samaria communities, and the connection that such building has to so-called Price Tag attacks.

Ben-Dahan said, “The real problem is the illegal building of the Palestinians. This is a baseless attempt to smear the entire Jewish community of the region. In the past few years there has been no illegal building of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The communities that were previously built on state land without prior planning, have been legitimized in recent years. This includes Mitzpe Dani and Mitzpe Keramim and others.”

According to Ben-Dahan, a large portion of the illegal building that is done on Palestinian land is destroyed by the division that oversees construction in COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories).

He cited a recent report published by the Knesset Institute for Research and Information, showing that more than 100,000 illegal buildings exist in Israel. That number does not include the illegal building of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.   

“The percentage of those buildings that are destroyed is smaller than the percentage of buildings that are destroyed in Judea and Samaria, and that is not including the Palestinian illegal building which more than doubles the illegal Jewish building in the region. The Palestinians aren’t mentioned in the report at all. With regards to the Palestinians, we aren’t talking about building a pillar, we are talking about large mansions, schools, villas, factories and many other illegal large buildings.”

Ben-Dahan laced into the opposition for connecting the two issues. “With regards to Price Tag attacks, when the leadership of the communities in Judea and Samaria comes out publicly against these attacks, including the disgusting act that was done in Duma, that you [Herzog] mentioned, the entire group of people, even according to the Israeli Security Agency [ISA, also known as the Shin Bet] consists of a total of 40 people. With a Jewish community of over 400,000 in Judea and Samaria, you are talking about a group that is proportionally infinitesimal. One in ten thousand.”     

Ben-Dahan went even further and expressed his sadness that Herzog would fall into this type of political game playing. “It saddens me that you have chosen to lump together two completely unconnected issues. The community that is the most loyal and law-abiding in the country, the community that has the highest percentage of reserve soldiers, the highest percentage of those who chose to enlist as combat soldiers, specifically them, you choose to accuse of breaking the law by building illegally, something that is completely contradictory to the facts on the ground in Judea and Samaria. Therefore I refute your no-confidence vote.”








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