Yesha Community Council Chairman Danny Dayan
Yesha Community Council Chairman Danny DayanIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Danny Dayan, the head of the Yesha Council, sent flowers and a thank you card to the radical leftist Peace Now organization on Thursday.

The sardonic gesture came in response to the Civil Administration’s approval of 500 housing units for the Samaria community of Shilo.

The Judea and Samaria administration committee also retroactively legalized at least 200 more homes on humanitarian grounds in the nearby community of Shvut Rachel.

Dayan thanked Peace Now for the approvals because, ironically enough, they came about as a result of an appeal the organization filed with the Supreme Court and which brought about the process of legalization of the communities.

“Thank you kindly for your help with the approval of the building plans for Shilo and Shvut Rachel,” read the card that was sent to Peace Now. “It was your appeals to the Supreme Court which finally prompted the government to do so. We will favorably consider naming a street in the new neighborhoods after Peace Now.”

The card was brought to the offices of Peace Now in Jerusalem by Shirel Bleicher, a resident of Shilo, who also attached a special bouquet.

On Wednesday, even before the decision was made, Peace Now leader Yariv Oppenheimer had already begun to attack it.

"What began as an outpost of 30 units receives a jumpstart and becomes a huge settlement of thousands of new settlers,” he complained in a radio interview. “That is not the path to two states; that is the path to a bi-national state.” 

The United States criticized Israel over the decision, saying that Israel’s “settlement activity” was not “constructive” for Middle East.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters he was not familiar with the latest approvals but reiterated that the United States opposes such moves.

“We don’t believe it’s in any way constructive to getting both sides back to the negotiating table,” Toner said. “We want to see clearly a comprehensive settlement that delineates borders and resolves many of these issues.”