Netanyahu against Nationalists

Did Netanyahu show his cards as he defended police destruction of Jewish homes at privately owned Gilad Farm in Samaria?

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 4:04 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, far from apologizing for police brutality, made a far-reaching statement which implies a possible stop to Jewish life in Judea and Samaria while defending police destruction of Jewish homes at the privately owned Gilad Farm (Chavat Gilad) in Samaria Monday morning.

Following the police violence against Chavat Gilad residents, who threw stones at the police firing at them with rubber bullets, the Prime Minister told his Likud party officials, "People do not understand where they live. If you do not live in the real world, it is possible to disregard everything, and I suggest that they start being wary in order to protect the existing construction. What is at stake is the new and existing construction,” referring  to major Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.

"There is construction in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu said. "It's true that in some places there are no tenders and that is being checked, but we are currently making efforts to maintain the existing construction."

Prime Minister Netanyahu added, "We are in a very difficult international situation; the U.S. veto in the UN Security Council was achieved with great effort. We could ignore everything and say 'no problem,' but as the prime minister who bears esponsibility for this country, I have to be responsible."

The recent American veto at the United Nations Security Council prevented passage of a Lebanese-sponsored resolution condemning Israel for building homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Likud Minister Dan Meridor, whose political stand places him on the far left flank of the Likud party, was more explicit than the Prime Minister.

Speaking on Voice of Israel government radio Tuesday morning, he stated that the government needs to concern itself with holding on to the “consensus” that would allow Israel to retain major Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.

However, that “consensus” may be history. George W. Bush, when he was president of the United States, wrote a letter to the Israeli government promising that areas such as  Maaleh Adumim, a city east of Jerusalem, and the Gush Etzion communities south of the capital would remain in Israel under a future agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he is not bound by the promise, arguing that it is not legally binding, putting America in the position of a government not standing up to a previous government's committments.

The Obama administration seems to agree with the Palestinian Authority position that the PA should have sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, but it thinks that the issue can only be resolved in face-to-face discussions and not through resolutions at the United Nations. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to talk with Israel without a commitment to meet all of its demands, including the surrender of the Old City, with the Western Wall and Temple Mount, and other areas of the capital where more than 250,000 Jews live. He has stated that the hundreds of thousands of Jews in Judea and Samaria would have to leave, making it Judenrein.

"We all want to strengthen the settlements and therefore we ought not ignore reality,” Prime Minister Netanyahu continued as he explained his comments to the Likud audience. "We are a few weeks after one Quartet decision, after the U.S. veto, before another Quartet decision, and therefore we must consider the reality in which we live. When there is a changing world order in the Middle East, there are those who seek an easy but irresponsible solution, and we won't help them with that."