Judea, Samaria Residents Reject Lapid Speech

Residents of Judea and Samaria slam Lapid's plan to keep ‘settlement blocs’ while evicting smaller communities.

Elad Benari ,

Protest against Lapid's speech
Protest against Lapid's speech
Shomron Residents' Council

A group of demonstrators protested on Tuesday evening during the political speech given by Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid (Future) party, at the Ariel University Center in the Shomron.

As Lapid spoke and presented his party’s platform on matters of defense and security, the protesters held up signs that read, “Settlement blocs = 140,000 residents" and "Lapid, do not expel me from my home. A resident of Itamar."

The protesters were eventually removed from the hall.

They were referring to Lapid’s plan to keep the so-called ‘settlement blocs’ in Judea and Samaria under Israeli sovereignty as part of a future agreement with the Palestinian Authority and evict the smaller communities in the region.

Lapid also said in his speech that Israel should not recognize the Arabs’ demand for a “right of return” and called to keep Jerusalem united and under Israeli control.

At the same time Lapid expressed support for turning the Ariel University Center into a full-fledged university and said he would promote the move in the Knesset.

The Binyamin Residents’ Committees and the Shomron Residents’ Committee both dismissed Lapid’s speech on Tuesday night, saying, “It is ridiculous that the tidings Lapid brings with him are a recycling of those same plans that even large parts in the left now realize are no longer realistic and immoral."

“The settlement blocs plan means the expulsion of about 140,000 people from their homes, which is 15 times as much as the number of people expelled from Gush Katif.”

Lapid declared during his speech that “Yesh Atid will not be part of a government that does not return to talks on the peace process, but we will also not be part of a government that will – whether for technical or political reasons – ask us not to follow through on our commitment to the present and the future.”

“We must not lose the Jewish majority in this country. The far left and the far right – each for their own false reasons – promote the dangerous idea of one land with two peoples. The Jewish and Zionist identity of Israel is in danger,” he said.