Crisis Brewing Over 'Creeping Construction Freeze'

Members of the National Union say that they are considering their options if a slow freeze in Judea and Samaria continues.

Yaakov Levi ,

Beit El (file)
Beit El (file)
Oren Nahshon/Flash90

Members of the National Union faction of the Jewish Home party met in Beit El Sunday to discuss an impending demolition of homes in the community. Speaking to Arutz Sheva Sunday, Ofir Sofer, chairman of the National Union, said that the group planned to demand much more of the government that it has in the past, considering the apparent “creeping construction freeze” that has been implemented by the government.

According to Sofer, many voters of the Likud who consider themselves rightwing are very disappointed with the government. “We expected certain things to happen,” he said. “This is supposed to be a rightwing government. We did everything possible to elect this government, but now we hear voices in the Likud that are calling for a building freeze.”

Perhaps worse than what might have happened had the opposition formed the government, Sofer said that there could be a similar situation in Judea and Samaria – a building freeze – but it would be a “creeping” one, which would shut down new construction in no less than a Labor/Zionist Union-led freeze would have accomplished. The difference, he said, was that rightwing Israelis who supported the government might not notice that construction had been frozen.

We have seen how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can, when he wants to, go against the entire world,” as he did last week when he castigated the Iran nuclear deal. “We expect him to show the same commitment to going against the world when it comes to building in Judea and Samaria.”

If things don't change, said Sofer, the group – a part of Jewish Home, currently serving in the Knesset – would have to take action. “I do not mean to say we are going to quit the government immediately,” he said. “But we are beginning to solidify our position on construction issues, throughout the country. I do not believe it is proper to threaten with something that would he impossible to follow through on – but that applies only currently. I am not sure this will be the case in two months, however, because the developing policy does not appear positive.”