'Israel needs new leadership'

PM's brother-in-law says Netanyahu must build in Judea and Samaria - or be replaced.

Benny Toker ,

Haggai Ben-Artzi
Haggai Ben-Artzi
Hezki Ezra

Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, slammed the decision of the Security Cabinet to limit construction in the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria last week.

"It's probably not enough to have a new president in the US. it seems we need a new prime minister in the State of Israel as well. Without a new leader for the people of Israel, we will not achieve a major breakthrough in the most important area - solving the housing problem," Ben-Artzi told Arutz Sheva.

According to Ben-Artzi, the only way to lower housing prices in Israel is through massive construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. "Housing prices are rising in the center of the country, between Hadera and Gedera. Young couples are unable to buy a normal apartment. The solution is construction on a massive [scale]. We can't send [all] young couples to live in Yerucham or Kiryat Shmona. It is pioneering, perhaps, but most couples and families make their living from work in the center of the country, and the only areas that can be further built up there are in the Samaria hills, the Jerusalem area and the Hevron hills."

Ben-Artzi called the Prime Minister's announcement that 2,000 housing units in Judea and Samaria would be made available for marketing "a joke."

"Instead of talking about several hundred thousand units, we talk about 2,000 units. Thousands of housing units are needed in Modi'in Illit and Beitar Illit, to double the population there, as well as in Ma'aleh Adumim and Ariel. And instead we talk about a few hundred units."

He said that if the Prime Minister still refuses to build after eighter years of restricting construction to appease the Obama Administration, then it is time for the nationalist camp had new leadership.

"In Bibi's eight years there was the most difficult freeze, even more than [under] Barak, Olmert and Sharon. Thousands of young couples live in caravans because they have nowhere to live, and that includes my community in Beit El.

"If the prime minister is unable to bring about a massive building boom in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, then Israel needs a different leader. I say it openly and put it on the table. If he can not take advantage of this new US administration, which presents a historic opportunity, then another leader needs the courage to explain this matter to the world.

"The time has come to say to the world - enough of the illusion of 'two states' and the peace process - for 25 years we have been treading in this mud and nothing is going to come out of it ... We are not opposed to the existence of the Palestinian Authority. This opportunity [exists now] and if this option is not used, this government has no right to exist. "