Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with settler leaders Wednesday morning, following the government’s decision to dissolve the Knesset and head to early elections.
Netanyahu warned the settler leaders that the Israeli left and media were cooperating in an attempt to oust the Likud and its allies on the right from power, adding that a win for the left in next year’s election would be a disaster for the settlement enterprise.
“We are facing new elections,” said Netanyahu. “In the next election, we will see an attempt by the left to take over the government by enlisting the help of the media and other forces. They’re all lined up behind this effort completely. We must not let them prevail, because if God forbid they succeed, the settlement enterprise will be in clear danger.”
“We must win the next election,” Netanyahu continued. “This is a fight over our homes. The fate of the state and the settlement enterprise are uncertain. We still have had a tough time making progress in the settlements, even with the current American administration. And none [of what we have accomplished] is certain in the future, because under a left-wing government, it could all be undone in a moment.”
While most mayors and regional council chiefs from Judea and Samaria were present at the meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday, three settler leaders boycotted the gathering.
The three, including Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan, Binyamin Regional Council chief Yisrael Gantz, and Kiryat Arba Mayor Eliyahu Libman, claimed the Prime Minister had rejected or ignored their requests for increased security measures in Judea and Samaria following a wave of terror attacks.
“During our meetings with the Prime Minister and representatives of his office we made a number of requests including the cancellation of 400 million shekels ($106 million) in planned security spending cuts in Judea and Samaria, the return of IDF forces which had been removed from the area, the return of security checkpoints, and a Zionist response to the terror attacks by [expanding] settlement [in Judea and Samaria],” the three wrote in a letter.
“To our great disappointment, however, the vast majority of our requests were dismissed or ignored.”