|Photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch|
Here's the official statement by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about the Beit El ulpana neighborhood, settlement and more:
PM Netanyahu's Remarks on the Issue of the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El
Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks today (Wednesday, 6 June 2012) the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El:
"We are not strangers in Beit El. We are not strangers in Judea and Samaria. This is the Land of our Patriarchs. This is where our identity was formed. I say this here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and I say this everywhere in the world. Israel is a democratic state in which upholding the law is at the foundation of our free lives. The State of Israel is a law-abiding democracy and as the Prime Minister of Israel I am committed to upholding the law and am I committed to uphold the settlement enterprise, and I tell you that there is no contradiction between the two. The draft law that was rejected today in the Knesset would have hurt settlement whereas the outline that I have decided upon – the expansion of the community, moving the homes and legal defense against any precedent – strengthens settlement.
And yet it must be said that this has been a complicated and difficult day. Moving homes from their location, even if it is only five homes, is certainly not an action that this Government rejoices in doing. But the court ruled as it did and we honor the decisions of the judicial system.
At the same time, the community of Beit El will be expanded. The 30 families will remain in Beit El and will be joined by 300 new families. I tell those who think they can use the judicial system to hurt settlement, that they are mistaken, because in practice, the exact opposite will occur. Instead of shrinking Beit El – Beit El has expanded. Instead of hurting settlement, settlement has been strengthened.
I also received a clear legal opinion which I would like to cite. 'The verdict set no law and in any case does not constitute a precedent. Nothing may be construed from it regarding other cases.'
I have also decided to establish a ministerial committee on settlement to ensure that the Government's policy of strengthening settlement is implemented.
I would like to thank my ministerial colleagues for showing responsibility at a difficult time. Yuli Edelstein and Daniel Hershkowitz spoke to me at length about the importance and necessity of establishing the ministerial committee. Benny Begin and Moshe Yaalon invested considerable time in the work of the ministerial team to strengthen settlement. Gideon Saar and Gilad Erdan certainly lost much sleep in recent days in the discussions to find a legal outline that would forestall a precedent. I would also like to thank my colleagues, my partners, the heads of the coalition factions, Shaul Mofaz, Eli Yishai, Ehud Barak, Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni. I would also like to thank Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman for acting responsibly. There is responsible leadership in Israel.
In conclusion, I would like to say a few words to my brothers and sisters from the settler public. I understand your pain, and I share it. I met several of the families. I saw the people. I saw the children and I would like to tell you what I told them. There is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government. I also say that there is no government that has withstood such heavy pressures, which could have hurt settlement, and it must be understood that ours is a very complex diplomatic, national and legal environment. And in this complex reality, one must navigate wisely, sagaciously and responsibly. Thus the members of the Government and myself have acted up until now and thus we will continue to act. We will continue to strengthen settlement and we will continue to strengthen democracy in the State of Israel."
Doesn't the following statement I've just quoted from Bibi sound familiar?
"There is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government."It reminds me very much of Obama claiming to be Israel's best friend, the best United States President for Israel ever. Nu?
P.S. Re: Naftali Bennett's joining the NRP aka Jewish Home Party. I guess the "quacking" in the NRP have deafened him to the truth. I didn't see his political buddies from the NRP leaving the coalition! More about him later, bli neder.