Likud MKs and hundreds of activists rallied in Migron on Tuesday to protest the destruction of settlement homes.
Speaking in front of homes that were razed in September, Likud MKs Danny Danon, Tzipi Hotovely, and Yariv Levin, as well as Deputy Minister for Pensioner Affairs Leah Ness, Deputy Regional Development Minister Ayoub Kara explained that, despite Gilad Schalit’s release from captivity taking place on the same day, they found it important to attend this event, which was planned weeks in advance.
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“We can’t ignore the fact that the Israeli public’s heart is in [Schalit’s hometown of] Mitzpe Hila today,” Hotovely told nearly 400 demonstrators.
“Every Succot we gather here to support settlement, and this year our
demonstration’s theme is ‘and the children should return to their
borders,’” she explained, quoting the Book of Jeremiah. “If the
government legalizes outposts here in Migron and other hilltops, then we
really will have returned to our borders.”
Levin took the stage to speak out against the deal in which Schalit was released.
“I hope Gilad Schalit is healthy,” Levin said, “but at the same time,
hundreds of victims of terror are screaming from their graves, and the
never-ending pain of those victims’ families has gotten worse.”
According to Levin, the release of over 1,000 terrorists from prison in
exchange for Schalit shows that “there is no justice here.”
“There should at least be fairness, and Jews in prison [for
settlement-related offenses] should be released as well,” he suggested.
“In the meantime, there is only selective justice.”
Hotovely told The Jerusalem Post
that she and her allies in the Likud will not be able to support a
government that releases terrorists from prison and destroys Jewish
homes in the West Bank.
However, she explained, “my goal isn’t to vote against the government.
It’s to change policies,” which Hotovely said she and other Likud MKs
plan to do by promoting bills to annex settlements in the coming months.
Danon, as chairman of the World Likud, brought buses of supporters from
abroad on a tour of local sites and businesses, before continuing with
them to Migron.
Admitting that the rally was a victim of “poor timing,” he said that it
was still essential for “thousands of Likud members to encourage [Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] not to follow [Defense Minister Ehud]
Barak’s policies of demolishing outposts.”
“We can prevent the demolition,” Danon said. “The fact that Netanyahu
appointed a committee to investigate the possibility of legalizing
outposts is a sign of progress.”
Danon also said that he and others in the Likud hope to encourage the
prime minister to appoint Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman to the
committee, as well as “others who think like us, that we should allow
people to live where they live.”