Acts of violence by members and supporters of the settlement movement are the biggest threat to the future of Judea and Samaria, settler leader Dani Dayan warned on Sunday night at an emergency meeting on the matter in the West Bank community of Ofra.
“Today, this is the main danger facing the settlement movement – not [US President Barack] Obama, not [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and not [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak,” said Dayan, chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
The meeting was held after an incident last week in the Beit El settlement, in which settler teens vandalized vehicles that belonged to Environment Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever, who heads Amana, the construction arm of the settlement movement. Also last week, Jewish extremists vandalized a mosque in the Palestinian village of Jaba, in a “price tag” attack.
The meeting, organized by Amana, also comes in advance of the voluntary evacuation within the week of five unauthorized apartment buildings in the Ulpana outpost on the outskirts of Beit El.
Dayan said that the settlement leadership bore responsibility for violence by the members of their movement and had not done enough to stop them.
“Violence has become an acceptable currency in our camp. It comes in dozens of forms and we are silent. We have all worked for Migron [another outpost] and for Ulpana, but with a hand on our heart [with sincerity],” he said.
“How many here did something to stop this terrible and shameful phenomenon of Jews with masked faces and slingshots and stones in their hands?” Dayan asked. Our hands are not clean.”
Symbolically, he said, it is as if it was their hands had also punctured the tires of Hever’s car.
Hever also spoke against the violence, and in support of the decision by the settlement leadership to respect the rule of law and to work with the government to continue to build in Judea and Samaria.
It is his practice to pick up teenagers who were hitchhiking, he said.
“In the last few years, I see the anger in their eyes, to say nothing of the hatred,” Hever said.
The time had come to take a stand and clear the air, he said.
“We are building the Land of Israel together with the Nation of Israel and its representatives which is the State of Israel. We are doing this together and not against each other,” he said.
“In this way, we will continue as best as we can, with effort, dedication, thoughtfulness and, sometimes, cunning,” Hever said.
Rabbi Yaakov Meidan, co-head of Yeshivat Har Etzion, said, “Unfortunately we woke up too late. Those who failed to protest yesterday against a Molotov cocktail thrown at an Arab woman in Hawara, and who did not protest when stones were thrown at a [military] jeep, were confronted today by Zambish’s slashed tire, and will find themselves tomorrow in an even worse situation.”
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