Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely pledged on Thursday that the Likud-led government would support more settlement building in Judea and Samaria and that anyone who wanted to uproot those Jewish communities is the enemy.
“The State of Israel is not the enemy. The High Court of Justice is not the enemy.
The enemy is anyone who wants to uproot Jewish settlement,” Hotovely (Likud) said at a cornerstone-laying ceremony in Beit El for the rebuilding of two apartment buildings that were destroyed the day before on the orders of the High Court.
On Wednesday, hundreds of young adults and teenagers protested against the demolition. Border Police officers stood by a temporary steel barrier that was erected to prevent the activists from charging onto the site to halt the demolitions.
A day later, hundreds gathered on the same street to celebrate the renewed construction.
Behind them were mounds of gray rubble, the remains of the two “Dreinof buildings” that were mostly completed when the IDF’s cranes tore them down.
Some members of the audience heckled Hotovely.
“Where were you yesterday during the demolitions?” they shouted at her.
Hotovely tried to assure them that the Likud government supported the settlement enterprise and that the IDF had demolished the buildings out of respect for the law.
“This government is turning somersaults in the air to allow this wonderful enterprise to continue,” she said.
“The eyes of the whole world are turned to this place,” Hotovely said as she explained that settlements like Beit El were important because the roots of these communities dated back to the Bible.
“It is easy for the world to accept Tel Aviv, because its history is only 100 years old. It is hard for the world to deal with the fact that we have a history that goes back to the Bible, that we have a connection that goes back to Jacob’s dream,” she said.
“We will achieve our dream of Greater Israel, where a Jew can build everywhere, but according to the law,” Hotovely said.
She pledged that the government would authorize more Jewish homes in the West Bank in spite of international condemnation of such activity.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized the construction of 300 homes in Beit El in the aftermath of the High Court of Justice ruling against the two apartment buildings.
The Palestinian Authority, the European Union and the United States immediately condemned the announcement.
US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said, “Settlement expansion threatens the two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated resolution to the conflict. We continue to urge the Israeli government to refrain from unhelpful actions that undercut the possibility of a two-state solution.”
In Beit El, Hotovely disputed his words.
“Whoever believes that whatever is built here is an obstacle to peace, must remember this statement.
Just the terror is an obstacle to peace,” she said. “Whoever is not willing to accept the idea that a Jew can go back to his homeland cannot accept a Jew anywhere.
This is our right and our duty to build our Jewish state.”