As they gathered Sunday in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem,
settler leaders rallied against the possible creation of a Palestinian state
with interim borders that could include the evacuation of some West Bank
They spontaneously organized the rally late Saturday night
after receiving what they believed to be credible information that such a plan
was in the works.
Palestinians in the last few days have also spoken out
against the possibility of an interim state.
“There is only a slim chance
that we will come to a final status solution [from these negotiations],” said
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) as he spoke to
reporters at the tail end of the protest, which did not draw more than several
The only result that could emerge from the renewed talks
between Israel and the Palestinians is an interim Palestinian state, Ariel
He feared, he said, that the Israeli public would support such a
solution because it would seem palatable to them.
Settler leaders and
right wing politicians are particularly worried that the plan could include the
evacuation of some West Bank settlements.
Ariel said he did not want to
see a repeat of the 2005 Disengagement plan in which Jewish communities were
“We have a difficult history with this topic and we do not
want to repeat it,” Ariel said.
The Bayit Yehudi party had agreed to the
negotiations; the issue was not the talks, but rather the topic of conversation
between the two sides, he explained.
“We oppose the expulsion of Jews,”
He warned that the time to work against any agreement that
might be reached in the negotiations was now, before a plan was formed and not
after it was announced.
“Now is the time to make a difference. We
will work to strengthen the settlement enterprise and to build in Judea and
Samaria and in Jerusalem,” Ariel said.
His party head, Economy and Trade
Minister Naftali Bennett, stopped by but did not address the small
Avi Ro’eh, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea,
Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said that in light of the chaos in the surrounding
Arab nations, it was illogical to consider creating another one. Add in US
President Barack Obama’s retreat from attacking Syria even though it crossed red
lines set by the US with regard to a chemical weapons attack, he pointed
“It shows that we can’t trust anyone but ourselves,” Ro’eh
“The prime minister’s solution of two states for two people is
unrealistic, incorrect and dangerous for the state of Israel and its future,”
He imagined a scenario in which Netanyahu would agree to a
Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.
“We are trying to explain why
it’s not right to create a Palestinian state,” he said.
“We have come to
ring the alarm bell,” added Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika.