Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the national-religious West Bank settlement of Eli on Wednesday, in hopes of wooing right-wing voters to choose the Likud over the Bayit Yehudi party.
While in Eli he spoke with students at the Bnei David Yeshiva, which has a pre and post military program. He was also expected to meet with the head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Eli Sadan, a known Bayit Yehudi supporter.
Meretz party activists held a small protest at the edge of Eli. They held up signs that siad "Bibi, the prime minister of the settlers."
They shouted out, "money for doctors and not for villa's in the territories."
Meretz party head MK Zehava Gal-On attacked Netanyahu's visit to Eli on Tuesday at a political event in Ramat Gan.
“The Prime Minister has lost his international standing and is now doing everything he can to provoke the international community into isolating Israel from the world,” Gal-On said.
Given the way he has funneled taxpayers money into the settlements at the expense of the rest of the country, it’s no wonder that he has chosen to visit Judea and Samaria rather than communities along the Gaza border,” she said.
But Yigal Dilmoni, the director-general of the Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria, said that Netanyahu does not often visit the settlements.
“This is an important visit. It shows the world that the prime minister is also the leader of this region,” Dilmoni said.
While left-wing politicians attacked Netanyahu as a right wing leader, he has only a tenuous hold on the settler population.
According to settler sources, those who support him from Judea and Samaria do so because they do not want to see the Zionist Union leaders, Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni run the country.
But settlers believe that he could do much more to support their enterprise, particularly in the realm of settlement building, where many projects are frozen, the sources said.
They also fault him, for not approving the Levy Report, which provided a blue-print to improve land laws in Judea and Samaria and to transform land of questionable status into property that could be used for settlement construction.