The Jezreel Valley Forum held a conference on Thursday to show solidarity with communities in Judea and Samaria and to protest the building freeze enacted by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which has seen construction come to a halt in the West Bank.
The gathering at Moshav Kfar Yehoshua, in the Jezreel Valley, was to host a number of leaders of the settlement movement, but fierce rains in the North kept all but Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shaul Goldstein and Professors For a Strong Israel leader Elisha Hass from attending.
Braving the inclement weather outside, a crowd of 50-60 attendees gathered in the moshav's recreation hall, sang Hanukka songs and lit the seventh candle of a menora as crates of sufganiyot congealed in the cool air.
Goldstein addressed the meeting first, saying the settlement freeze was nothing short of "the first step to a Palestinian state."
He called on the people of Israel to fight the freeze. "We must cancel the freeze; neither [Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe] Ya'alon or [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak can break the freeze. We must push the Likud to go against a Palestinian state and everything else the freeze stands for."
Hass described the current reality in Israel as nothing less than a civil war, and called the civil administration clerks carrying out the building freeze "the commandos of Barak's war."