Settlers to pitch protest tent outside PM's office

"We will not allow our nation to be bribed" by the US, settler leaders say, continue demonstrations against 90-day settlement freeze.

Settler Freeze Protest 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Settler Freeze Protest 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Settlers leaders plan to pitch a tent outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Monday morning to protest plans for a 90-day construction moratorium.
“We will not allow our nation to be bribed by a country [the US] that we long thought to be a trusted friend and partner,” said Dani Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
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“Whatever his intent, the reality is that President Obama is asking Israel to commit national suicide by severely jeopardizing our security needs, and we cannot stand quietly by and allow this to happen,” Dayan said.
The tent is the latest in a long series of events that settlers and right-wing activists have held in the last week, since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he would consider a second settlement freeze in exchange for a package of incentives from the US.
The council and the activists have lobbied MKs and ministers. They have targeted Likud members, including those on the party’s central committee. They have also placed ads in major newspapers.
The council has increased its distribution of a map that shows how the land that the Palestinians claim for their future state consists of hill overlooking Israel within the Green Line.
One group of teens, not connected to the council, blocked the main highway into Jerusalem by sitting across it. They chanted slogans against the proposed freeze, including, “Bibi is a traitor.”
The local and regional councils in Judea and Samaria held a one-day strike, in which they closed all offices and schools.
Thousands of settlers and their supporters traveled to Jerusalem, including many teenagers, to rally by the Prime Minister’s Office as the cabinet held its weekly meeting inside.
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beiteinu), who opposes a freeze, left the meeting to address the demonstrators. He slammed assertions by Netanyahu that the US offer, which includes 20 advanced fighter jets worth $3 billion, would improve the country’s security.
“Anyone who says that he is worried about Israel’s security but at the same time suggests and requests that it return to the [1949-1967 armistice line], is essentially asking Israel to return to the same lines that [the late foreign minister] Abba Eban once called the Auschwitz lines. Anyone who asks for this doesn’t understand Israel’s security needs and such a request should be rejected by all who hold Israel dear and who want to defeat terrorism,” Landau said.
Yael Lederer, a seventh-grader from Ma’aleh Levona in Samaria, called on Netanyahu not to drive her from her home.
“I beg you, do not freeze us. Do not freeze my mother, my father and my brothers. Don’t mark us Jews for expulsion.
Save the land and we will settle it as Jews.
It can’t be that we would surrender a present that God has given us and say that we can manage without it,” she said.
Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika warned, “We won’t forgive those who would vote for another freeze. We will settle accounts with them.” A freeze would be anti-Zionist and racist, he said.
If such a measure were passed by the government, everything would be done to violate it, Mesika said.