For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
A real puzzler. The explanation that PM Netanyahu almost always gives when he takes a stand opposed by Washington is that he faces pressure from his party (this instead of simply saying that this is what he himself believes to be the correct thing to do).
So here he is, right before getting on the plane to Washington, and to the delight of the Israeli Left (that constantly ridicules the members of the national camp for naively thinking that we live in a democracy in which the electorate can actually impact policy via the ballot box), PM Netanyahu opposed a move that is only significant if he wants to keep the option open to impose another settlement freeze without having to at least convince the majority of MKs to support the decision.
He is reported to have argued that voting in favor of the proposal would increase pressure on him in D.C.
But in truth, the message to President Obama by voting down the proposal is: "Turn up the heat".
Was this avoidable?
Note that the vote on preventing developers from carrying out a project on scarce beachfront property was postponed until next week, in large part apparently because of tremendous pressure from the money behind the developers.
If a vote could be postponed about beachfront property why wasn't a way found to at least postpone this vote also until Netanyahu returned from Washington?
As the YESHA Council ad puts it: A word is a word
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: "I make clear, this freeze is temporary and a one time action...we will start to build as before." December 2009
. . . .
And now we count to ten.
PM Netanyahu's team is on its way back from Egypt with Egypt's support for Netanyahu's policy program "X" that he will present to President Obama. Within the framework of policy program "X", the construction freeze does indeed end on 26 September. And since Obama can't take a stronger stand on this than Egypt, the settlement freeze issue is simply irrelevant for the meeting. Min. Begin knew about this before the vote and so voted against the proposed legislation.
So let's file this note away to check it after Prime Minister Netanyahu completes his visit to the White House to see if there is an indication that Option B is correct.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted down a proposal which aimed to give the Knesset veto power over future settlement building freeze in the West Bank by a majority vote led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon.
The bill, which would drastically limit Netanyahu's power over settlement expansion, was rejected by 20 ministers and approved by 10.
The rejection of the proposed bill comes ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama, who may demand a continuation in the settlement construction freeze.
Earlier Sunday morning, Netanyahu noted to the cabinet that the building freeze has not yielded direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which was the original goal of the freeze.
"I have been ready to meet with [Mahmoud Abbas] since this Government's first day in office,"he said. "Whoever desires peace will hold direct peace talks. I hope that this will be one of the results of my trip to Washington."
The Likud Central Committee unanimously approved the bill and stated that the party supports the West Bank settlements, and is in favor of building and development of in all parts of the country.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"