One would think the IDF has undertaken a major military operation in Yehuda and Shomron based on the number of armor-plated jeeps and escort vehicles seen traveling to no less than 26 communities in recent days, all ordered to enforce the new 10-month construction freeze by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who is flexing his left-wing muscle to make sure a single brick is not put into place, to prevent Israel from chas v’sholom angering the White House and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), thereby jeopardizing the so-called peace process. The military convoy is happily escorted by Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) radical left-wing activists and photographers, happily recording events, wishing to save the victory for posterity.
To speak of a “peace process” with Israel’s neighbors is indeed an oxymoron, but nonetheless, for the second time in as many terms in office, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has sold Israel’s vital interests down the drain for his own political gain, seeking to find favor on Capitol Hill and in the international community.
Inspectors from the IDF’s Civil Administration arrived in Betar Illit at about 1:00pm on Monday, delivering the orders to halt all construction, heading directly to the area known as B2, slated to be a community of 1,205 housing units. At present, work was underway on the first 286 units, already approved by the previous administration, signed off by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Once again, a right-wing government brings construction to a sudden and total halt, with inspectors shutting down the operation.
One can only attempt to imagine the hardship this new policy will bring to many young couples, those who have signed on mortgages and taken loans, paying banks and living under difficult conditions juggling the transition period, when one is compelled to pay rent and a mortgage, counting the days until one’s home is complete. The prime minister’s policy has just added enormous financial strain to these families, who are wondering how they will manage. The investors, contractors and land developers, who have secured all permits, completed tenders and signed contracts. Construction crews are already in place, as is the expensive construction equipment, and bank loans to finance many construction projects have been issued.
Once again the prime minister has shown his word is meaningless, and promises to permit completion of approved and started projects were nothing more than another media byline. In Betar, 31 housing units in another area are also on hold, as is a project for 52 additional homes near the Gordon Shopping Center, in an established area of the community where private homes exist.
Dozens of Civil Administration inspectors traveled to 26 communities throughout Yehuda and Shomron, enforcing the law to an extreme. In Maale Michmas in the Benjamin Regional Council District for example, inspectors sealed the building site, halted ongoing construction and literally confiscated construction equipment.
The same occurred in other communities, including Modi’in Illit, communities that impact the chareidi and the dati leumi communities one and the same.
Inspectors arrived armed with aerial photographs taken on erev shabbos, to make sure nothing on the ground changes from the realities that existed on Friday.
The head of the Civil Administration, Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, used a military order from the IDF’s Central District Commander to circumvent the decisions of all building committees and authorities, basically imposing military law, pushing municipal government and the law aside. Local and regional planning boards are now powerless. They cannot issue new permits and existing permits have been rendered null and void by the Civil Administration. The rights of one and all have been trampled upon by Netanyahu and Barak, all in the name of making US President Barak Obama happy. A policy that would elicit shouts of “anti-Semitism” abroad is now approved Israel government policy. Goyim may build homes but Jews are forbidden.
Deputy Minister of Education (Yahadut HaTorah) R’ Meir Porush had harsh words for the prime minister’s policy, addressing the Knesset plenum on Monday, condemning a policy that seeks to place out trust in the White House instead of Hashem, a policy that brings construction in Eretz Yisrael to a halt, a policy that ignores the plight of hundreds and even thousands of families who are awaiting a home of their own, an apartment to live, permitting them to move out of a basement or storage room. Porush slammed the mantra equating construction throughout Yehuda and Shomron with chas v’sholom being a “stumbling block to peace”, rejecting any such notion. He decried the obsession with world opinion while trampling the holiness and sanctity of Eretz Yisrael and the needs of Am Yisrael.
To understand the proportion of the national government’s decision, in the municipalities of Betar Illit, Modi’in Illit, Emanuel and Tel Tzion alone there are an estimated over 100,000 chareidim, all impacted by the decree. The ramifications of the decree are no less painful in the dati leumi communities, where overcrowding and ‘natural growth’ are real issues as well.
These are communities with large families Baruch Hashem, communities with tens and hundreds of children born monthly, communities in which expansion is a must, to accommodate the so-called natural growth. In addition to the private homes, there is a critical shortage of public buildings, nursery and school buildings, community centers, shuls and more.
The heads of the Settlement Council met in an urgent session on Monday with Housing Minister (Shas) Ariel Atias, beginning to seek a solution, a response to this evil decree. A meeting was also held between the leaders and the head of the communities throughout Yehuda and Shomron, as a solution is being sought.
Porush lamented the situation, stating it is a reflection of the alarming situation at home, as a government prepares to releases hundreds of murderous terrorists, “who are up to their heads in Jewish blood”, whose release will only serve to encourage the next attack, the next murder of innocent people.
Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman, a former Likud MK, stated the period of Jews hunting down Jews is reminiscent of the period during which Ben-Gurion’s Haganah forces hunted down members of Menachem Begin’s Irgun, who were abducted and beaten by the Haganah troops.
Some of the other communities served with stop-building orders include Maale Ephraim, Nili, Matisyahu, Kfar Oranim, Tekoa, Kfar Eldad and Kiryat Arba.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)