My commentary is in blue italics....
National Union: Katz vs. Netanyahu, Ben-Ari vs. Ministers
Hillel Fendel, 24 Av 5769/August 14, 2009, 12:53 PM
(IsraelNN.com) In letter to the Prime Minister, MK Katz decries Netanyahu's persecution of Jews in Judea and Samaria (Yesha), while MK Ben-Ari castigates Cabinet ministers for going along with him.
MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), head of the National Union Party, has written a sharp letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in light of the ongoing decrees against the Jews of Judea and Samaria, entitled, “A Last-Gasp Call to Return to Your Declared Path in the Merit of Which You Were Elected.”
Excerpts from the letter:
“You were elected by loyalists and lovers of the Land of Israel on the basis of your promises that you will protect it and expand its construction. However, ever since you took office, you and your men – chiefly [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak – harass and torment the Jewish of Judea and Samaria simply because they are Jewish. Your decision to freeze only Jewish construction in our capital of Jerusalem, and in Judea, Binyamin, the Jordan Valley and Shomron, is joined by very frequent persecution campaigns and destruction operations against Jewish housing. Every morning we hear of an initiative to destroy yet another Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.
“Instead of trying to find solutions, you are preventing these pioneers from growing and expanding. I beg you to stop this campaign of destruction and oppression.
“None of the ministers that you appointed to your government are able to explain your strange actions, and the large majority of them stand ashamed and humiliated when they are asked to look their voters in the eye and explain to them. None of them know how it happened that your approach towards the pioneers is much more extremist than your predecessors, Sharon and Olmert. None can explain how it is that you are fulfilling the same policies that you vowed during the election campaign to fight against.
“I wish to warn you that if you continue along this path, it will, without a doubt, lead to your political downfall.
“The public that you are constantly persecuting – they, their parents and relatives – should be the first ones to feel your warm embrace and support. Instead, they receive only empty words and constant persecution and humiliation.
“As in the past, you are unable to identify the true will of the people, and its absolute love for this land, and its disgust with those who destroy it.
“As in the past, you will blame us, the ‘extreme right-wing,’ for the your downfall. (YeSh"A residents were the force behind bringing down Netanyahu, back in 1999, the last time he was in power.) But this doesn’t change the facts; you, with your own two hands, are leading to your government’s fall, by acting in opposition to your own platform.
“We, for our part, will not break, and will continue to build, expand and multiply, even if you continue to torment us. There is a G-d in heaven. You act as if there is no law and no judge – but you should must take to heart what your grandfather knew but you have forgotten: The Nation of Israel is the nation of holiness, the Land of Israel is the land of sanctity, and the Torah of Israel is the Torah of holiness. G-d keeps an account, and He will make an accounting with those who humiliate His people, just as he did with you 13 years ago. In the end, He will remove you from your seat of power, and replace you with the worthy leaders that Israel so deserves.
“I make this call from the depths of my heart and from the depths of the pain of the nation that you are mocking and disgracing: Return from your evil path, and return to the original path you promised to follow and for which you were elected.”
A large percentage of residents in Yehudah and Shomron voted for Likud instead of their usual choice, the National Union Party. Many reported voting for the Likud for the purpose of strengthening a Netanyahu government. The National Union could have gained anywhere from one to three additional seats in the K'nesseth, if these "nationalists" had not voted for the man they put into power who has now turned against them.
In a nice and roundabout way, I believe that MK Katz is basically telling all those of you nationists, "I told you so."
Ben-Ari: Barak Acts, Ministers are Silent
Katz’s party colleague, MK Michael Ben-Ari, says that Barak and the other Cabinet ministers share the blame with Netanyahu. Speaking with Arutz-7’s Hebrew newsmagazine on Friday, Ben-Ari said, “The residents of Israel should know that at present, we don’t have a Defense Minister. Ehud Barak is busy with political matters; that’s what interests him.”
As evidence, Ben-Ari cites Barak’s decision to approve a 50% addition to the number of construction inspectors in the Yesha Civil Administration. “Unfortunately, the unit that he has just enlarged is not charged with dealing with illegal Palestinian construction – only with Jewish building.....”
Ben-Ari decried the lack of public protest: “It’s an absurd situation, no one is protesting, and we don’t know where it will end. (I have previously suggested to the phenominon of "learned helplessness" found amongst all Israelis these days, whether hit by rockets in the north or south, or by bombs and bullets in the central region.) But I hope that with the passage of the Mofaz Law [making it easier for MKs to split off from an existing party – ed.], some MKs from Kadima and the Likud will quit and will join us instead. I am building on the MKs’ straight thinking and national responsibility; it won’t hurt if seven or so Likud rebels join us in the true nationalist party.”
Is this the solution? We will have to wait and see. In the meantime I will compliment MK Ben-Ari on his courage to speak out, and for his refusal to compromise his principles.