Netanyahu Holds Steady on Yehudah and Shomron

YERUSHALAYIM -

A government official told Israel Radio on Thursday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not changed his policy of expansion in Yehudah and Shomron, after comments by National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror about the difficulty of explaining that policy abroad was leaked to the media.

According to Haaretz, Amidror recently told closed-door meetings at the Prime Minister’s Bureau that construction in the region is costing international support even among its most stalwart friends.

“It’s impossible to explain the issue anyplace in the world,” Amidror was quoted as saying.

“It’s impossible to explain this matter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel or even to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [an outspoken supporter of Israel]. Construction in Yehudah and Shomron has become a diplomatic problem and is causing Israel to lose support even among its friends in the West,” Haaretz quoted Amidror as saying.

The remarks were somewhat surprising, coming from Amidror. He’s a former head of research in Military Intelligence associated with the national religious camp, who bluntly told Israeli ambassadors serving abroad who expressed concern recently about construction in the E1 corridor near the capital that they must choose between representing Israel’s position or resign.

Not everyone is worried about the policy, of course. “A Palestinian state has never been further away than it is today,” Dani Dayan, outgoing head of the YESHA Council, was quoted as saying in the Jerusalem Post this week.

“The Jewish communities [in Yehudah and Shomron] today are blossoming … There is almost no community without construction,” observed Dayan, who endorsed Netanyahu ahead of the elections.