Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin condemned the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria to the gallows Monday, explicitly saying that Israel would be better off without it.
The Council, whose title included “Gaza” before the expulsion of Jews in 2005, has been the voice of Jews in Judea and Samaria for decades. It has been praised and damned for its failed efforts to prevent the Oslo Accords and the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and four northern Samarian communities in 2005.
Feiglin, the most hawkish nationalist in the Likud party, stepped smack in the middle of a controversy brewed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who charged on Sunday that the Yesha Council has misused government funds by funneling them for political purposes, such as media campaigns against the government’s policies towards the “peace talks.”
The Council vigorously denied the charges and said that all money could be accounted for as being spent for non-political activities.
However, Feiglin said on the national religious-oriented Galei Israel radio station Monday, “The attack on the Yesha Council is based on politics and not economics, but it is justified… Yesha has caused only damage to the Land of Israel and has no benefit.”
“Israel would be better if this body [Yesha] would disappear from the world,” he stated. “Whoever outs his hand in my pocket and does not consult with me is in effect stealing from me.”
The Yesha Council was a holy cow to Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria years ago, organizing dozens of demonstrations, some of them in the tens of thousands and even in the hundreds of thousands, against Oslo and later the expulsion.
It was successful at organization protests but a failure in realizing that they had little political effect against the massive support from Israel’s popular media for the “peace movement.”