(JNi.media) During a closed meeting with members of Netanyahu’s Likud Party Knesset members, the prime minister addressed the criticism by right-wing MKs and government ministers over his dealing with terrorism and their anger at his failure to launch the much heralded construction in Judea and Samaria, NRG reported.
“I expect to have the support of each and every one of you, not to play the game of picking up votes here, a few more votes there, and how I’ll ride on this or that side,” Netanyahu rebuked his Knesset faction members. “Be leaders,” the PM said. “Leaders do the right thing, stop playing around.” Netanyahu was hinting apparently at the criticism directed at him from Likud MKs and ministers in a protest tent set up by Judea and Samaria settlement leaders outside the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu expressed anger at the criticism against him by his own people in recordings released Tuesday morning by Army Radio. After the rebuke, the PM also addressed their anger regarding construction in the settlements. “We grew from 280,000 to 400,000 residents [in the settlements] and that was during the years when we were told that the official US policy was not even a single brick,” he said.
The Prime Minister did not like the behavior of some of the Likud ministers and MKs who criticized his government’s policy on confronting terrorism. He was irked by the participation of ministers Zeev Elkin, Ofir Akunis, Yariv Levin and Haim Katz in demonstration outside the prime minister’s residence on the night after Simchat Torah, in a protest tent set up by settlement movement leader Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council. Likud MKs came to visit and show their support, in a group that also included Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud). They all criticized the settlement construction freeze, stressing that the only proper Zionist response to Arab violence is to increase Jewish settlement in the disputed territories.
A week ago, during his tour of the IDF Shomron Brigade Camp, the Prime Minister commented on the same rally, saying the participating ministers and MKs were obliged to show responsibility in their public appearances. “This is not a question of offering backing and support,” Netanyahu said on that occasion, “Community leaders, especially in the settlements movement, should act responsibly and speak accurately,” because “we are in an ongoing struggle that requires not hot but cool heads, as well as systematic action.”
During the Knesset Speaker’s visit to protest tent, he, too, criticized the government’s apparent helplessness in face of growing Arab unrest. “I do not usually give advice to the government, but as a citizen and as a representative of all the citizens I wish the government would do everything in its power and beyond to put an end to this wave,” said Edelstein.
The Knesset Speaker also addressed the issue of construction in east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, saying that “given our reality in its entirety, it is the duty of every government in Israel [to increase construction]. These are not second-class citizens. Considering these circumstances of some of these citizens, and I, as resident of Judea and Samaria, am among them, we feel—and you’ll have to forgive my non-parliamentary language—like suckers. They’re massacring us and we leave these issues without a long-term response. “JNi.Media