Photo Credit: Regavim
KKL-JNF planting in the Negev

KKL-JNF halted their tree planting activities today in the Negev, and the debate is raging as to whether the cessation was preplanned as some Minister claim, or a result of the existential threat it was causing Bennett’s coalition.

Earlier in the day, one of Bennett’s coalition partners in the Islamic Ra’am party, announced he personally would no longer support this government in response to the JNF-KKL planting trees in the Negev. The Ra’am party informed the coalition that they would boycott the Knesset plenum on Wednesday and for the foreseeable future until the planting stops. This makes passing laws next to impossible for the Lapid-Bennett government.

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And despite the halt in planting the Ra’am crisis in not over. Ra’am MK Mazen Ghanaim subsequently stated that they are still not coming to vote until all the Bedouin communities are legalized.

Coalition partners, including Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Meir Cohen are claiming the work is just over for the day, and it was planned that way. even though the work suddenly ended mid-day.

Following the decision to suspend the KKL forestation project in southern Israel, the Regavim Movement decried the government’s capitulation, charging this decision as continued “protection payments” to Mansour Abbas that make the next round of violence and domestic terrorism inevitable.

“The Ra’am Party and the Bedouin know full well that they can dictate to the government through the use of political pressure, strongarm tactics and violence. When you cave in to terrorism and blackmail, you invite the next round of violence. Bennett and Shaked have repeatedly asked that the ‘government of change’ be judged by actions, not words. Today, the government’s decision to surrender to terrorism and to suspend the planting project is a an action that speaks louder than words. The words we’re hearing are Ayelet Shaked’s – but the tune the government is dancing to is being sung by Mansour Abbas.”

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