For the first time since he took office as prime minister, Naftali Bennett will visit an Israeli community located to the right of the Green Line. The PM has restricted his visits in Judea and Samaria to IDF bases. Now he is coming to the town of Elkana in the north-western Samarian hills this coming Tuesday to mark its 45th anniversary.
Not everybody in Elkana is happy with the invite. A WhatsApp group of Elkana residents posted the image below calling for a protest against Bennett’s attempt to make cynical use of the community’s celebrations for political gains.
A few youths from the Elkana community on Sunday night launched a spontaneous demonstration outside the home of the head of the Elkana Council, Assaf Minzer, demanding that he cancel Bennett’s expected visit. The youths called on the Minzer to “prevent the crook from reaching Elkana.”
But as you can see from the picture above, it wasn’t a very crowded spontaneous demonstration.
Still, more than 500 Israeli citizens (not necessarily Elkana residents) have already signed a petition calling on the council head to cancel Bennett’s visit. “We see the very visit as a useless attempt to cynically exploit the residents of Elkana and gain political capital,” the petition reads, noting that the cynical stuff is taking place “while Mr. Bennett’s government violates the Jewish and Zionist values of the state on a daily basis.”
Minzer, for his part, emailed everyone in his community to remind them that under Bennett’s government they just received permits for 500 new housing units, which is nothing to scoff at. He then added: “It’s no secret that my personal political views are very far from those of the Yamina party led by the prime minister, and I personally am not satisfied, to say the least, with the composition of the government (that’s code for Islamists – DI) and with its actions.”
“At the same time, it’s important to make it clear that this is a state visit by the prime minister and not a political one, and as such we will be very honored, and celebrate with the Israeli prime minister our 45 years of settlement and Zionism in Elkana.”
Minzer reminded his residents that he did not invite Bennett, Bennett invited himself, but even so, they should keep things proper.
Let’s watch it together…