Dahlia Scheindlin at +972 blasts a New York Times editorial that finds hope in Netanyahu’s rejection of a Knesset bill that would legalize a settlement the Supreme Court ruled was illegal.
let me make it extremely clear: Netanyahu’s commitment to rejecting the bill was not a statement against settlements. The vote was not about narrowing construction. And personally, I do not believe it was about implementing Supreme Court rulings either.
The events of the last few days – the committee debates, the Knesset vote on Wednesday and Netanyahu’s compromise plan – were about one thing only: Settlement expansion.
Scheindlin then quotes Netanyahu from a Hebrew speech:
“I am obliged to protect democracy, and I am obliged to protect the settlements. And I say to you now that there is no contradiction between the two. The law that was rejected in the Knesset would have harmed the settlements. By contrast, the framework I have I decided upon, expanding the settlement, relocating the buildings, legal defense of settlements against a precedent – this plan strengthens settlements….At the same time, Beit El will be expanded, the 30 families will remain and 300 families will join them…Those who think they can use the legal system to harm settlements are mistaken. In fact, the exact opposite is happening – instead of decreasing Beit El, the expansion Beit El. Instead of harming settlements, strengthening them.”
It isn’t hard to hear precisely to what the prime minister is saying in plain Hebrew. I wish the New York Times had listened before grossly misrepresenting the developments as a “glimmer of hope” for anyone seeking peace.