Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an applause line that should have brought the house down in his speech at Wednesday’s official ceremony celebrating 50 years of settlement in Judea and Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.
Netanyahu was speaking before a crowd of thousands in Gush Etzion, which was destroyed by the Arab Legion in the War of Independence, and rebuilt by the children of its massacred defenders immediately after the area was liberated in the 1967 Six Day War.
Netanyahu pledged to the audience: “There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the Land of Israel.”
He did receive enthusiastic applause. But he didn’t bring the house down. And the rest of his speech was met with a lukewarm reception overall, even though he hit all the notes.
And that makes sense. As much as the audience wanted to believe him and his pledges to continue to build in the biblical and strategic heartland of the country, they couldn’t.
They knew that under the current legal regime governing the country, it’s not for elected officials to say whether communities will be built or destroyed.
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