Monday, February 15, 2010

The Settlement "Freeze"

OK - I wasn't going to say anything. But now that the Jerusalem Post has let the cat out of the bag, I don't think a little blog post of mine is going to make much of a difference.
It's not much of a "freeze."
1. Last Sukkot, before the "freeze" began, we happened to take a walking tiyyul of Nachal Kannah, which runs between Yakir and Karnei Shomron. It was a beautiful hike (but one that you can only take on days like Chol Hamoed, when you know the army will be around). Starting the hike in Yakkir, you could clearly see trucks hammering out foundations for homes in Yakir, which would have been unusual to see on Chol Hamoed. Clearly, they were in a hurry, only back then we didn't know why. The word was that something was going to happen, and we needed to get as many houses started as possible as quickly as possible.
2. Driving into Elkana on any given day, you've got to wonder about the "freeze", as it's impossible not to notice the large series of houses going up right at the entrance of the yishuv. Now I know that you'll tell me that the houses are legal, as their foundations were completed before the beginning of the "freeze", but that's not much of a freeze if you ask me.
I case you were wondering, I'm no fan of the "freeze" and feel passionately that Jews should have the right to build anywhere in Israel that they wish. I'm not even sure that the local Arabs want the freeze, as they rely greatly on the construction jobs available from the building to support their families.
I guess I'm not a good politician. I think that building is great, but if we're going to do it, why hide that fact? Instead of hiding behind building freezes we should come out and proclaim to the world: "This is the Land of Israel, where Jews have an eternal, God-given right to build anywhere they can."
The sooner we do that, the sooner the "freeze" will end once and for all.