Netanyahu visits RechalimNetanyahu visited the village of Rechalim in eastern Samaria on Tuesday. It was the first time during his term as Prime Minister that Netanyahu has visited a Jewish village in Judea or Samaria that is outside the 'settlement blocs.' This comes from Barak Ravid's Diplomania blog in Haaretz, so it tilts Left....
During Netanyahu's visit he made every effort to call on right-wing voters to cast their ballots for him and his party, and especially to try to reclaim Likud voters who had moved to Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi. Netanyahu, who froze construction in the settlements for 10 months, took pride in how he stood up to the world on the matter.
In a talk with residents of the settlement, Netanyahu made a direct connection between the international demand to stop construction in the settlements and the calls for the destruction of Israel. He even went further and threatened that if right-wing voters do not vote for his party, it will do damage to the entire settlement initiative on the West Bank.
"We are facing an attack on the settlements, and against our existence in the State of Israel," he said. "When the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu are strong, we will be able to maneuver, to navigate and continue to take care of the future of the settlements. If the support weakens, the future of the government will be in danger and the future of the settlements will also be in danger," said Netanyahu.
Over the past four years, Netanyahu has consistently avoided visiting isolated settlements outside the large settlement blocs. He visited, and even planted trees in Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, and Ariel. He also conducted a tour on security issues in the Jordan Valley, but has not visited the settlements more than that.
Likud MKs lead by Elkin had pressured Netanyahu to conduct the visit to send a friendly signal to the settlers. But Netanyahu's visit to a hilltop in the heart of Samaria is not what will bring back the many voters he has lost.Ravid fails to mention that the likely reason that Rechalim was chosen was that it was 'legalized' earlier this week.
But he's right that this is unlikely to bring back Right-leaning voters from Jewish Home to the Likud. Everyone remembers who froze 'settlement construction' for ten months to satisfy Hussein Obama.
By the way, the article mentions that Yesha council chief Danny Dayan was not there. Dayan resigned from that position on Tuesday to work for the Likud in the upcoming elections.