Erfat Weiss
June 15, 2009 - 12:00am,7340,L-3731521,00.html

Many settlers took a sigh of relief after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on Sunday in which he made no mention of evacuating settlements.

But Monday morning, right-wing activists announced that they were planning on building dozens of new outposts in the West Bank.

"This is the appropriate Zionist response to Netanyahu's speech and (US President Barack) Obama's speech. The goal is to build new outposts and expand the existing ones," the rightists said in a statement.

Monday morning, Yesha Council Chairman Pinchas Wallerstein left for Washington where he is scheduled to meet with US officials and Jews in order to explain the settlers' stance and prepare for the struggle in the matter of settlements and against a Palestinians state.

After Netanyahu's speech on Sunday Wallerstein said, "A large burden has been lifted off my chest. I am proud of the high level of Zionism the prime minister demonstrated. There was no mention of settlement evacuation or freezing. I hope this will enable settlement to continue."

Netanyahu did not mention outposts in his speech, but did say, "there will be no expropriation of land for new settlements: The settlers are not the people's enemy and are not the enemies of peace. They are our brothers and sisters."

The prime minister also stressed that there is a need to allow settlers to live "normal lives".

The Yesha Council on Sunday said they "regret the prime minister's acceptance of the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state. Netanyahu, of all people, who has been saying it for years, that a Palestinian state, even a demilitarized one – will necessarily turn into an armed state and threaten the existence of the State of Israel."


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017