Hasdai Eliezer, head of the West Bank settlement of Alfei Menashe, defied the Yesha Council's decision not to meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and
agreed to see him.
A Yesha Council statement said that those meeting with Barak did not represent the general settler population, but Eliezer seemed unfazed: "I was summoned by the defense minister. I, unlike the rest of the council heads, don't think I represent the Yesha Council. I don't think they need representing. I care about Alfei Menashe."
The head of the veteran secular settlement told Ynet that while he too was against the settlement freeze and its sudden and rapid enforcement, "My past experience with such dilemmas has taught me that dialogue is better than childish behavior.
"I don't think anyone should dismiss the defense minister," he added, "Regardless of ideological differences."
Barak, he continued, "is often criticized for influencing Bibi (Netanyahu), but if we can talk to the person who issued the (freeze) orders we should… This boycott in unacceptable to me."
Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu and Barak agreed to try and facilitate normalcy in West Bank settlements by allowing as
many projects as they can - i.e. those falling under the "grey areas" of the settlement freeze policy – to continue.
Nevertheless, Eliezer said the process of decision making in the matter was faulty: "You have to look at potential damage to individuals. There are a lot of problematic points here, but they can be resolved, but that should have been done before the warrants were issued. I myself was served on Friday night – that indicated certain hysteria," he said.
Eliezer was also critical of his peers, whom he said waited too long to protest. "I ask my friends – where were you for the past year? There was no construction this year, not a single yard – a freeze. What made the difference now – a warrant?"