Yesha council: Rice comments 'impertinent and shameless'
Visiting US secretary of state's harsh condemnation of settlement construction draws ire of Yesha council, though mostly against Israeli leadership. Council chairman: 'Israel has been spat at in the face and the government treats it as raindrops'
Israel's Right is up in arms over statements made by visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who earlier on Sunday said that Washington does not consider current building efforts as belonging to Israel.
Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha council, called Rice's rhetoric "impertinent and shameless."
Dayan also had harsh words the Israeli government's lack of response.
"An ambassador for a foreign country comes to Jerusalem and scolds Israel for providing housing for its citizens at the heart of its capital city. But the blame lies with (Prime Minister) Olmert and (Foreign Affairs Minister) Livni, who consent to this.
"Israel has been spat at in the face and the government treats it as raindrops," he said.
"When the Olmert-Livni government set off, it prided itself on an understanding with the US president over the future of the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria. Within two years this failure of a government has managed to lose international support even over neighborhoods in Jerusalem," charged Dayan.
Dayan said the decision to freeze construction in the Wst Bank led to criticism of Israeli construction in Jerusalem. "It should have been clear to Olmert that halting projects in all of Judea and Samaria, even in the blocs – would transport the political struggle into the heart of the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem."
MK Gal-On: Israel ignoring Washington
MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) also had criticism for the government over Rice's statements, though of a different vein.
"What we have here is a ritual: the secretary of state visits the region, reprimands Israel, and the latter goes about its business. If the Israeli government had taken what has been said seriously, the housing minister wouldn't still be issuing tenders for construction projects in Har Homa. The government is simply ignoring the US administration towards its end."
Meanwhile MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu) said "the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have never stood in the way of any political process.
"It is a fact that the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan were signed at the height of building operation. Anyone who is trying to present the situation differently either doesn't understand the situation or is being untrue to themselves."