"Minister Atias is a left-wing collaborator," said extreme rightist Baruch Marzel. The Land of Israel is Ours movement decided to launch a public relations campaign against the housing minister, whom they have labeled "Deri for the poor" in a reference to former Shas leader Aryeh Deri who supported the Oslo Accords when he sat in Rabin's government.
Among other things, the group plans to hold protests, distribute pamphlets throughout the country, with a special focus on the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, where Atias resides. In pamphlets distributed in synagogues on Shabbat, Atias will be attacked as "a leftist with a kippah." The movement also plans on holding vocal protests in places the minister plans to visit.
Despite pressure from the right-wing camp, the Housing Ministry has yet to issue any building tenders for the settlements, including the large settlement blocs and east Jerusalem, since Netanyahu entered office.
The housing minister, who believes Israel should work towards easing tensions with the US, has withstood pressure from his rightist colleagues in the cabinet, who are protesting the fact that no new tenders have been issued for building projects outside Jerusalem and in the settlement blocs.
Atias told the ministers that this gesture would pave the way for the US and the international community to recognize Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs. He said the Obama administration should be given ample time to urge the Arab states to make gestures of their own regarding the normalization of ties with Jerusalem as part of the efforts to reignite the peace process.
According to MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union), "Housing Minister Atias' involvement in the policy of freezing (settlement building) is the continuation of the ways of the Oslo criminals. Netanyahu appointed him because he sought a minister of freezing and destruction."