Sukkah against Obama. (Archive)
Photo: Gabi Menashe
Settlers to build 'permanent sukkot' in protest of building freeze
Settler movement launches campaign against planned moratorium on settlement building by encouraging permanent structures to be erected using symbol of upcoming Sukkot holiday
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to implement a settlement freeze, the extreme right-wing concocts a new method to thwart it. A new campaign launched by MK Michael Ben-Ari's right-wing movement calls upon West Bank settlers to erect "eternal sukkot" in order to fight against Netanyahu's planned policy on settlement building.


Sukkot are booths traditionally erected during the upcoming harvest holiday of Sukkot and are meant to be, by definition, temporary. However, the current campaign seeks to make a twist on the traditional concept and make them into permanent structures symbolizing the right-wing ideology of permanent Jewish presence, and therefore building as well, in the West Bank.


Under the slogan "Fighting the settlement freeze, saying no to Obama, we are building sukkot for eternity in Judea and Samaria," the SOS Israel movement initiated an operation intended to embarrass the prime minister in front of the Americans and to be a headache for the defense establishment.


MK Ben-Ari, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, and extreme rightist Baruch Marzel have promised to tour the West Bank giving out prizes to those who built the most durable sukkot with the most potential for staying up in the long term.


"The settlement of Judea and Samaria will not surrender to Netanyahu and Obama's plot to place a noose around the settlement," said MK Ben-Ari. "I believe that the settler population will partake en masse in this operation and we will see hundreds of 'eternal sukkot' very soon."


A sukkah can also be a shed, according to members of the movement: "Elements of a permanent structure can also be incorporated." Estimates indicate that the IDF and the police will not dismantle the new structures before or during the holiday. The question remains, however, what will become of them after the holiday season.


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