'Obama is a racist,' settler rabbi tells protestors in Jerusalem
Yesha council of settlements staged protest near home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Yesha Council of settlements organized a demonstration in which some 1,500 rightists gathered near the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday to protest the Obama administration's demand for a total freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.
Among the speakers at the demonstration was Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, the head of the Nir yeshiva in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. "Obama is a racist," Waldman told the assembled crowd. "If he continues with his actions, he will bring about the disintegration of the American superpower."
The speeches were accompanied by jeers from the protesters at every mention of U.S. special envoy George Mitchell, who is currently in the region in a bid to reach a deal on settlement construction.
Right-wing demonstrators are planning a large-scale settlement operation next week - hundreds of youngsters will set up 11 new West Bank outposts, to commemorate the 1946 operation when 11 new settlements were set up overnight in the northern Negev, during the British Mandate.
The move coincides with the arrival of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is expected to discuss the evacuation of illegal outposts in the West Bank.
The groups organizing the move include Youth for the Land of Israel and the Land of Israel Faithful, and are associated with settler leaders Rabbi Moshe Levinger, Rabbi Uzi Sharbaf of Hebron, and Daniela Weiss.
They are planning to erect outposts called Havat Haro'im in the southern Hebron hills; Maalot Hebron, between Kiryat Arba and Hebron; Gat Yosef, near Nablus; Mitzpeh Avihai; Sela; Oz Yehonatan; Givat Egoz; Inbalim, next to Michmesh; Tsur-Ya, next to Avnei Hefetz; and Netzer, near Efrat, which was evacuated several times over the past few years.
In addition, a large group is planning to rebuild the Nofei Yarden outpost, which was cleared out last week.
The activists have been planning the operation for three months, and expect hundreds of youngsters help settle the land and thousands of others to show support. Over the weekend, 20,000 pamphlets describing the operation and its ideology were distributed in synagogues.