Rabbi Dov Lior, a prominent Religious Zionist leader in Israel, visited the area set to be demolished by July 30 in Beit El for the first time on Friday, after an emergency meeting with the mayor of Beit El, Shay Alon, and the head of the Yeshiva (Torah academy) of Beit El, Rabbi Zalman Melamed.
"What rabbis can do is to express protest and sorrow in the view that it is a Torah prohibition to uproot a Jewish home in the Land of Israel," Rabbi Lior stated to Arutz Sheva at the site. "We must explain to the public that anyone who has influence on elected officials must stop the evil decree, not to lift our hands up and say 'this is G-d's will.'"
Rabbi Lior also lamented Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's reneging on his campaign promises vis-a-vis Judea and Samaria (Shomron).
"These were just promises," he said. "He never promised to keep them according to Torah law – and public leaders, especially, must stand behind their words, as this violates the public trust of public officials."
Despite this, Rabbi Lior views the government as a right-wing government – although not necessarily a more nationalistic one than the previous administration.
"I do not see any difference between this government and the previous government," he opined. "I'm not saying it's not a right-wing government but that is not what we expected."
As for Netanyahu's claim that Israel is under great "international pressure," Rabbi Lior noted that the pressure should not make a difference in Israel's public policy – because Israel is under pressure for anything it does.
"There is international pressure over the very fabric of our existence and international pressure on the Iran deal," Rabbi Lior said. "The prime minister and the Cabinet ministers should know that our return to Israel means settling the land and applying sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel."
"We are not dependent on the nations; we must instead do what is right for us."
He did, however, give Netanyahu credit for putting up with the pressure as much as he has thus far.
That said, "I'm not saying it's easy, but if you are ruling according to truth, then [the Land] belongs to the people of Israel – and then even honest people among the nations of the world can understand this."
"But their great hatred bends their opinions and we have to stand firm," he added.