An MK from the Zionist Union party is coming under fire from the left because he visited the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council.
"It is precisely because of the complexity of today that I decided not to cancel and come," the MK, Danny Atar, said at the start of his tour of the region on Sunday. “At such moments, we must conduct dialogue instead of fortifying ourselves in our camp while pointing fingers.”
Atar’s tour began at the Ulpana in Dolev and ended at the site of ancient Shiloh.
Extreme leftists took issue with the visit, however, lashing out at Atar on his Facebook page for “daring” to visit the Binyamin region and the “occupied territories”, as they put it.
“You are one of the destroyers of the Labor party. Fuad the next generation,” wrote one user, referring to former MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer.
Another user wrote Atar, “You've lost my vote when you supported the law which legalizes the settlement division.” Another user expressed disappointment over Atar “strengthening the right”, as he put it. “It is disappointing that now you have chosen to strengthen precisely those who threaten the rule of law, equality, liberalism, freedom from religion.”
"What a beauty! They erected an Ulpana! With whose money was it built? At whose expense was it built? How many troops are guarding the Ulpana? How many days of reserve service will I be called upon to protect the Ulpana? You’re enthusiastic about the occupation? You’ve lost my vote!" said the user.
MK Atar was unmoved by the criticism and said, “It is important that everyone get to know the settlement enterprise closely and this region from which Israel grew and developed in the early days. There is no doubt that the landscape, the people and the strength of the communities in Binyamin are in many ways reminiscent of the working settlement movement in which grew up.”
He said that despite the disagreements and perhaps because of them, dialogue is essential.
“Israeli society, unfortunately, does not conduct enough dialogue and those who do generate dialogue are extremists who do not testify to the majority,” noted Atar.
The head of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, Avi Ro’eh, stressed that he sees great importance in Atar’s visit to the region.
“The familiarity with the area, the dialogue which resulted and the understanding that we share more challenges than disagreements is the most significant contribution from such a visit. We need to join hands and work together to strengthen the communities throughout the country, in the Galilee, the Negev, the Arava, Judea, Samaria and Binyamin,” said Ro’eh.