Likud officials say that the growing international criticism of their massive settlement expansion plans are “good for the party,” and that they believe that they will gain considerably in the upcoming election for it.
Top Likud officials say that the question of settlement growth has provided an ideal dividing line between Israel’s left and right, and has also sewn dissent in the various opposition parties, many of whom fear coming out too publicly against the settlements.
Indeed, the settlements are seen as such a winning issue in the election that many in the even-farther-right are attacking Likud as “soft” on the settlements, lashing them for not growing faster, and are seeing gains in recent polls.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, is trying to shift his position even further to the right on settlements, insisting it is Israel’s inherent right to expand the settlements and that he’s “not interested” in hearing the UN complain about it.
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