Israeli Settlers Defy Demolition, Blame Obama

Israel bulldozes illegal outpost after Netanyahyu's DC visit
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2009 8:32 AM CDT
Israeli border police walk next to Jewish settlers after they demolished seven structures in the West Bank outpost of Maoz Esther, a hilltop site northeast of Ramallah, Thursday, May 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
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(Newser) – Jewish settlers whose tiny outpost in the West Bank was demolished by the Israeli army—just days after Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington—returned hours later and started rebuilding, reports the Times of London. Netanyahu reportedly agreed to Barack Obama's demands to dismantle illegal outposts in the Palestinian territories, but settlers, encouraged by a rightwing lawmaker, were defiant. "It says in the Bible that this land is ours," said one. "God is stronger than Obama."

This is the second time that security forces have bulldozed the tiny settlement of Maoz Esther, which at its largest had only six makeshift homes. But nationalist politicians have seized on the destruction, which they describe as an American incursion or a political ploy. One settler, a woman wearing a headscarf, was declared: "Building settlements is the most important commandment in the Torah."