JERUSALEM, Israel - In a show of solidarity protesting the Obama administration's call for a complete construction freeze of Jewish "settlements," youthful residents of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) set up 11 new outposts.
Meanwhile, at a rally on Monday, Yesha (Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip) chairman Dani Dayan told Israelis not to be intimidated.
"People tell us that it's impossible to stand up against American pressure. There is no bigger lie," Dayan said.
"We are here to call on the government to fend off U.S. pressure to halt construction in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and Jerusalem," he said.
Yesha council Director-General Pinchas Wallerstein also addressed the nearly 1,500 participants standing in front of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence.
"This week, American pressure reached new heights, which are a shame to democratic societies," Wallerstein said.
"We are brought here by America's treatment of Israel - as if it were a banana republic - and its willingness to abandon us to gain the support of public opinion in the Islamic world," he said.
The decision to erect 11 outposts was taken from a similar plan in 1946 under the British Mandate, when pre-State Zionists constructed 11 new outposts in the Negev, influencing the United Nations to include the Negev as part of the nascent Jewish state.
"With God's help, we want to tell the whole world that they cannot tell us what or how to build. This is our country and no one else should interfere," said a young woman who organized the effort at one outpost.
Settler youth completed the 11 new outposts in time for Monday's meeting between Netanyahu and Obama administration Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
Sources: The Jerusalem Post, israel national news