Latest update: June 13th, 2012
When Netanyahu was invited to form the government based on the support he received from parties on the right he began immediately to water down the influence of the right by forming a coalition with Labor headed by Barak. He also appointed establishment lawyer Yehuda Weinstein as Attorney General. In this position he is the legal advisor to the Government and is responsible for protecting the rule of law. Prior to the elections Netanyahu also engineered Moshe Feiglin descent on the party list so as to exclude him from the Knesset, and he invited Dan Meridor to join Likud.
Meridor was subsequently given a senior cabinet post. And now Netanyahu has added Kadima to the coalition. He is no longer threatened by the right as he was first time around. With Kadima, Labor, and Likud in the coalition, he can comfortably rule from the center.
A series of laws have been proposed by his colleagues on the right in order to make Israel more democratic and to handcuff the radical NGO’s supported by the EU and the New Israel Fund. In almost all cases he has opposed the legislation either because he didn’t want to alienate the left or because he didn’t want to alienate the EU.
Besides that, he has followed the dictate of the international community not to do anything that would imperil the two-state solution. Obviously the freeze and the opposition to the legislation is part of that but something else is going on. In the last three years the EU has encouraged and financed the Palestinian’s efforts to take over “Area C” by planting or building. According to Regavim this program has resulted in the loss of thousands of acres, and the rate of loss is growing exponentially. Not only is Netanyahu’s government not doing anything to stop them but it is aiding and abetting them. A recent example of that is Barak’s decision to uproot olive trees planted by Jews while permitting the Arabs to plant. The Arabs acquire title to the lands by doing so. The GOI required the Jews to waive their right to acquire title by planting, which they did. They said their sole purpose was and is, to stop the Arabs from acquiring title. Still Barak wants to uproot the trees which the Jews have planted.
Another example is the government’s policy to demolish homes built by Jews on “private Palestinian land,” though no one is claiming ownership to such lands and though well accepted law in the West and even in Israel, allows for compensation when the homes have been built in good faith. The government policy is to direct the Court to issue demolition orders rather than to allow the residents the right to argue they built them in good faith.
Furthermore, Netanyahu has opposed recent bills that would legalize houses built on “private Palestinian Land.” He threatened to fire any Minister that voted in favor of the bills resulting in their defeat. He didn’t even wait for the report of the Levy Commission appointed by him to recommend solutions. My guess is that Netanyahu was aware that the report would support the settlers.
President Obama has taken the position that a solution to the conflict can only be arrived at through direct negotiations. He uttered such a position to prevent the PA from circumventing negotiations by going to the UNGA or to the UNSC for recognition. He also uttered this position recently when Barak threatened to unilaterally withdraw. But the problem with negotiations is that the UN, US, and EU meddle in them on the side of the PA. And now the PA, with the support of the EU and US, is putting facts on the ground which essentially pre-determine the outcome. At the same time they prevent Israel from putting facts on the ground. Inherent in the idea that one can negotiate, is the right to say “no,” to not offer what one doesn’t want to offer or to reject what one wishes not to accept. Thus negotiations, whether to buy a house of arrive at a peace agreement, don’t necessarily result in a deal. So negotiations are not the answer and Obama knows it. Putting facts on the ground is.Ted Belman
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