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April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
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Annexation Or Fade Away

The Levy Report on the settlements in Judea and Samaria was like cold water on a parched landscape. The committee members who drafted the report and dared to publicly say what every child in Israel can and should know deserve credit and appreciation. The report factually states that there never was an occupation in Judea and Samaria because no entity there was ever occupied.

In the 1948 War of Independence Jordan forcefully took over Judea and Samaria. After World War I, the Commonwealth of Nations transferred the mandate on the territory to Great Britain so that the Jews could establish a national home in what was slated to become Israel. Later, the Jordanians refuted any claims of sovereignty over the territory. Thus, when the IDF captured Judea and Samaria from King Hussein, who didn’t even pretend to be its owner, it was hardly an occupation.

The local Arabs, who have suddenly invented the Palestinian nation, cannot claim that the territory was captured from them. First, they are the ones who started the War of Independence, dragging the regular Arab armies into the fighting. According to international law, whoever initiates a war cannot claim territory that they lost during the fighting. But what is even more important is that there never was national Palestinian sovereignty – not in Judea and Samaria or in any place on the globe. In the miraculous 1967 Six-Day War, the IDF liberated Judea and Samaria from the Jordanian army – not from the residents of Ramallah.

Those of us who have unfortunately become accustomed to the State toeing the brazen and false, radical leftist line – the Talia Sasson Report, for example – might see the Levy Report as a sign of the Messianic era. However, respect and appreciation for the report’s authors and Prime Minister Netanyahu for requesting it notwithstanding, the logical conclusion is missing from its findings.

It is difficult to know if the Levy Report heralds real change or if it is just part of the zigzag syndrome that we have been witnessing recently. It is very important to stop the damage wrought upon the settlement enterprise by the Sasson Report. But the fact that the Levy Report is not coupled with positive measures means that the strong forces that have been pushing Israel into harmful declarations and deeds for years can continue their activities, undisturbed. The report does say that Israel is not an occupier, but it doesn’t draw the logical conclusion: This is our land. The report does not recommend the vital next step, namely that Israel must immediately annex all parts of the Land of Israel in our hands. The precedent was Israel’s annexation of all the territory captured by the IDF in 1948 – to a lesser extent in Jerusalem and fully in the Golan Heights.

The following is Israeli law: Every part of the Land of Israel under Israeli control at any time automatically becomes part of the territory of the State of Israel.

Since the days of Menachem Begin, the Jewish majority in Israel has received glorious gifts that turned out to be nothing more than fancy wrapping. Begin’s “There will be many more Elon Morehs” turned into the reality of the great retreat from Sinai and the destruction of the Yamit settlements. On one hand, the Likud has built more than any other ruling party. On the other hand, all the destruction and major retreats are also on its resume. Without faith-based leadership for Israel, the Right will necessarily drift leftward – if not in word then in deed.

The Levy Report is another step in the right direction. It is a positive development, along with MK Yariv Levin’s proposed legislation against the High Court dictatorship and MK Miri Regev’s proposals for annexation of Judea and Samaria. While Netanyahu put the brakes on those two proposals, the very fact that they were raised creates a positive cumulative effect.

We must not fool ourselves, though. If tomorrow Mahmoud Abbas turns around and shows willingness for some type of compromise, the entire media will clamor to advance “peace,” full steam ahead. The justice system, security officials and academia will join in to ensure that the new “peace” will get past the public’s healthy skepticism. In this scenario the Levy Report will make no difference, as we march toward another mass destruction.

About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.


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10 Responses to “Annexation Or Fade Away”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Many errors in this essay:

    "Later, the Jordanians refuted any claims of sovereignty over the territory. Thus, when the IDF captured Judea and Samaria from King Hussein, who didn’t even pretend to be its owner, it was hardly an occupation."

    The sequence is wrong. Jordan renounced sovereignty claims two decades after the capture. But as of 1967, the entire world, including Israel, had accepted Jordan's *de facto* sovereignty over the area. For example, all nations accepting the Jordanian passports that it had issued to Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel expropriated the Rockefeller Museum to get the Dead Sea Scrolls (it could not have done that in that manner had it not been Jordanian government property), and Israel even allowed Jordanian schools to continue to operate for decades.

    'The local Arabs, who have suddenly invented the Palestinian nation'.

    Palestinian nationality was explicitly created by the League of Nations Mandate, not by "local Arabs".

    "Every part of the Land of Israel under Israeli control at any time automatically becomes part of the territory of the State of Israel."

    If this were true, then the three million Arabs in Yehudah, Shomron, and Gaza should have become Israeli citizens, along with the half million in Sinai. If Israeli law really did provide for automatic annexation, why did the Knesset have to enact a special law regarding the status of East Jerusalem?

  2. Ryan Ari'el Simon says:

    This newspaper is a joke, neglecting to follow any journalistic norms. It can't even identify the author of this piece, making him seem like a normal guy with an opinion when in reality he has an agenda, he is a settler, and hardline Likud leader.

  3. On your last point, IIRC, Israel's position has been that they don't need to annex territories to which they have a claim. That is why Israel never formally annexed East Jerusalem. They merely extended their laws and jurisdiction to it.

  4. Faige Lobel says:

    Looks like you're the joke. How do you define normal…only someone who agrees with you?

  5. Totally agree, no annexation already Israels' sovriegnty, no occupation build and don't stop.

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    Extending laws and jurisdiction is precisely annexation, particularly when you offer citizenship to all the residents there. (The same was done for Golan.)

  7. Mark L. Shane says:

    as usual Moshe speaks the truth with adjoining facts , future possibilities and outcomes which sadly and historically are in the habit of being politically sabotaged, nevertheless let's hope something good comes of this for us.

  8. Myra Estelle says:

    Charlie, the Old City of Jerusalem was designated an "international city" by the World Congress in 1948, so that everyone could have access but the Jordanians claimed it in 1948 and put barbed wire all around it so that no Jew could enter the Old City. The world accepted this too. Just because other countries accept it doesn't make it right.

  9. Charlie Hall says:

    Myra, great point! And the rest of the world wonders why Israel won't give up much of Jerusalem? (The city is already divided; the question is where to draw the dividing line.)

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