Photo Credit: Flash 90
Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, and Knesset Member Moti Yogev looking at "E-1" area of Maaleh Adumim.

Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party and a key government coalition partner, has publicly proposed that Israel annexing Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and other areas in Judea and Samaria where there are large Jewish population centers.

“I favor implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the zone where 400,000 [settlers] live and only 70,000 Arabs,” Bennett, who also is Minister of Economy, said on Israeli radio Sunday. His numbers are way off the mark, unless he was including approximately 250,000 Jews who live in areas of Jerusalem that have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1980. The United States and the United Nations still refer to them as “settlements.”

Advertisement

Bennett did not refer to any specific communities, but Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Efrat and neighboring communities in Gush Etzion, and the city of Ariel are home to approximately 150,000 Jews, about half of those living in Judea and Samaria.

Even talking about annexing parts of Judea and Samaria could be enough to scuttle U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s “Peace Talk Road Show,” which played another round last week.

Kerry left Israel with triumphant statements, such as “I believe we are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and the prosperity and the security that all of the people of this region deserve.”

Bennett could not have been more negative about Kerry’s cheerleading.

“This is all a joke. It’s as if we’re discussing the purchase of a car with only half of its owners,” Bennett said Sunday.

Add to that juicy comments by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and then ask if Kerry knows what is going in the Israeli government, or ask if chief negotiator is preparing to blow up the whole works by destroying the coalition.

Lieberman told the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington Friday, “Today the trust between the two sides is about zero. It’s impossible to create peace if you don’t have any credibility. I don’t believe it is possible in the next year… to achieve a comprehensive solution to achieve some breakthrough but I think it is crucial to keep our dialogue.”

Ya’alon told the annual Globes Business Conference Saturday night, “As someone who supported Oslo [Accords], I’m learning that on the other side we have no partner for two states for two people. There is no one on the other side, and hasn’t been since the dawn of Zionism, a leadership that is prepared to recognize our right to exist as a nation-state for the Jewish nation, and to recognize an agreement as the end of the conflict and the end to demands.”

Advertisement

10 COMMENTS

  1. It is really so simple; "They must go!" Israel is pure…all of it! Tolerance is not the 'operative' word here…and as usual when dealing with muslims it never is! They hate us and want to kill all Jews wherever we are found, to further allow their presence anywhere in Israel is intolerable.

  2. Those concerned about Bennett's proposal establishing borders that don't include all of Judea and Samaria are missing the point. Borders ALREADY exist and the only section Israel has annexed beyond the "67 borders" is Jerusalem. Annexing Area C would lead to further facts on the ground. It would also mean that the new legislation requiring a referendum would apply, since it only refers to sovereign (annexed) Israeli land. The reason all of Judea and Samaria cannot be annexed at this time is because there is not a consensus among Israelis to offer citizenship to all of the Arabs in those lands. One thing that must be understood is that any annexation requires the offer of citizenship to current residents. That is well established international law and consensus, including among many supporters of Israel. Caroline Glick, for example, advocates full annexation but recognizes that all Judea and Samaria Arabs will have to be offered Israeli citizenship. Bennett also agrees on the connection between annexation and citizenship, but only wishes to extend it to Area C at this time.

  3. Adding to my comment below, Caroline Glick believes there would be no demographic threat if all of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria were offered Israeli citizenship, contrary to the conventional wisdom. This is a question of fact that should be answerable by unbiased analysis.

  4. The Israeli Jewish birth rate has climbed to 3.0 (thanks to high birth rates among the datiim and hareidim), and the Arab birth rate has dropped to 3.1, as a result of the ever-increasing urbanization of the Arab population. Large families are much easier to support in the wide-open rural areas, more difficult in the cramped urban areas. If present trends continue, the Jewsih birth-rate will exceed the Arab one and the demographical threat will abate.

Comments are closed.

Loading Facebook Comments ...