According to MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already set his sights on establishing a Palestinian State, under the noses of his coalition partners in the most rightwing government in Israel’s history.
“Everything is happening behind closed doors, ministers and Knesset Members are kept away from contacts with the new Administration, and only a very small circle of insiders around the PM understand in what direction he is navigating the ship,” MK Smotrich posted on his Facebook page Tuesday night.
Smotrich observed several indications that Netanyahu has been busy with his secret plan, quoting the PM’s own famous adage: “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – then, as the Prime Minister once put it, it’s a duck,” Smotrich wrote. He cites the following list of indicators:
1. Talks about a “deal” and a regional peace conference.
2. Freezing settlement construction outside the settlement blocks (if you don’t build outside the blocks, you’re saying Israel does not plan to remain there).
3. News about a “deal” Trump has offered Abbas to return to the negotiations in exchange for settlements freeze.
4. Revelations in Ha’aretz of past negotiations between Netanyahu and MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) to establish a unity government based on renewing the “peace process.”
5. Netanyahu’s desire to create an anti-Iran axis with moderate Arab states, the price for such an axis being removal of settlements.
“If we want to stop the ship – which we must,” argues Smotrich, “we have to present Netanyahu with our own red lines, now.” These red lines are the inverse of Smotrich’s list of the PM’s secret plans:
1. Demand massive construction outside the settlement blocks, to clarify that there is and will not be any settlements freeze – which means creating an Arab state there and the removal of settlements (If we’re planning to stay there, why not build?).
2. Immediate establishment of an alternative settlement for the Amona evacuees.
3. Impose Israeli sovereignty on Ma’ale Adumim.
“These moves would torpedo the statehood plans, prove that ours is a rightwing government, and clarify to our American friends and our neighbors in the Middle East that we are on a path to bolster our hold on our homeland regions of Judea and Samaria, and will never, God forbid, withdraw from them.”
MK Smotrich ended his post with a new slogan: “An undivided land is more important than an undivided coalition.”