Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson/FLASH90
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein

“Minister Liberman is mistaken and misleading when he says that the application of sovereignty would lead to a crisis with the American administration,” say Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, leaders of the Women in Green group, whose activity focuses on imposing Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. On Monday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee: “We received a direct message from the US, that imposing sovereignty on Judea and Samaria would mean an immediate crisis with the US.”

The heads of Women in Green assert that Liberman bases his position on misleading data, ignoring the changes in the Middle East and the American administration.

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“We do not know who Minister Liberman has been talking to, but from our sources, it is clear that the policy of the Trump administration has not changed,” Katsover and Matar wrote in an email release. “Only yesterday there was a delegation from Congress here, who came to arrange for the transfer of the embassy. Our sources in Congress continue to say that Israel must consolidate her policy positions and these will be honored by the American administration and the White House. The Trump administration does not intend to force any plan upon Israel”.

“It must further be noted that for decades, relations between Israel and the United States were subject to disagreement over the Palestinian matter and the matter of Jerusalem, and nevertheless, the American administration continued to maintain good relations with Israel in light of the depth of American interests in the Middle East. The Palestinian matter is very low among American considerations. At the top of this list is the conflict with Iran, as well as dealing with Islamic terror and strengthening the pro-American regimes in the region. As a result, the application of sovereignty will not result in the crisis and conflict that Minister Liberman is concerned about. The idea that Israel must place her security needs in the hands of the American president is unthinkable.”

Katsover and Matar also suggest Liberman is “mistaken and misleading when he presents demographic data that does not reflect reality. While Minister Liberman speaks of 2.7 million Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria, the actual data that has been validated by senior demographers is that there are 1.8 million Palestinian Arabs, and this figure has been trending continually downward for the past twenty years along with the most rapid westernization of any other area.”

As to Liberman’s argument that the cost of social services due the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria should sovereignty is applied would amount to $5.5 billion, Katsover and Matar stress: “We must remember that the Land of Israel is worth more than $5.5 billion. And moreover, Minister Liberman knows well that the expenses in security would be ten times greater than this if there were, heaven forbid, a Palestinian state.”

“The Oslo Accords cost Israel more than $250 billion. We can only guess how much more a Palestinian state would cost us, God forbid. The price in blood, literally, would also be higher in the absence of an Israeli presence on the ground, and in the absence of intelligence, with a well armed Palestinian terror state that would threaten Israeli population centers and form alliances with hostile armies and states.”

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