By Jonathan Benedek/TPS
Jerusalem (TPS) – Controversy swirls surrounding Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s recent comments that she plans to apply Israeli law to all the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
“My eventual goal is that within a year any law passed in the Knesset will automatically translate to Judea and Samaria,” Shaked said on Sunday at the annual conference of the International Legal Forum in Jerusalem.
The remarks sparked a fierce backlash from [radical left-wing] politicians in the opposition, such as Meretz leader MK Zahava Galon who denounced the plan as “de-facto annexation of the occupied territories” and “apartheid.”
Although Israel took control of Judea and Samaria during the Six-Day War of 1967, the regions were never formally annexed by Israel and thus remain under military control, not governed by Israeli law. Shaked’s proposal would essentially replace the authority of the IDF’s Central Command over Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria with standard Israeli law.
In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio on Monday, Shaked clarified that she intends to form a committee that will determine if each Israeli law should apply to Judea and Samaria on a case-by-case basis. This differs from the “law of norms” proposal that was floated in the previous government, which would automatically apply all Israeli laws to Judea and Samaria. The “law of norms” never got off the ground due to objections by former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. However, the idea has regained traction under the new attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit.
MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union), who was Justice Minister in the previous coalition, argued that Shaked’s plan endangers Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state.
“The end result will be the collapse of the idea of two states, two systems of law in one country, press, pressure and significant international damage, and finally 2.5 million Palestinians with the right to vote and a majority in the Knesset,” said Livni. “It will lead to a binational state with a Palestinian majority in the Knesset.”
Naftali Bennett, Education Minister and chairman of Shaked’s Jewish Home party, has proposed annexing all parts of Judea and Samaria controlled by the IDF’s Central Command as well as granting citizenship to the thousands of Arabs living in such areas.
“It is a pernicious combination of annexation and apartheid,” Galon said. “Applying Israeli law [to Judea and Samaria] is de facto annexation of the occupied territories, and the decision to apply it only to the settlers creates racial discrimination between blood and blood.”
“Minister Ayelet Shaked continues to kindle a fire and pour oil on the flames of Israel’s relations with the world,” added Galon. “This move will sabotage the prospects of any political agreement.”TPS / Tazpit News Agency