“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.”
State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby’s daily press briefing on Thursday touched on the ominous possibility that the Obama Administration will wait until after the November election, so as not to steer Jewish votes away from the Democratic candidate, and then, in a final splash of power, just before going down from the world’s stage, blow up a landmine in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s face and support or fail to veto a UN Security Council resolution creating a Palestinian State and ordering the hasty removal of all Jewish presence on the “wrong” side of the 1967 border.
We redacted and edited the exchange to make it a tad more entertaining. But one can smell the danger hidden in the spokesman’s evasions. Barring divine intervention, the Obama gang is planning to install a Palestinian State and create facts on the ground so that the next Democrat in the White House will have to start from that point, rather than with today’s murky uncertainty.
We join the conversation that’s already in progress…
Reporter: On Security Council resolutions – will you consider either supporting or failing to veto a resolution on settlement activity in the West Bank?
Kirby: …We are very concerned about trends on the ground and we do have a sense of urgency about the two-state solution. We will consider all of our options for advancing our shared objective of lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but I’m not going to comment on a draft Security Council resolution. Okay?
Reporter: What does that mean, we do have a sense of urgency for a two-state solution?
Kirby: It means exactly what it says and what I’ve been saying from the podium here for months and months and months.
Reporter: So you see a sense of urgency to get to a two-state solution?
Kirby: Sure we do. We very much would like to see a two-state solution realized, yes.
Reporter: I don’t understand.
Kirby: I don’t know what’s not to understand about “we have a sense of urgency.”
Reporter: Well, because there’s only, like, eight months left of the Administration. … You had a sense of urgency back in 2009; you had a sense of urgency when Secretary Kerry took over in 2012.
Kirby: So as time gets shorter, we shouldn’t have a sense of urgency?
Reporter: But if you had a real sense of urgency, you would’ve done something already, right?
Kirby: We have consistently had a sense of urgency.
Reporter: Does that mean, when you say you have a sense or urgency about this, that you’re going to try to cram something in that results in a two-state solution by the end of this Administration?
Kirby: I’m not going to hypothesize on future actions, whatever we continue to do or continue to consider, I don’t know that I would say it’s about cramming. It is about trying to move forward in a productive way towards a two-state solution. And as I’ve said before, we also look to the sides to enact the right kind of leadership to get us there, because ultimately it has to be done by them.
Reporter: But you’re not automatically opposed to a UN Security Council resolution that would call for a two-state solution?
Kirby: We’re not going to comment on this informal draft resolution.
Reporter: I’m not asking you to comment on this informal one. I’m saying that if a resolution presented itself that was evenhanded, in your view – not one-sided or biased against Israel – that called for an end of settlements, called for an end of incitement, and also called for the creation of two states, would you automatically oppose?
Kirby: Well, without getting into those provisions that you listed out there and making a judgment about that, I’d go back to what I said before, and that’s we will consider all of our options for advancing a shared objective, a two-state solution.
Reporter: And that would include a resolution?
Kirby: We’ll consider all options to advance a two-state solution.
Reporter: When you spoke of urgency, did you mean that the urgency comes from the possibility that the two states [solution will go] beyond reach?
Kirby: A sense of urgency about the importance of getting to a two-state solution, which has been a consistent point that we’ve made.
Reporter: But there’s a difference between consistency and urgency.
Kirby: What’s the difference?
Reporter: Well, if it’s always urgent, then it’s never more urgent than before.
Kirby: Well, I don’t know that I’d agree with that. Sometimes something can be always urgent and consistently urgent —
Reporter: You sound like a Foreigner song. (Laughter.) … There’s a song called Urgent. Maybe you’re too young to remember —
Kirby: No, I remember that. (Laughter). I know – I remember the song. I didn’t like it.
For the record, here’s the refrain from Foreigner’s memorable ending to Urgent:
“It gets so urgent / So urgent / You know it’s urgent / I wanna tell you it’s the same for me / So oh oh urgent / Just you wait and see / How urgent our love can be / It’s urgent.
“You say it’s urgent / Make it fast, make it urgent / Do it quick, do it urgent / Gotta rush, make it urgent / Want it quick / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / So urgent, emergency / Emer… emer… emer… / It’s urgent.”
Reporter: There are those within the President’s party, certainly the former Secretary of State, that say that simply the venue itself is not the place to impose a solution from without. I just want to be clear that you think that, because you’re considering all of your options, you may consider the UN Security Council to be the venue to impose —
Kirby: I don’t – I’m not going to elaborate on my answer to you. I think I’d point you back to what I said before.
Reporter: Let me just follow up on this just for a second, okay? I mean, seeing how time after time you call on the Israelis to refrain from settlement activities, to cease settlement activities, you call them illegal and so on, but in fact they don’t really listen much to what you have to say. So in that case, in that situation, why not have a forum in the United Nations where the world can collectively come up with some sort of a resolution that they all agree on, which is the cessation of settlement activities? Why would you be opposed to that? Why can’t you say that you would support this at the United Nations?
Kirby: Again, I’m going to point you back to my original answer, which made it clear we’re not going to comment on a draft resolution that’s only been informally presented in New York, and that, as I said, we’ll consider all of our options to try to get to a two-state solution. So I think I’m just not going to go any further than that, Said. I know that’s not satisfying for you, but that’s really where we are right now.
(The conversation we refer to starts around min. 43:50)
The condemnation came in a statement by UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nicolay Mladenov, who didn’t bother waiting for the results of the IDF investigation into the incident before making his own decision in the matter.
“I strongly condemn … the apparent extra-judicial execution of a Palestinian assailant in Hebron in the occupied West Bank,” Mladenov said. “This was a gruesome, immoral and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation.”
Mladenov called on Israel to “swiftly bring to justice” the alleged perpetrator and praised Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s condemnation of the incident.
The terrorist was the second of two who attacked an IDF soldier on Thursday morning, and was awaiting transport to a medical facility. The first was shot and killed by other troops at the site. As he was lying on the ground, he was shot and killed by an IDF soldier, as seen in a video that made the rounds of the Internet and Israeli TV.
The incident, slammed as an “execution” by the far-left ‘B’Tselem’ group, has become the focal point for a massive debate in Israeli society.
The soldier in question contends the terrorist still presented a threat: he was wearing a bulky zipped-up jacket in the manner of suicide bombers and it was not clear that he was dead.
Hebron terrorist on an 88-degree day, wearing zipped up, long-sleeve jacket covering possible bulge.
Terrorists who are still alive, though injured, are indeed able to detonate the explosive vests they are wearing despite their wounds in order to kill more victims. The discussion heard on the video supports this theory, with people yelling in the background about the danger.
The IDF contends that a military commander had already checked the terrorist’s body to determine whether he was packed with explosives. The soldier in question also had not followed protocol and did not first clear his actions with commanders.
As a result, the IDF arrested the soldier and incarcerated him in Prison 4, located in Be’er Sheva. His remand has been extended until at least Tuesday, as the investigation continues.
Politicians, community leaders and families of IDF rank and file as well as reservists are all debating the government’s response to the current wave of terror perpetrated by Palestinian Authority and Israeli Arabs.
Dozens of Israelis have died since October and hundreds of others have been injured, maimed and permanently traumatized as a result. In addition, 200 Arabs have also been killed, most while trying to attack Israelis but some also as victims of the attacks by their own brethren.
Things continue to go downhill in the diplomatic world of U.S.-Israel relations. This week the U.S. State Department re-issued a nearly 20 year old regulation – written at a very different time, under very different circumstances – and insists it will “strictly enforce” this ancient rule which requires any goods produced in the disputed territories be designated as place of origin other than “Israel.”
This old-new restriction came up in one of the most unlikely of places, the Cargo Systems Messaging Service, which is part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The very short introduction explains that the message was issued in order to “provide guidance to the trade community regarding the country of origin marking requirements for goods that are manufacture in the West Bank.”
This latest message from the Cargo Messaging Service was issued literally in the dead of night – 12:53 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23. Hmmm.
And the “requirements” to which that message is referring, are ones that require labeling of goods produced in the disputed territories, or as the U.S. likes to call them – despite chastising Israel constantly for “creating facts on the ground” – the West Bank and Gaza but not Israel.
Although the labeling requirements are the very same ones recently at issue when the European Union forbade goods produced in the disputed territories to have Israel as an option and only permit labels such as “Gaza,” “Gaza/West Bank” or “West Bank,” the reason for the 20 year old U.S. regulation has a very different origin.
The U.S. requirements were imposed in the wake of the infamous Oslo Accords – those withered on the vine principles recently rejected in a public statement to the United Nations by acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The Accords are referred to in the U.S. Regulations by its formal name, the “Israel-PLO-Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements.” Yeah, that long-dead horse.
And the original, and therefore controlling reason why the U.S. source labeling rule came into play had nothing to do with promoting a boycott of Israel, or even, as some now claim, a “truth in advertising” initiative.
The situation that was understood to need correction back in the 1990’s had to do with fair trade agreements. The U.S. and Israel had such an agreement, but the U.S. could not have an FTA with Gaza or with the now-Palestinian Authority controlled area in the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria).
In the wake of the Oslo Accords, when peace was threatening to break out all over, the U.S. decided it also made sense to create an FTA between the U.S. and the Palestinian Arab government. And that was an additional impetus for creating new labels for items produced by Palestinian Arabs in Gaza or in the “West Bank.”
In an additional and unintentional point of irony, the Palestinian Authority, back in the 1990’s, urged the State Department, and the State Department acquiesced, to the joint labels of Gaza and West Bank “so as to reaffirm the territorial unity of the two areas.”
What a joke.
During Thursday’s daily press briefing, Deputy State Department Spokeperson Mark C. Toner assured journalists the matter was “simply a restatement of previous requirements” which “in no way supersedes prior rulings or regulations, nor does it impose additional requirements with respect to merchandise imported from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, or Israel.”
Toner emphasized, with respect to the resistance of the old requirements: “there’s nothing new. This is simply a reissuance of guidance.”
The basis for the original regulation – the one everyone insists is all that is in play – was the Oslo Accords and the creation of a new state – one that remains stillborn – and the wrongly anticipated unification of Gaza and the Palestinian Arab governing force in the “West Bank.” Those bases were weak back in 1997, but they are now long-decayed legs upon which to place this labeling requirement.
And that’s the reason the regulations have not been enforced until now. There is no viable Palestinian State. There is no enforceable Oslo Accords. There is no unity Palestinian Arab government.
If that is all true, the new-old regulations should remain null and void.
The Netanyahu government reportedly is going full-speed ahead although behind the scenes to develop the controversial E-1 area in Maaleh Adumim that would effectively give Israel a Jewish continuity to Jerusalem.
Peace Now alleged this morning that the government is planning 6,372 residential units in the area as part of a larger program for 55,548 new homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria, including a new community near Bethlehem and one in the Jordan Valley.
An Israeli official said that no final decision has made been concerning E-1, but it can be assumed that the official decision will come at the right time politically, perhaps when the Palestinian Authority is so illegitimate that Prime Minister Netanyahu can thaw the de facto building freeze.
Housing Minister Yoav Galant, of the Kulanu party, denied that plans are being made.
Peace Now alleged that the ministry allocated to Ma’aleh Adumim $9.5 million in November 2014, without issuing a tender, for planning the area. In addition, another $200,000 was allegedly paid to outline future construction sites east of Jerusalem as well as to expand other communities in Judea and Samaria.
Building in E-1 would be the Waterloo for the Palestinian Authority, while not developing it would be the same for Israel.
The Bush and Obama administrations have pressured Israel several times not to build in E-1, a 4.6-square mile area that has been designated for construction since the time that Yitzchak Rabin was Prime Minister in the 1990s.
It would be no surprise if the government is going ahead with building plans, in light of the decimation of the two-state proposal and the Palestinian Authority’s hard and fast position that there is nothing to negotiate with Israel unless it agrees to all of the PA’s political and territorial demands.
However, the publicity of the plans for construction is a red flag for the Palestinian Authority as well as for the Israeli left-wing camp. The Haaretz newspaper, which often acts as President Rivlin agent for Peace Now, reported Monday:
The Israeli fear is that without ‘facts on the ground’ in E-1, the giant settlement, which has some 40,000 residents, could end up an unviable Israeli enclave in a Palestinian state.
The newspaper quoted Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer, as saying that the documents detailing plans for E-1 and elsewhere in Judea and Samaria show that the government of Israel is not wasting a single day and is investing tens of millions of shekels in expanding and establishing new settlements. Behind the scenes they are secretly planning the establishment of a bi-national state.
One soldier was lightly injured in a car-ramming attack near Shechem on Shabbat afternoon, and another terrorist, wielding a knife, tried to stab and murder police and civilians in Jerusalem.
The wounded soldier was evacuated to a Petach Tikvah hospital for treatment. The terrorist was shot and later died, according to Arab media.
Ma’an News Agency, based in Bethlehem, reported:
Locals in the area at the time said that the driver — identified as Maher al-Jabi, 56 — had sped past several vehicles at the checkpoint before forces opened fire.
The attempted stabbings in Jerusalem occurred at Kikar Tzahal (IDF Square) around 9 a.m. when two mounted policemen noticed an Arab sitting outside Jaffa Gate and then standing up and following Jews wearing a tallis.
They followed the terrorist to Kikar Tzahal, where they asked the Arab, from eastern Jerusalem, to stop and show his identification card.
He whipped out a knife and police shot and killed him.
Below are videos of police tracking the terrorist and of aftermath of the attempted stabbing.
Only four United Nations members, besides Israel, voted against a U.N. anti-Israel resolution Tuesday that demand Palestinian Authority sovereignty over Israel’s natural resources in Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley.
Areas or Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority also were included in the non-binding resolution.
The vote was 164-5, with 10 abstentions.
Canada, the United States, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia voted with Israel.
The draft resolution carried the wordy title ” Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.”
The measure demands that Israel cease alleged “exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion and endangerment” of the natural resources in the “occupied” territories.
Supposed destruction includes what the Palestinian Authority calls “diplomatic terrorism,” meaning the alleged “extensive destruction” of Arab land utility infrastructure, especially during the war against Hamas missile attacks on half of Israel in the summer of 2014.
Israel has tried to work with the Palestinian Authority on several sewerage system projects but has been turned down.