Netanyahu is doing what he does best. He is making speeches. What should have been done long ago, he is not doing. And he will not be doing it.

His speech after the UN Security Council vote reminded me of his speeches against Iran. A very leader-like pose, no substance, and transfer of responsibility for Israel’s security to the U.S. The Iran fiasco resulted in U.S.-Iran negotiations, with Netanyahu trying to eavesdrop on the discussion room. Entirely reminiscent of Czechoslovakia on the eve of the signing of the Munich accords. Netanyahu is simply a gift for the Iranian nuclear project.


The same is true of the UN vote: A tempest in a teapot. “We have destroyed entire settlements, we removed the dead from their graves, and we received a rain of rockets on Tel Aviv,” bellowed Netanyahu in response to the vote. He forgot to mention that not only did he not prevent the senseless destruction of Gush Katif, he voted for it in the Knesset.

From the Levy Commission on settlements in Judea and Samaria:

Jordan’s annexation was not accepted on any legal basis, and most Arab countries opposed it, until 1988 when Jordan renounced its claim to the territory.

Thus, the original legal status of the territory was restored, namely, a territory designated as a national home for the Jewish people, who had a “right of possession” to it during Jordanian rule while they were absent from the territory for several years due to a war imposed on them and have now returned to it.

Together with the international commitment to govern the territory and ensure the rights of the local population and public order, Israel also had the full right to claim sovereignty over these territories, and all Israeli governments believed so, but they chose not to annex them and take a pragmatic approach in order to allow for peace negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people and the Arab states.

Israel, therefore, did not see itself as an occupying power in the classical sense of the word, and so never saw itself committed to the Forth Geneva Convention in relation to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

As a result, Israel implemented a policy that allows Israelis to live voluntarily in the territory in accordance with laws prescribed by the Israeli government and supervised by the Israeli legal system, while their continued presence is subject to the outcome of the negotiation process.

In light of the aforesaid, we have no doubt that from the perspective of international law, the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is legal, and therefore we can proceed to discussing this question from the perspective of domestic law.

Instead of adopting the Levy Report (which he himself commissioned) Netanyahu preferred to sustain the approach of the Outpost Report, authored by the extreme radical leftist Talyah Sasson. In other words, he sustains Israel’s position that Judea and Samaria are “belligerently seized” – doublespeak for “occupied territory.” The significance of this is that Israel itself indicates that it is an occupier in its own land. By its own admission, Israel has placed itself under the jurisdiction of international law and invites decisions like the recent Security Council resolution upon itself. Once again, Netanyahu is attempting to maintain his famous “wait it out” policy and has transferred responsibility to the new Trump administration (except for his sanctions against Senegal).

The results will be similar to the Iran fiasco. No friend will do for you what you do not dare to do for yourself.


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Moshe Feiglin is the former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He heads the Zehut Party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.