There must be accelerated and frequent action in and out of the Knesset, until the “historical crack” is found, through which the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria can be advanced.
In a conversation with ‘Sovereignty,’ Israel Prize Laureate Geula Cohen alerts and states that “every day that passes without the application of sovereignty advances the establishment of the Palestinian state.”
“The correct and proper solution is Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria,” she says and calls for extra-parliamentary action in addition to the parliamentary action to advance the idea. “The road to achieving this doesn’t pass only through conventions and committees but also through parliamentary preparation and waiting for the appropriate historical opportunity to pass the sovereignty bill. There needs to be a group of MKs that will present the bill and bring it up at the right time and pass it in Knesset. That requires parliamentary work.”
“There is no group in the Knesset currently dedicated to this purpose. This must be their official goal, a goal which they push and raise in Knesset, even if the bill fails again and again,” she says and recalls the days when she passed the Golan Heights bill and the Jerusalem bill. Then too the bill passed after failing and being rejected and waiting for the right time.
“The infrastructure must be prepared and then the matter must be raised on the agenda every single day, because you never know when it’s this bill’s day or that. When I tried to raise the Jerusalem bill I went from MK to MK to prepare for the political moment. As long as there are leaders like Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar the matter won’t come off the agenda. They stand guard and I see them looking for the historical crack in order to raise the matter on the agenda.
But that isn’t enough. It requires work inside the Knesset as well, and there MK Orit Struck from Hebron and others are acting from the inside.”
Nonetheless when she looks at the structure of the Knesset, Geula Cohen is convinced that the current political reality will make the task easier than ever. Netanyahu’s public opinions regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state don’t particularly impress her. She estimates that MKs will be able to create a majority which will pass the sovereignty bill and turn it into a done deal which will be forced on Netanyahu. “Politics is about seizing opportunities. There are times where that which was impossible yesterday is possible today. The world didn’t want a Jewish state either, so what? If the MKs get a majority it will be a done deal.”
“Netanyahu already spoke of 2 states so it will be difficult to pull the move off through Netanyahu himself, but today there are a few fighter MKs that I don’t think will let him pass it. Netanyahu himself doesn’t dare raise it on the agenda, and why doesn’t he pass it or raise it on the agenda? Because he can’t, and maybe he doesn’t really want to either.”
In regards to the issue of the status of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria the day after sovereignty is applied, Cohen is convinced the autonomy solution will work. In her opinion the Arabs themselves will also eventually agree to such a generous offer like that. “We have to give them the option to rule themselves in a manner that will allow for national existence, cultural existence, their own education system, everything besides government and security. Eventually Palestinian parties can also be persuaded that they are receiving something just short of a state. There are parties we can cooperate with. When I raised the Jerusalem bill there was also turmoil and chaos. People warned that a war will break out and eventually it turned out that the Arabs took it much easier than we had warned ourselves.”