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  • March 30, 2013

    Yesha Council is executing plan to kill the TSS

    By Joseph Braunold, +972

    Yesha Council has produced a   document titled, “Judea and Samaria – It’s Jewish, It’s Vital, It’s Realistic.”

    The following is a list of nine steps from which can see the underlying Jewish Home strategy during the coalition talks. Additionally we can start to make sense of some of the other Knesset moves and statements by members of the settler community on the national stage.

    Step 1: Renewing the strong belief in the supremacy of the Jewish claim to the Jewish Homeland and the justness of taking measures to maintain control of it

    In the coalition agreement between Likud and Jewish Home was a bill to make the Jewishness of the state supreme. This is a redo of the Avi Dichter bill from the last Knesset. No one is quite sure of which version will hit the Knesset, if it gets through Tzipi Livni, but it is part of a big move to decouple the concepts of Jewish and democratic state as equal and promote the former at the expense of the latter. The motivations behind this become clear in a strategy that is tied into biblical land claims and preparing for a situation where the civil rights of millions of Palestinians are going to have to be restricted.

    Step 2: Uniting the nation and its leadership

    Throughout the coalition talks, Bennett was the peacemaker between Yair Lapid and Benjamin Netanyahu and has pledged to be a leader for all of Israel, not just the settlers. His party has also taken over key ministries that can affect the cost of living across Israel. Bennett has been very keen to be seen as responding to the J14 protests and be a transformative politician who can transcend the tribal politics of the moment and be one of the new leaders of Israel alongside Lapid. By also slipping in the raising of the electoral threshold into the coalition agreement, he can ride the wave of Jewish Home’s current popularity and force others from his camp to work with him if they want any representation at all. By forcing people into a broad tent he gives himself a broader appeal and solidifies himself and by extension the Yesha Council firmly into the mainstream.

    Step 3: Military strength and control of the territory by the security establishment

    Though many ex-military and security men veer to the left after they retire from service (just see The Gatekeepers), the new Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, most definitely veers to the right and was the first choice of the settler community. Though the security establishment is pretty much entrenched in the West Bank already, Ehud Barak had been the thorn in the side of the Yesha Council. With him removed the security establishment can work in concert with the Yesha Council in helping it expand both from the Knesset and on the ground itself.

    Step 4: The elimination of terror and cessation of incitement in Palestinian schools

    While all Israelis want to see an end to terror and incitement, the previous government’s flat-out rejection of the State Department’s school textbook report demonstrates a complete unwillingness to examine the issue of incitement on both sides of the border. It is essential to demonize the Palestinian national narrative while maintaining that individual Palestinians are okay and stating that the settlements actually have had great relationships with the communities before the first Intifada.

    Step 5: Creating a situation where it becomes clear to the international community that another state west of the Jordan River is not viable

    The serious policy community is split about whether the two-state solution has already been killed by the settlements and the Yesha Council or if it is merely on life support. Needless to say, the Yesha Council is well on its way to pulling the plug. The new Deputy Foreign Minister, Ze’ev Elkin, already ascribes to this point of view. Though many advocates of one-state agree that the settlements have killed the two-state solution they do not share the Yesha Council’s vision of what a one-state solution would look like. The power and establishment will be with the Yesha Council and in doing so it will have a tremendous momentum on the ground when two-states is officially abandoned to fulfill its vision before anyone else gets a look in. Yes, Israel will lose friends and allies and there might be a brain drain that could seriously affect the economy. But I sadly have less faith that pressure will force Israel to give up its raison d’état of providing the Jewish people with self-defense and power by giving those they have been occupying full civic rights. The death of the two-state solution will mean the Yesha Council has won, and read the rest of their document to see how they view Palestinians.

    Step 6: The further immigration of one million Jews to Israel to secure a permanent Jewish majority in Israel

    In the coalition talks, Bennett managed to carve the Diaspora portfolio out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and into his own portfolio. The reason for this now becomes crystal clear, as he is desperate to get more Jews to immigrate. Bennett demanding this portfolio always seemed odd. The settlements are often the largest bone of contention between Israel and her Diaspora (amongst Jews who are engaged at least). Passing on this responsibility to the former general secretary of the Yesha Council looks on the surface to be a recipe for disaster. This step helps us understand the real consequence of why this demand was made. What will be interesting to see is how Bennett attempts to bring Diaspora Jews to Israel and how their aliyah will be tied to Step 7. Is the aim just to lock in the demographics regardless of where the Jews live or to get them to move to the West Bank and lock in the settlements? We will have to wait and see but watch to see where new job incentives will be made for new immigrants, as Bennett has the ability through Trade and Industry to create incentives where he chooses.

    Step 7: One million Jews in Judea and Samaria, tripling its Jewish population

    With the housing and trade ministries, Jewish Home can now start working on this. The proof will be in where the new low-income housing is built. Even if just restricted into the settlement blocs, if this plan is being followed the aim will be a massive increase in settlers. As with Step 6, we will have to see if aliyah and settlement are linked. President Bush (41) conditioned the aid to help resettle the Russian Jews on them not being housed in the West Bank. One other important step to remember is that Bennett received the public diplomacy portfolio as well. Through this he can push the settlements into the official Israeli government narrative both at home and abroad.

    Step 8: The creation of large residential areas surrounding the current communities of Judea and Samaria

    Housing, Trade, Knesset Finance chair – between these three portfolios and a willing defense minister, the sky is the limit for Step 8. I predict the concept of settlement blocs will expand and large scale projects will begin to be planned as expansions in key areas. Even more so then Ya’alon, Danny Danon is a particular fan of the Yesha Council and he is deputy defense minister.

    Step 9: The execution of a construction, development and economic plan for the million residents of Judea and Samaria

    The Jewish Home party has already indicated that it would rather release prisoners and transfer taxes to the PA than freeze settlement construction. Looking at this nine-step plan, it is easy to see why Bennett would rather give any other ‘confidence building measure’ than allow the slowing of the settler population. The one thing that the party cannot allow is a settlement freeze as it destroys the plan above.

    All of this should be seen as nothing less than a strategic effort to kill the two-state solution. Keep in mind that Prime Minister Netanyahu just committed his new government to two states for two peoples in his joint press conference with President Obama on Wednesday. Looking at how this is planned out, it is clear that the only thing that could stop this from happening is freezing settlement construction. The sad fact is that a settlement freeze has already been tossed by the US administration as a failed attempt.

    The Yesha Council is very open about its aims, objectives and methods. If people want to do more than pay lip service to the idea of two states, they must not only oppose the Yesha Council at every turn of this plan but offer their own step-by-step approach to how to create a two-state reality today. Though it is the establishment opinion that two states will happen, those opposing it literally are executing a plan to kill it. Those of us who wish to see it come about must equally set out a plan and today start building facts on the ground to make it so.

    Joel Braunold is the Strategic Partnerships Officer for the OneVoice Movement and a senior fellow at the Alliance for Youth Movements. He is a regular contributor to Haaretz Online and to the Open Zion Blog. This article was originally published on Ottomans and Zionists blog.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 7:13 am | 4 Comments »

    4 Comments to Yesha Council is executing plan to kill the TSS

    1. NormanF says:

      Good luck with it!

      I don’t see Netanyahu authorizing renewed Yesha construction over the next four years.

    2. Bernard Ross says:

      In my view the most important strategy should be the settlement of Jews in YS according to the treaties of san remo, LON mandate, UN charter art80. Global jewry(not to be confused with the sovereign state of Israel) has a continuing right which would be usurped by any TSS as the pals have demonstrated that any area under their control becomes Jew free. Therefore, a pal state would steal legal jewish rights to that land. The creation of a TSS would in fact be illegal. The state of Israel has a responsibility, during its occupation and administration of YS, to guarantee and “encourage the close settlement of Jews west of the Jordan River” according to international law, the settlement of Jews in YS; not for its own benefit of acquiring land but for the benefit of the beneficiaries: global jewry. I have never heard one reasonable legal argument refuting the legality: the internationals believe that repeating that it is illegal will make it so.. This is why the internationals fear settlement: precisely because they know it has no legal detraction. This legal principle precedes the tss and the state of Israel and is therefore superior to the creation of any pal state or autonomy. It was clearly established with the mandate that the occupier/administrator/trustee(UK) had this obligation. there are quarrels about sovereignty, about arab rights, etc. but no one has been able to establish the illegality of jewish settlement. INstead they advance the illegality of Israeli settlement in violation of GC, This is a red herring by making Israel and Jews synonymous. Therefore, I believe that this approach should be the main thrust and that it should not be confused with trying to come up with solutions regarding sovereignty, pal state etc. It must be established, as the paramount objective, that jewish settlement is legal, in guaranteed in international law to be encouraged and supercede any other conflicting objectives. All conflicting objectives can be held in abeyance until jewish settlement west of the river is achieved. This was the exact purpose fo the mandate and the expiration of the British trust cannot extinguish or cancel these rights.
      -the first step is a massive educational and legal campaign which repudiates any notion of illegality of jewish settlement in YS and re-establishes jewish settlement as an obligation an goal of any entity administrating the territory. this divorces jewish settlement rights from being linked and dependent on Israeli state rights and sovereignty. Israel becomes and administrator(as it currently is now)but begins to fulfill its duties towards global jewry.
      -the second step is to embark on a program which restores justice to the exercise of these rights and mitigates the damages to these rights caused by the Israeli and jordanian occupations of YS. An affirmative action plan should be implemented whose goal is to reverse the damage of the deprived rights during the israeli and jordanian occupations by adopting a program of massive and speedy settlement. This should be conducted in conjunction with a massive global alliyah campaign. Free land grants should be given to individual jews and jewish organizations similar to the US Homestead act in the 1800’s which created the land rush. this will help make up for the swindling of jewish rights by Israel, jordan and the international community since the creation of the state of Israel.
      -A massive global aliyah campaign focusing first on europe. This campaign should openly focus on the prevalent anti semitism, the financing of terrorism against jews by the diaspora jew’s “home” nation. It should expose the local govt and civil institutions anti Semitism at the same time as offering the jews a better final solution than that last offered by europe and that which the europeans are currently offering the jews. It will have the double purpose of inviting aliya and exposing euro anti semitism. this shoulld be done in all countries with increasing anti semitism. the host country can have the opportunity to prove to its jews that the assertions are untrue through action. It will be difficult to objectivley disprove to eurojews that there is any future in europe.I beleive that focusing on what to do with the arabs(their rights, their state, etc)will breed dissension between jews.
      Focusing on jewish rights for religious, historical and legal reasons can unite a wider spectrum of jews. Further, it is important to demonstrate that the denial of these rights is immoral and illegal: that giving to the pals by denying the jews cannot be acceptable. It should also be exposed that the state of Israel has no legal right to swindle global jewry of its YS settlement rights because they perceive it to be in the interests of their state(its a violation of trust law and principle) The state is abusing its position of pwer and squandering the assets of the beneficiary of the trust fo its own interests. It was already accepted by all, in treaty, that it was the jews who had the first priority west of the jordan river. Therefore, Jewish settlement is number one; if jewish settlement suceeds then all else will follow.

    3. Bert says:

      The best solution is not a two state solution. The best solution is peaceful resettlement of most of the Israeli Arabs with incentives and compensation. Many Arabs are already open to consider this offer which is opposed by the U.S., Arab leaders and the Israeli left – all of which have their own agendas. This effort must begin with Jewish leaders ending their falsehoods about Israel as “occupying” Arab land.
      The recent book, “The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel” by Salomon Benzimra (available as an ebook on Amazon) is a valuable educational asset. It is extensively researched, included many visual links and presents an airtight legal case for Israel that demolishes all Arab claims to one inch of Israel. The failure of the Jewish establishments in both Israel and the U.S. to even look at this book is evidence of ongoing moral rot within the Jewish leadership.

    4. Bernard Ross says:

      The sad fact is that a settlement freeze has already been tossed by the US administration as a failed attempt.

      the author is an ignorant anti jew. The ONLY people who have been given an internationally binding legal commitment to be “encouraged to close legal settlement west of the Jordan River” are the Jewish people. This is not the state of Israel, who has sought every opportunity to abuse its power as occupier of YS by pretending to represent the Jewish people to whom this right is given. Israel has obscured this right by obfuscating its role so that we do not know what role it is pretending to play. Is it pretending to be the successor to the Jewish agency and therefore the representative of global jewry? If this is its’ pretense then it is swindling the beneficiary of its only legal asset: the right of settlement west of the jordan river. If its pretense is to be the successor to the UK as the mandate trustee then it is guilty of a conflict of interest by holding its own perceived interest as superior to the interest of the beneficiary: the jewish people. Israel has no right to make its sovereignty issues a basis for squandering the rights of global jewry. If it does not want to extend its sovereignty at the very least it should operate under international law and during its occupation facilitate the settlement of jews which has remained unfulfilled during its occupation. In this regard Israel is no better than Jordan in depriving jews of their rights. The rights were given to Jewry and not to the state of Israel. The state of Israel appears to be acting illegally in obstruction of jewish rights and should be compelled to cease obstructing and instead coerced to fulfill its internationally binding legal obligation. If not it should appoint or oversee the election of a separate representative for global jewry and, while it remains in occupation, fulfill its legal obligation to the jewish settlement. The state of Israel has twisted jewish rights into a scheme of bartering for land for the state of Israel. Jewish rights and Israeli rights are, in law, separate issues and the mixing up of these issues is de-legitimizing and obliterating the still existent jewish settlement rights. There is no greater scandal than the swindle of the jewish people by the Israeli govts in succession. They arrogantly believe that what they perceive as in the state’s interest justifies any swindling of global jewish interests. They can have self-determination for their interests without squandering jewish rights.