Is Israel planning a unilateral withdrawal in the West Bank?


According to “Makor Rishon” newspaper, Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that for Israel to maintain its Jewish character, it would have to reach “a separation from the Palestinians.”
Netanyahu Elkin

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) and Deputy Minister Ze’ev Elkin attend the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on Monday. Photo: REUTERS
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left Knesset members in shock this past Monday by suggesting that Israel would have to “separate” from the Palestinians, according to a report which appears in Friday editions of the nationalist-religious newspaper Makor Rishon.

According to the report, which was written by the newspaper’s political commentator, Ze’ev Kam, Netanyahu told lawmakers serving on the prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that for Israel to maintain its Jewish character, it would have to reach “a separation from the Palestinians.”

Kam quotes unnamed members of Knesset who were present at the meeting as saying that Netanyahu left some of them “stunned,” since they could not recall the premier ever using the word “separation.”

Recently, Netanyahu has indicated a willingness to consider unilateral steps in the wake of aborted peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which led some lawmakers to speculate that the prime minister may be considering a unilateral withdrawal.

Knesset members from both the Right and the Left sought clarifications from Netanyahu regarding what he meant by “separation,” though none was forthcoming, Makor Rishonreported.

Indeed, during his session before the committee, Netanyahu ruled out discussions with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.

“We will not talk to a government in which Hamas is taking part,” the premier told the panel.

It was after Netanyahu was asked about the government’s intentions in the wake of the breakdown of negotiations that he dropped a bombshell, according to Makor Rishon.

“I don’t want one state from the Jordan [River] to the [Mediterranean] Sea,” the premier is quoted as saying. “Even if the demographic balance doesn’t change to our detriment and there is a Jewish majority, it is still obvious that we need to have a Jewish majority that is overwhelming and for that state to be democratic.”

“And that is why we need to come to a separation,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister then began to spell out the diplomatic dividends that Israel would reap in such a scenario. “That way, we would be ensured of a Jewish majority and we would also have some wiggle room with some of the Arab countries for a certain period of time.”

At the conclusion of the session, some lawmakers came away quite confused.

“Netanyahu spoke of the need for separation just after he made clear that there will be no negotiations with the Palestinians in light of the latest circumstances,” said one MK who was present at the session. “It is impossible not to wonder whether this was Netanyahu’s opening salvo [of a campaign for] unilateral separation from the Palestinians, especially when he made these comments after MKs asked him explicitly about unilateral measures.”

“Notice something else,” the MK told Makor Rishon. “That is the exact same terminology used by Ariel Sharon when he began to move toward the disengagement plan in Gaza.”

June 6, 2014 | 4 Comments »

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  1. In my view BB does not represent annexing or settling more than the existing major settlement blocks. He paints the retention of those, already assumed to be retained,as an achievement of his. The pals cannot agree to anything but if BB withdraws, calling it annexation, unilaterally they will be happy to get something for nothing, just like gaza.

    Any annexation, separation or withdrawal which is not at least all of C and all of Jerusalem is merely a confidence trick already agreed between BB, the foreigners,GCC and Abbas. The indicator will be whether it is ALL of C minimum or just the major blocks that everyone already knew would be kept. BB is adept at the magic of illusion, the peanut shell game, the con, the sting. It will be painted as strong zionist reaction just like the 38 units disguised as 1800 just announced.

    All this while never mentioning the legality and legitimacy of Jewish settlement in YS, I wonder why?

  2. the penny drops; BB, livni, barak…..all the same plan and the same agenda.
    Any unilateral annexation will at most only be the major settlement blocks with the other settlements remaining until IDF withdraws from Jordan Valley years down the road.
    Same plans, same agenda, same puppet masters.
    “They know best whats good for everyone” is the indicator of who they are and what they plan. Platforms and parties are irrelevant, just vehicles and means to ends. What’s the diff between BB and barak?

  3. “Notice something else,” the MK told Makor Rishon. “That is the exact same terminology used by Ariel Sharon when he began to move toward the disengagement plan in Gaza.”

    BB was an initial supporter of Sharon and declared sharon’s disengagement plan in Gaza as “Interesting” When he finnally left the Sharon government it was so late. In that his leaving had no influence in determining the outcome. It was a political ploy to set himself up as the leader of the opposition in the next elections. No one in Israel was fooled by that maneuver and he was highly criticized at the time as doing too little and too late. Earlier BB had tried to outmaneuver Sharon with a Palace /putsch that Sharon deflected and left BB almost alone with egg on his face along with a lot of cold sweat. After that BB became placid and docile and A COMPLIANT LOYAL SHARON ACCOLADE: Sharon reveled with unhidden glee in seeing BB squirm in front of the whole country and the world. It was not one of BB’s finest hours (sic).

    Now for BB to Drag out of the closet these old leftist mantras to justify pursuing those failed policies of Olmert, Sharon and Barak at this point is interesting.

    Whether he has always favored such a poliyc of Unilateral separation or has fallen back-on them due to not having any political answers can be debated but I sincerely do believe he is contemplating such a move sooner or later.

    The Palis and Israels enemies will now feel embolden and BB will retreat on all fronts because that’s who he is.

    Seems Ya’alon has become BB’s and Obama’s loyal Sancho Panza flunky and potentially even more dangerous for Israel than is BB.

    Israel needs to clean house to save herself from these miscreants.