Netanyahu can’t hide behind US reluctance

T. Belman. Its in israel’s interest to make this move independent of the Deal of the Century and without Trump’s support.  That way she won’t embroil herself in the commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state.

There is no way that Trump would force Israel to recind, especially with the Nov 3 elections coming up soon.  He can’t afford to allienate his Evangelical base.

If sovereignty over the Jordan Valley is vital, we must establish it whether the Trump administration publicly endorses the move or not.


Many in Israel and around the world believe that the government’s plan to extend sovereignty to the Jordan Valley is a matter of seizing an opportunity, but that is not the case, as this move serves an imperative Israeli security interest.

This issue first emerged in 2001, when the Palestinians responded to the peace proposal put forth by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak by launching a wave of terrorist attacks. Between 2005 and 2016, the Palestinians went on to refuse peace offers presented by prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry and US President Barack Obama.

The Arab Spring that raged through the Middle East in 2011 and the chaos that followed, illustrated the geopolitical fragility of the countries around us, and further underscored the need for sovereignty in the Jordan Valley.

Only a fool believes that the times do not change, especially when faced with the bloodlust and anarchy plaguing the Arab world since 2011. Israel must erase from the international community’s memory the impressions left by the fact that Barak and Olmert were willing to cede the Jordan Valley, and the best way to do so is by simply doing the opposite: extending sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and sparing no effort in the diplomatic arena to establish it as fait accompli.

This move must be made regardless of whether US President Donald Trump – or his successor – endorses it or not. Once it’s done, the US will grin and bear it, just like President Ronald Reagan did when Israel declared itself sovereign over the Golan Heights in 1981.

Israel must defend itself against the toxic quagmire around it by creating impenetrable borders in the western Negev, the Arava, the Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights, and the Galilee area; and we certainly cannot afford a Palestinian state in the middle of the country to serve as a conduit for terrorism.

A Palestinian border in the Jordan Valley will be permeable to nefarious subversion efforts by regional powers such as Turkey or Iran. Moreover, if for the sake of serving essential defense interests Israel finds that it has no other choice but to limit future Palestinian sovereignty – it must do so. It must do so or be doomed.

When it comes to immigration and terrorism, the architects of the Oslo Accords were reckless. While the Palestinian “right of return” was limited to the future Palestinian state, this was bound to see a massive spillover of Arab immigrants into Israel, and there is no doubt we would have also seen a spike in terrorist attacks.

Relying on the government to always succeed in sealing off Israel’s borders is akin to placing a losing bet. Allowing a future Palestinian state to control the influx of immigrants coming to it is a dangerous trap with very narrow margins of error. The Palestinian leadership would thus be able to flood Israel with desperate immigrants and refugees fleeing war zones. This is another reason why extending sovereignty to the Jordan Valley is so vital.

In 2014, the Knesset enacted Basic Law: Referendum, which requires an 80-MK majority or a referendum to relinquish sovereignty of any part of Israel. This law would anchor sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, making the move more resistant to external international pressure.

Netanyahu will not be able to hide behind the reluctance suddenly hampering Washington’s support for this move for very long. Minimizing the damage done by the Oslo Accords, as well as preventing Iran from getting dangerously close to Israel’s borders, will be what defined his leadership.

Israel has never been one to rely on others for its protection, and we will not begin doing so now. If sovereignty over the Jordan Valley is vital, we must establish it, whether the Trump administration endorses the move or not, and regardless of whether the generals heading Blue and White have succeeded in imparting their own hesitant security conservatism on Washington.

There is a majority in the government and in the Knesset for extending Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu must not shy away from it now.

July 15, 2020 | 13 Comments » | 506 views

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13 Comments / 13 Comments

  1. Why is no one discussing the High Court elephant in the room? Why keep discussing measures that the “Supremes” are certainto veto?

  2. It is a throwback to 1996 when Netanyahu showed spinelessness. Why is it happening again? The 30 % is there to take with NO penalty. What happened to the brave fearless Israelis like the ones at Entebbe…this one is a no brainer. it appears that is lost on the current government. I would think Don is sitting there going privately to himself, just do it.

  3. Bibi ran three times on saying he will apply sovereignty.

    He needs to do it this or next month at the latest.

    He can do this by just letting the Katz & Smotrich joint bill work its way up to the three readings in the Knesset. If this bill comes through it likely will pass with up to 70 votes more or less. Pompeo and Friedman are on record as saying Israel has the right to do this.

    I actually think Trump will support this as it is in his best interest politically. He needs every evangelical vote he can get. Right now only 79% of the GOP voters are backing Trump. According to Rasmussen, Trump is only down three points on the Wednesday weekly report. Last week he was down 10 points.

  4. @ greenrobot:
    Maybe N. doesn’t want to do it because Trump’s plan comes packaged with “painful concessions” and N., true to type, doesn’t want to either become a traitor (allow for “painful concessions”) or to antagonize the United States (by applying sovereignty based on the Katz & Smotrich’s plan – which doesn’t include these concessions).
    The result is a stalemate.

  5. Doesn’t anyone suspect the writing on the wall? Could this not be the cunning of Trump to push Netanyahu to apply sovereignty, letting him off the hook to abide by his approval.

  6. “Elephant in the room?” “Writing on the wall?” Are there also “skeletons in the closet?” It sounds like Bibi needs an interior decorator.

  7. @ goldi:
    If N. applies sovereignty based on Trump’s plan, it will result in land giveaways, a new Arab state, a very probable expulsion of 50,000 Jewish settlers, and Israel in indefensible borders.
    At this point a few people have figured this out, probably because the US started pushing the “painful concessions”.
    If Katz-Smotrich’s plan somehow makes it through the Knesset – how are they going to enforce it?
    For the last 20 years Israel consented to the Arabs building as much as they wanted aided by the EU while freezing the Jewish settlement construction – HOW EXACTLY the Katz-Smotrich plan is going to be enforced by the IDF, etc.?
    Are they going to demolish all the illegal Arab construction that’s been going on for decades?
    It may start with high hopes an end up the same as the Trump’s version.
    The best choice is still, I think, to quit all discussions and finally realize that Judea and Samaria is 100% Israel’s and to start acting accordingly.
    An even better choice would be to pay the Arabs to move to Jordan and to help Jordan absorb them.

  8. Steve Pieczenik says Trump will go after all Mossad operatives involved in 9/11 and pedophile dossiers Mossad has on US citizens if Netanyahu doesn’t negotiate with the fakestinians. Is this why Netanyahu is dragging his feet when time is running out?

  9. @ mirib:

    Maybe Trump would like to also do the Israeli citizens a favour by including the Mossad criminals who tortured those poor kids and and faked up forced confessions of the Duma murders conspiracy..

  10. Reader Said:

    For the last 20 years Israel consented to the Arabs building as much as they wanted aided by the EU while freezing the Jewish settlement construction – HOW EXACTLY the Katz-Smotrich plan is going to be enforced by the IDF, etc.?
    Are they going to demolish all the illegal Arab construction that’s been going on for decades?

    I think the answer is no. But, one thing they could do that might be Supreme Court proof, is to remove all restrictions on Jewish settlement, immediately. Otherwise, the most important things that need to be done is is to rein in the power of the courts, by giving the Knesset over-ride powers, make the Attorney General and all cabinet officials appointees of the Prime MInister sworn to defend his policies on pain of being fired by him. Israel also needs a written Constitution and strict constructionist judges. If need be, Basic Law could be ratified as the Constitution and then procedures for amending it put in place. And, of course, continue to move authority to lower courts over land disputes.

  11. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    “remove …restrictions” I think they have some sort of a complicated bureaucracy in place where there doesn’t have to be actual restrictions or freeze on settlement construction but no construction can take place because everyone is waiting for everyone else to OK it or the conditions aren’t exactly right, etc. (and the settlers just go along with it and wait patiently for the nod from above).

  12. @ Edgar G.:
    If you are going to have someone prosecuted at least make it from the agency involved in the situation is was not the Mossad. But then what are couple of details like slamming the wrong agency. Shin Bet (Internal Security Agency) is not the same as the Mossad (Foreign Intelligence Agency. But what are details in blind prosecutions.

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