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.
By Avi Bareli, ISRAEL HAYOM
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.