Sovereignty in the Jordan Valley must come first

Historic decisions may require careful consideration, but they also require courage and determination.

By Nadav Shragai, ISRAEL HAYOM

Is Israel really hesitating to grab the opportunity presented by the “deal of the century”? There are troubling signs that this might be the case.

First, the plan to apply sovereignty to large parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley involved 30% of the territory. Then came the idea of extending sovereignty in phases – a bad idea that only invites round of violence and terrorism. Now, it appears we’ve sunk even lower, as Arab officials have said that the sovereignty bid will exclude the Jordan Valley, and any move made in Judea and Samaria will only be symbolic.

Historic decisions may require careful consideration, but they also require courage and determination.

The US Middle East peace plan is not without its faults but Israel should have seized the opportunity and immediately apply sovereignty to the 30% the Americans suggested. But if that is not in the cards, Israel should start by extending sovereignty to the Jordan Valley first and shelve the plan to do the same with respect to the large settlement blocs.

The reason or this is simple: The greater Jerusalem area, Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel will all eventually come under Israeli sovereignty – there’s a public consensus about that, one even the international community understands that, albeit it will never publicly admit it.

This is not the case for the Jordan Valley, which does not enjoy any sort of consensus. Former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak have negated the idea that the Jordan Valley is vital to Israel’s security needs, and two American administrations, one Republican and one Democrat attempted to undermine Israel’s hold of the area.

Moreover, unlike Judea and Samaria, the Israeli government itself has neglected to encourage the settlement enterprise in the area and has refrained from making it a bona fide settlement bloc.

This is why extending Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley is urgent. The smaller communities in Judea and Samaria need it to anchor the sovereignty bid. The larger settlement blocs can wait.

June 30, 2020 | 6 Comments » | 367 views

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6 Comments / 6 Comments

  1. Israel in reality is not giving up anything when applying sovereignty on 30% of Judea/Samaria. The IDF stays where it is and has total access as now to all of Judea/Samaria.

    The Arabs live there now and will live there tomorrow. No one is moving Arabs out in a large fashion unless less there is a large war in reality. So this allows for Arab self government on a municipal level and for them to be demilitarized. So eventually according to the Trump plan unless the Arabs demilitarize Gaza and agree to a slew of concessions (that they will not make) Israel will be able to apply sovereignty to more of Area C in the future. Israel is not giving anything up, it is only apply civil law for Jews already living in Judea/Samaria plus the Jordan Valley. This changes the parameters of discussion for the future nd clearly indicates Israel is staying in Judea/Samaria permanently.

  2. Fully agree with Bear Klein. IDF is there now and there to stay. However, allowing the Jewish villages and towns to depend on Israeli law to decide their issues is a massive improvement over the current situation. Actually, I don’t even understand why “annexation” is even mentioned. Apply civil law to Israeli towns and regions and call it something else.

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