Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin and other right-wing leaders praised President Donald Trump Tuesday and called on their colleagues in the Israeli government to work with the new administration quickly to annex wide swaths of Judea and Samaria.
Speaking at a conference entitled “An End to Occupation” at Bar Ilan University, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that 75 percent of the Israeli public supports annexing the territories and that half-a-century after the Six Day War, the time has come to stop replace the language of “occupation” with “sovereignty.”
“For so many years we have foresworn the language of justice in favor of the language of security,” Hotovely said. “But the reason we settle in Judea and Samaria is because it is our land. We can’t justify our presence in Ranana if we aren’t prepared to justify our presence in Ofra, Eli and Jerusalem.”
Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Zeev Elkin stressed that a majority of Israelis support the annexation of Judea and Samaria and noted bitterly that since the application of Israeli law to the Golan Heights in 1981, successive goats have taken no steps to replicate that move in other areas of the country. He also said that a combination of circumstances make the current time ripe for making that policy move today.
“There is widespread consensus large portions of Judea and Samaria and it is time to move forward… We are in a very dramatic stage regarding Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians are racking up success after success against us [but] we don’t give enough weight to the fact that the whole existence of the PA is a reality that won’t be here for long. The real issue we should be discussing is what happens the day the PA falls. It will not outlive Abu Mazen – [after he dies the PA] will fall apart due to power struggles.
“Shortly after that – the next day or week, it may even survive a few months maybe a day, a week, even months. But eventually the Palestinian state dream will fade, and formal responsibility for those areas will turn to us,” Elkin said.
Elkin said the absence of Palestinian self-rule will present a challenge for Israel and ruled out military rule over the Palestinians. But he said the Trump administration presents a radically different approach to Israel than the previous government in Washington, a fact that works in Israel’s favor as the Palestinian Authority collapses over the coming years.
“[When the PA collapses], talk about sovereignty will be the only option. It could happen in the days of the current American administration because I don’t give this process more then a few years.
“There was no way the last administration would go for anything the Palestinians didn’t like. I I was confident the American government would represent Palestinian interests strongly, and I did not expect their approval to apply the Israel law. But I am more confident with the new administration, and I think we are starting to move forward on this issue. What we need is to apply sovereignty and cancel the Oslo format
“We need to realize the sovereignty dream, and stand strongly for out interests in Judea and Samaria,” Elkin said.
By: Andrew Friedman