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Op-Ed

We are now facing the State of Israel’s “Day of Atonement”

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Orit Struk in a panel discussion on the subject of sovereignty:

The concern: Trump will propose a Palestinian state in exchange for sovereignty over the blocs of settlement.

“Election day is like Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement”, stated former Knesset member and director of the Land of Israel Lobby Orit Struk in her talk during the special panel discussion that the Sovereignty Movement held in Jerusalem this past Thursday.

“I believe that in the next term and the following years we will take the idea of sovereignty forward. We will not carve up the area – not physically and not intrinsically”, said Struk, and presented a number of guiding principles in the political and policy context regarding the progress of the vision of sovereignty up to its implementation.

Orit Struk emphasized that she and her party support the resolution for sovereignty over the entire territory, “but we are willing to begin on a smaller scale”, she said, mentioning the resolution of the Likud Central Committee for the application of sovereignty over the communities of Judea and Samaria as the first step of sovereignty. In her view, this first step has a number of important aspects. She said:

“Sovereignty over the communities is an insurance policy against evacuation, politically or legislatively. Once Israeli law is applied over any place in the Land of Israel, the place becomes protected by the Basic Law of Referendum and cannot be transferred to foreign hands, except with the agreement of government, the Knesset and referendum. Netanyahu has declared that no community will be uprooted and he must at least anchor this in the legislation of the status of the communities”.

Struk also added that even evacuation because of legal reasons will be prevented with the application of sovereignty over the communities because once Israeli law is applied, it will not be possible to destroy or uproot a place if it can be proven that a building or a neighborhood is built by mistake on private land, but at the most, damages will be paid to the owner of the land as is acceptable in every other place in the State of Israel. “Today”, Struk says, “expulsion is done because of the High Court’s ultra-radical interpretation of international law”.

As mentioned, Struk views the approaching elections as a fateful moment for the future of Israel and the future of the settlement enterprise, among other reasons because of Trump’s upcoming plan. “We have succeeded to a significant degree to raise consciousness of the need for the application of sovereignty as was proven in recent surveys. Currently there are very large segments of the population that support the application of sovereignty. The fear is that Netanyahu, together with Trump, will want to lead a withdrawal with sovereignty in a certain part, in the blocs of settlement, etc. as a sort of compensation to Israeli public opinion for the withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. In my opinion this is what is in the Trump plan”, Struk surmises. “It is very dangerous. It is inconceivable that in exchange for sovereignty in the blocs of settlement, we will withdraw from even one centimeter of the Land of Israel, not from the ideological aspect and not in the practical-security point of view”.

On the matter of the security aspect of withdrawal, Struk mentions a forgotten detail from the days preceding the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip: “The Disengagement plan that was approved by the government on Gaza did not include the uprooting of communities and stated that Gaza would be demilitarized. This is the way the revised Disengagement plan was worded after Sharon’s failure in the referendum among members of the Likud “. This data point indicates the way how, in actuality, it is not possible to enforce disarmament in a territory that has been evacuated and transferred into foreign hands.

In light of all this, “We must assure that a government under Netanyahu’s leadership will arise, but also that to his right, there will be a very strong political force that will not allow him to do this terrible thing”.

Struk also told the attendees to the panel discussion about a meeting that was held between the GOC and the heads of the YESHA (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) Council after the murderous terror attack at the Ariel Junction, where the head of the Kiryat Arba Council asked again and again why terror is not eradicated  from its root but instead, they deal with terrorists only locally – ‘they deal with mosquitos instead of drying the swamp’. Struk mentioned that after the abduction of the three youths, the IDF began a comprehensive campaign against Hamas, shut down the organization’s television station, closed down all of the Hamas institutions including the summer camps and the pharmacies, arrested hundreds of activists for being members of the organization and more. These actions do not happen anymore, so Liebman asked the GOC why such serious and comprehensive actions are not taken against terror.

“After Liebman insisted on asking and the general did not answer him, the head of the Civil Administration told him that they should not complain to them because the approach coming from the political echelon is not to conquer terror, but rather to manage the conflict. We have not received an order on resolution”, says Struk, stating: “The way to resolve the conflict is sovereignty. The conflict stems from their opposition to our being here, and as long as the possibility exists, we will not resolve the conflict. Resolution can only be through progress toward sovereignty – which will inform the Arabs that we are here to stay. With the repeated withdrawals and negotiations on the Land we are actually saying that we will soon be leaving. Therefore, we must stop talk of withdrawals and progress in the application of sovereignty, even if it is in partial steps”.

She sealed her words with a comparison between the days before the elections and the days of preparing for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. “It is now the eve of the Day of Atonement for the State of Israel. The Day of Atonement is really like the Day of Atonement when every person’s fate is determined. Also in the elections, the fate of the State is determined – whether to withdrawals or to sovereignty. This time things are even more fateful than in previous times, because we have on one hand, the “Balagantz Party”, which wants withdrawals, and on the other hand, Netanyahu, who has never retracted things that he said in the Bar Ilan speech and wants to divide the Land, as it is defined in the Trump plan. Since it is so fateful and so similar to the preparations before the Day of Atonement, we must act to bring as many people as possible to vote for the Right, for a better future for the State of Israel”

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