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17 Sivan, 5782 - June 16, 2022 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly
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OPINION
Sovereignty vs. Politics (Guess Who Wins!)

by Yitzchok Roth


3

Former U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who served during the term of President Trump, has just published a book summing up his stormy term of office. He tells of Trump's desire to impose Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, just as he recognized Israeli authority in the Golan Heights, as part of the 'deal of the century' which he devised with his son-in-law Kushner. Israel was planned to extend its power at first on the Jordan Valley and further, over parts of Judea and Samaria which contain large Jewish settlements. So who torpedoed it?

At first, it was Benny Ganz, Security Minister and deputy prime minister. Friedman writes that during one talk, he asked Ganz and Ashkenazi, then chairman of Knesset Foreign Committee and Security: "Over what percentage of area are you prepared to extend sovereignty during the first stage?" Ganz replied, "I will give you an answer when Netanyahu supplies me with guarantees that he will keep his agreement between us (of rotation of the office of prime minister)." First politics, then sovereignty."

Amongst all of the unending political events, Friedman was astonished to learn that the two heads of Judea-Samaria, Yossi Dagan and David Elchayeini, were adamantly opposed to this revolutionary plan in which so much effort was invested. They claim that it would create a terrorist Palestinian state. Leakage to the press was full of lies and distortions. Some of the Judea-Samaria heads went so far as to appeal to Trump's power base among the Evangelists that they inform Trump of their opposition.

When Friedman sought to discuss the matter with the two heads, he discovered to his dismay that neither of them knew English and they hadn't even read the program which hadn't been translated. Friedman exploded, "You leak blatant lies to the media about the program, deceiving the public, spreading venomous accusations about the good friend you had in the White House, and have never even read the text?"

It continued with Avigdor Leiberman who left the Netanyahu government, preventing it from having a stable majority to implement the plan, and continued with Ganz and Shaked, ending up with Gideon Saar. All of them negated the "deal of the century" and the last chance which Israel had of receiving American support for imposing its sovereignty over parts of Judea-Samaria. And so ended the era. The Democrats came into power together with Joe Beiden, the man who plans to visit Israel in a month, possibly making a stopover in the Palestinian Authority, and promise it that in the future they are the ones who will maintain autonomy over the entire Judea-Samaria region.

(In truth many right wing people do not favor Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria saying that it will cause much more trouble than it is worth. For example, boundaries would be fixed and many areas may have a very hard time expanding.)

 

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