Trump is poised to make a big decision in the next couple of days regarding the so-called ‘annexation’ of Judea and Samaria, otherwise known as the West Bank:
JPOST – US President Donald Trump is poised to make a final decision on Tuesday as to whether and how Israel should apply sovereignty to parts of the West Bank.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman headed to Washington, DC for a meeting with special adviser to the president Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and special representative for international negotiations Avi Berkowitz to discuss how to move forward with the Israeli plan to apply sovereignty to parts of the West Bank as early as July 1.
Trump is expected to join the meeting, as well and make a determination.
The US “Vision for Peace” would allow Israel to apply its civil laws to 30% of the West Bank, including settlements and the Jordan Valley, which is currently governed by the military. The rest of the West Bank would be designated for a future Palestinian state.
The White House still hopes to see the two Israeli leaders decide together on which settlements Israel should apply its sovereignty over, because they think the new situation will have greater permanence if it is viewed as having support from a broad political spectrum in Israel. However, the peace team plans to discuss what to do if Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu do not find common ground.
Netanyahu has said he wants to apply Israeli law to the full 30% of the West Bank allotted by the Trump plan.
Gantz has called the Trump plan a “historic opportunity,” but has strong reservations about many of its details, and seeks to reduce the area in which Israel would extend its sovereignty. He and Netanyahu have discussed a phased sovereignty plan.
This really is a big deal as it will likely have repercussions around the Middle East, just as everything Israel does when it exerts its own sovereignty.
Mark Levin weighed in on this today, explaining how Trump should not dither on this:
Gantz is Biden’s guy. His top campaign adviser was an Obama hack. Gantz is trying to delay the implementation of the Trump plan in hopes that Trump is defeated. He’s doing the bidding of the left and Democrat Party, not to mention organizations hostile to Israel such as the EU and UN. He’s another ex-general, much like a few of our own ex-generals, who is quite liberal.
Gantz must not have veto power over Netanyahu, who embraced the Trump plan and won re-election, in part, by campaigning on it. Netanyahu is extremely popular in Israel today. Gantz is not and has minimal political clout as his party only has 15 of 120 Knesset members.
Even more, the administration negotiated this agreement and needs to execute it without further delay and changing conditions. I don’t want to see the president’s efforts thwarted now, and the dispiriting of important parts of his political base. There’s no reason to dither. Besides, this is morally and historically the right thing to do.
Moreover, Israel’s not “annexing” anything. The land designated in the agreement has belonged to the Jews from r well over 3000 years. They’re the indigenous people of Judea and Samaria. And the agreement focuses on only 30% of that area, where over 500,000 Jews are living, and the Jordan Valley. This is a matter of right-to-return and sovereignty, not annexation. As I’ve said before, you don’t annex you’re own land.
Finally, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states will not turn on Israel despite their propaganda to the contrary as their existential enemy is Iran. They need Israel to help protect them from Iran more than Israel needs them. And this isn’t about their land and security anyway. It’s about Israel’s.
I love what Levin says about ‘annexation’, how this is not really annexation because it has been Israel’s sovereign territory for ever 3,000 years. Which is why I called it ‘Judea and Samaria’ in the title.