Edelstein: Internal Criticism Promotes World Condemnation
Information and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) warned on Tuesday that internal criticism over moves made by Israel's government encourages condemnation from the world.
Edelstein, who spoke at the Women in Green movement's Conference on the Application of Israeli Sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, predicted that the government will be criticized from three directions if it decides to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.
"The radical left will claim that we lost our heads and must evict all the settlement areas, and the pragmatic left will attack us because we acted against the will of the world," Edelstein predicted, adding, "The right will also attack over such action and tell us that we betrayed Israel and formally waivered our rights to the Land of Israel."
He said he believed the condemnations from within would lead the world to condemn Israel as well, adding that Israel must change the terminology it uses in its discourse with the world in order to get the point across.
"We cannot say settlers, territories and West Bank", said Edelstein. "When leaders talk with their counterparts around the world they have to mention that the Land of Israel belongs to us through our own right. We did not expel any Palestinian state that was here before, because there was never a Palestinian state here."
At the same conference, Likud Beytenu Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin said that before the state imposes Israeli law on Judea and Samaria, it should make sure that it is in control of Afula and Lod.
“Let us ensure that we have full sovereignty within the 1948 armistice lines” before attempting to extend sovereignty to the areas liberated in the 1967 Six Day War, Feiglin said, recounting his own experience from Tuesday morning's visit to the Temple Mount, where he was detained and ejected for bowing in prayer during a visit to the Temple Mount.
“Go to the Temple Mount and you will see Israeli police quaking in their boots from fear of the Waqf. We do not even have sovereignty over many parts of Jerusalem,” Feiglin said.
Dr. Alan Baker, an expert on international law and a member of the committee headed by Judge Edmond Levy recommending the extension of Israeli law to Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, said at the same conference that Israel would be fully in its rights to do so.