Bar Ilan University Professor Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi, who is also Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's brother-in-law, spoke to Arutz Sheva about Netanyahu's upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump, scheduled to take place on the evening (in Israel) of Wednesday, February 15.
"For the first time in many years, we have an historical opportunity here," Ben-Artzi said. "There is a Republican government, a government which is supportive and open to changing the status quo. There are a lot of people in the Trump administration who are not only supporters of Israel, but also support the settlement movement in Judea and Samaria.
"There is definitely a lot of hope this time - not just to receive approval to build thousands of more apartments, or to build in the settlement blocs, but also to solve the greater question of why, after fifty years, half a million Jews are under military jurisdiction instead of Israeli jurisdiction. We need to tell Trump, 'These settlers need to be a part of Israel, they need to have rights equal to everyone else's, just like in any other country. Enough is enough.'
"People say the Arabs are under occupation, but the truth is we're the ones who are suffering from an occupation. It's the left's bluff, they say we're 'occupiers,' but for twenty-something years, they've had the Palestinian Authority. They have a government, they have a parliament, they have institutions and their own rulers. They're not under military jurisdiction.
"We, on the other hand, are the only people in the world who are under military jurisdiction for fifty years already. We want it to stop, and we want sovereignty. It's human and it's logical. It's not just that the settlements aren't an obstacle to peace, like Trump said. Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria isn't an obstacle to peace, or to any future negotiations.
"We deserve equality, we deserve rights equal to those of everyone else. We fulfill 100% of our obligations: army, taxes, everything. So we deserve the benefits as well. All you need in order to destroy our homes is one Arab who claims it's his, and the Supreme Court doesn't even look into it.
"That's how they destroy entire towns, like what happened in Amona. It needs to stop. Amona was the straw that broke the camel's back.
"I'm telling Bibi today: If you are unable to state such a demand, if you are unable to lead its implementation, we will replace you. We will find someone else, be it Bennett, who I personally support, or be it someone else. We will find someone else.
"This is an historic moment, and this needs to be our main request from President Trump, when he is open and willing to listen to it.
"I've known Bibi for nearly thirty years. I worked with him for the first ten of those. In 1996, Bibi said that 'without Hagi, I would not have become Prime Minister.' In the past few years, our connection has become more sporadic, mostly because I criticized some things he did.
"But I still feel love for him, and I tell him today: Bibi, this is the moment for which you became Prime Minister. Until now, you worked on holding off the tide. Now is the moment of truth - make a break for it and normalize the lives of half a million Jews in Judea and Samaria.
"They voted for you and for the Jewish Home, and these are the voters the government is built on. This is a basic demand, and if, G-d forbid, you fail this test, then as Moredehai said to Queen Esther, 'Salvation will come to the Jews from a different place.'"