'Assert sovereignty, Ma'aleh Adumim first'

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan says Israel needs a change in direction; "Outgoing administration attempting to fetter Trump"

Mordechai Sones,

Rabbi Elyahu Ben Dahan
Rabbi Elyahu Ben Dahan
David Hochberg, Besheva

Deputy Defense Minister Eli ben Dahan told Arutz 7 that recent political developments against Israel obligate her to embark on a new path.

"I very much hope that the State of Israel and the Israeli government will arrive at an agreement with the Trump administration to begin asserting Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. The inescapable conclusion from the current path is that it led us nowhere; we have not moved forward. There is no peace and the situation has only worsened and therefore we must speak of another way and to start at least with those places that enjoy widespread public agreement.

"I hope that we can come to agreement with the new administration and begin with Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, and the Jordan Valley."

According to Ben Dahan, the outgoing administration is behaving obsessively in order to justify their detrimental policies of the past eight years: "State Secretary John Kerry's speech was absurd; for a year-and-a-half he made colossal efforts to try to come to an agreement with the Palestinians but was unable to move Mahmoud Abbas even a millimeter..."

"So now they are attempting to cast the guilt onto us; they of course forget all the failed efforts with Abbas. This is indefensible because eight years ago Obama himself requested that his predecessor President Bush not take steps that will fetter him and today he's doing it to the next President."

Ben Dahan believes that the outgoing administration's conduct will further entangle the Palestinians: "'No one can impose a solution between us and the Palestinians' but it would appear that they prefer to paint Netanyahu as the 'bad boy'. They are trying to restrict Trump from taking any action beneficial to Israel, and their message to the Palestinians will only impede negotiations because they see that someone's supporting them, so they may remain entrenched in their stance."

In his words, claims that the Regulation Law is what brought about the anti-Israel UN resolution are baseless: "The UN resolution was developing long before there was a Regulation Law... The Obama administration is pro-Arab and this is not new, with no connection to the Regulation Law. In Obama's Cairo speech of eight years ago he came to an understanding with the entire Islamist world."

Minister Ben Dahan told of the initiative to turn Tel Rumeida in Hevron into a National Heritage Site: "In Tel Hevron two years ago excavations revealed many finds, among them three mikvahs and many other signs of Jewish life in Hevron more than 1,500 years ago.

"The time has come to show our connection to Hevron to the entire world, beyond just the Machpela Cave. I am working to turn the area into a National Heritage Site so that people can come and view the finds."




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