Qalqiliya is just a parable

Netanyahu's evasive statements on Qalqiliya are just a symptom of his larger policy of denial - talking 'Right' and acting 'Left.' Opinion.

Michael Ben-Ari ,

Michael Ben-Ari
Michael Ben-Ari
Otzma Yehudit Spokesman

The statements of the Prime Minister on the matter of the building plan for expanding Qalqiliya manifested themselves in several versions.

The first was in the form of rebuke of cabinet ministers, who remembered to oppose a program that they, themselves, had approved ten months ago. “It is odd that cabinet ministers who were participants in decisions, deny them at the first signs of criticism and pressure.” Several days later: “I can’t remember the cabinet decision made regarding the expansion of Qalqiliya.” After he suffered criticism for saying this, too, his office released a corrected statement: “I knew of the building plan in Qalqiliya, but I didn’t know about the numbers involved.”

Netanyahu’s ‘Qalqiliya Plan’ has been applied in Judea and Samaria for nine years. There is a common thread linking the destruction of Migron, opposition to the Regulation Law, the building freeze in Jerusalem, the false promises to build in Beit El, the opposition to building a room in Ofra, relinquishing portions of Area C for massive Arab building, and more. The ‘dream team’ of the Right under Netanyahu’s leadership has a focused objective and works to dry up Jewish settlement while, on the other hand, cultivating an Arab foothold in Judea and Samaria towards the fulfillment of the vision of two states. For eight years, Netanyahu blamed his policy on the Obama administration, but the continuation of the same policy during the Trump administration indicates that the policy belongs to Netanyahu himself, and - the time has come to say it honestly - is no different from Likud graduates Livni and Olmert.

In contrast to Netanyahu, who says ‘Right’ and acts ‘Left,’ Livni and Olmert justify their leftward turn with the fear of the demographic spectre. The Left’s assertion that it is not interested in living in a binational state does not get a response from the right-wing camp. The Right, which suggests the ‘autonomy’ solution or dividing Judea and Samaria between Areas A, B, and C, is walking in the ways of Livni and Netanyahu, who started with the same catchphrases and very quickly understood that acknowledging the right to self-definition means acknowledging the right of another nation to the land. Whoever recognizes their control over Area A - it’s just a matter of time until he relinquishes control over Area C for humanitarian reasons, population growth, or as a result of international pressure.

For years, Netanyahu has been deceiving the Right with denials. The explanation for the embarrassing change in versions is the fear that the scam will be revealed, and he will lose trust on the path for laying further groundwork for the realization of the vision of two states. Unfortunately, Netanyahu fears in vain. The world will continue as it does, some right-wing ministers will express tepid protest, Bennett will create a spin about the 'United Jerusalem Law.'

What drives Netanyahu and causes the flock to be silent is the Right’s refusal to place on the table a plan that gives a Zionist answer to the demographic threat, with a plan for the emigration of our enemies and massive Jewish settlement. The housing crisis in Qalqiliya needs to be solved in the counties of origin, not in our only country. Whoever refuses this solution moves along the path of Netanyahu and Livni - even if he is called Naftali Bennett.

The writer is the Chairman of 'Otzma Yehudit.'