ANALYSIS: There is no cause to fear sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria

The implementation of sovereignty in parts of Area C in Judea and Samaria is a hot potato for the newly formed Israeli government.

Yochanan Visser ,

Netanyahu with Jordan Valley sovereignty map
Netanyahu with Jordan Valley sovereignty map
Flash 90

Coming Wednesday Israel will finally get a government after three elections in the span of one year.

The new government of Likud, Kachol Lavan (Blue and White), Labor, Derech Eretz, and the haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism will have to cope with a range of serious problems including the Corona pandemic and a huge economic crisis that has left a quarter of Israel’s workforce jobless.

However, there is another issue that will quickly become a hot potato for the new government led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and that is the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over parts of Area C in the so-called 'West Bank' (Judea and Samaria) and the whole Jordan Valley.

Already all kinds of pundits are writing analyses and other articles dealing with the pros and cons of the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over these areas in Israel’s ancestral homeland, while the Palestinian Authority (PA) has embarked on a diplomatic offensive against the Israeli American plan.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas again threatens to end all cooperation with Israel and says he will annul all agreements with the Jewish state. It remains to be seen, however, if Abbas carries out his threats this time around since he has said he would end cooperation and annul the Oslo accords at least fifty times.

It remains, furthermore, to be seen how ending cooperation with Israel and annulling the Oslo accords will change the behavior of the PA since for a long time it has acted as a foe of Israel and only cooperates in the fields that are of interest to itself, such as security.

There are those who predict that the sky will fall if Israel dares to implement sovereignty in parts of Area C and the Jordan Valley but we have heard them making these predictions about other things, and virtually nothing happened.

Before the Trump Administration moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem the same pundits predicted a hell would break loose, but two years later nobody is talking about the historical move anymore and no new ‘Intifada’ has erupted.

The same happened when Trump decided to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Apart from the usual condemnations, only Iran threatened to use force against Israel over its “illegal” occupation of the Golan Heights and the international community remained passive.

Apart from this, applying Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria as well as the Jordan Valley will not change anything in the reality on the ground - at least not for the Palestinian Arabs.

Even the extreme leftist commentator Gideon Levy of the pro-Palestinian Israeli paper Ha’aretz thinks Israel should go ahead and “annex” the areas.

“The truth is that the occupation is here to stay, there were never any intentions to do otherwise; it has already created an irreversible situation, some 700,000 settlers, including those in East Jerusalem, who will never be removed, and without their removal the Palestinians will be left with nothing but Bantustans, neither a state nor even a joke of a state,” Levy wrote in his latest rant against his own country.

“Stop being afraid and let them annex,” Levy concluded at the end of his piece, while expressing hope the world would punish Israel and using the Nazi-sourced term “Anschluss” for the “annexation”.

Of course, Levy again tried to brainwash his readers into believing Israel had already created “Apartheid” in the “West Bank”.

The only apartheid which exists in Judea and Samaria is in the areas under PA control, however. Jews cannot enter these areas since the PA was founded and Palestinian Arabs who dare to sell property to Jews have to fear for their lives or, at best, incarceration.

No, Israel will not “annex” the “West Bank” as Levy and others claim since the Jewish state cannot annex territories which were designated by the League of Nations and the San Remo conference to become part of the Jewish national home to begin with.

In real legal terms, Israel has a far better claim on Judea and Samaria than ‘the Palestinian Arab people’ as countless experts in the field of international law have pointed out.

A century ago the term ‘Palestinian people’ included all Jews living in the land of Israel and a large number of the Arabs who were then in what the British started to call ‘Palestine’ were new immigrants just as many Jews were. They came from other Arab countries, such as Egypt, under influence of the Jewish ‘aliyot’, the immigration to Israel, in order to make a better living as jobs were created.

For this reason a lot of Palestinian Arabs speak Arabic in different accents and many of them have the name ‘al-Masr’ or ‘al Masry’ (the Egyptian in Arabic).

The panicked reactions to the intended implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the areas mentioned above have even confused rightist commentators such as Daniel Pipes.

Pipes, a Middle East expert and a promoter of Israeli victory over its enemies, suddenly fears that even President Donald Trump, who included the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria as well as the Jordan Valley in his so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ would come after Israel if it would do so “unilaterally”.

Apparently Pipes forgot that an American Israeli team has been working on the details of the implementation for months, so where is the unilateral move?

Pipes also thinks that the Arab Gulf States will stop the creeping normalization process with Israel if the country dares to implement the sovereignty plan. But Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been closely working with US envoy Jared Kushner, the architect of Trump’s peace plan, and knew about the content of the plan while he continued to criticize the Palestinian leaders for their behavior in the conflict with Israel.

Pipes even thinks that left-wing Israelis will leave their country when Israel dares to implement the sovereignty plan. This only proves that the American scholar is out of touch with Israeli society. Most left-wing Israelis live in the Gush Dan area and don’t give a damn about what is happening in Judea and Samaria. A lot of them haven’t seen the heartland of Israel in years and prefer strolling around on Tel Aviv’s beaches or the Rothschild Boulevard in the city.

A majority of Israeli Jews now think that Israel should go ahead and implement the long-anticipated sovereignty over the Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The paper used a misleading headline to suggest that a majority in Israel is against the “annexation” but a quick read of the article learned that a large majority of Israeli Jews supports the sovereignty move, while the majorit of Israeli Arabs are against it.

These are the same Israeli Arabs who caused a storm when they learned that Trump’s plan could entail a land switch under which some of them would come to live under PA rule.