From the Hague to the Yesha Council

Between the sea and Jordan there is no room for two conflicting national movements. These temporary solutions have led to a dead end. Op-ed.

Simcha Rothman ,


In the past few decades, the State of Israel, as well as certain political groups, has adopted three very divergent world-views concerning the areas of the Land of Israel which were returned to us in the Six Day War.

1. “”Agreement at any Price””.which seeks to establish a Palestinian state with some degree of independence and control, starting with “’autonomy plus”” or a ”” state minus”” or any other marketable term which one can think of. This approach was tried, with a heavy price in human life which we all remember and continue to pay, via the Oslo Agreements and the Wye Agreement. Netanyahu’s “two states” speech and even the Deal of the Century of President Trump, retained the same approach of creating some political framework, within the hope that it would be possible to end the conflict with such an agreement.

2. The disengagement approach of “separation at any price””, which advocates unilateral withdrawal in order to be relieved of the demographic and security burden, without any agreement. This approach was also tried in the expulsion from Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron. The State of Israel now relates to Gaza as an area for which she has no responsibility, and executes aerial attacks and military operations when the level of terror and damage are unacceptable. But the average citizen thinks to himself “”we have freed ourselves from Gaza””.

3. “”Conflict Management”, conduct without a orderly program, with the hope for surprising future developments, perhaps even a type of “” a war of attrition”” against the Palestinian Authority and its supporters around the globe, and the creating of alternative policies. For many years, this approach, which was adopted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was thought to be a dead end, until the appearance of the Abraham Accords”” which gave some hope that these regional developments would make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict less relevant.

This third approach, had Trump been reelected to a second term, might have continued to bear fruit in the immediate short term, but ultimately, we would have arrived once again at a Palestinian state which the deal of the century proposed to establish.

The recent decision of the court in the Hague to create “’éx nihilo”” a Palestinian state whose borders run exactly along the 1967 cease-fire lines in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is a declaration of the failure of all three approaches.

The ICC in The Hague recognized the Palestinian Authority, which was created by the Oslo Agreements, as the representation of the State of Palestine, which is thereby entitled to become a member of the ICC, and to file charges of war crimes committed within its territory. Not a State minus or autonomy plus, but a fully constituted state.

In order to reach its decision, the ICC also ruled on the borders of that state, which in our stupidity we created in our own back yard. Her borders are the full area of Judea and Samaria, not area A, not area B, not H1 and not H2. Since the complaint also included “”war crimes” committed in Gaza’s operations, the ICC ruled that the borders also included the Gaza Strip, so that even the territory from which we “disengaged” or fled, returned to us by the back door.

The ICC adopted the approach of “not one inch””, and from its point of view, the State of Palestine includes Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Har Homa, and Ramat Shlomo. In effect, the Yesha Council.

And so the space in which Israel can manage within the framework of conflict management has disintegrated. With the collapse of all of these approaches, then every enclosing of a porch in Gilo or Pisgat Zev will bring the perpetrator in handcuffs to The Hague. There is no one and nothing to manage.

Another glorious failure can be attributed to the conduct of the Legal Advisor to the Government Avichai Mandelblit, who was appointed to his position because of his expertise and experience in the field of International Law. All the proposals to organize and legalize the settlements which he blocked because of fear of a decision by the ICC, were blocked in vain. We ate the stinking fish. We drove out our best sons and daughters from their homes, and it was all for naught. And now come the lashes. Partners in this failure on the legal front are the judges of the High Court of Justice, who invalidated programs initiated by the State of Israel, on the basis of distorted and invented principles of international law. The constant claim was the Bagatz is protecting Israel from the ICC. But it appears that the fact that we have judges cut off from reality, who rule based on political considerations “made in Israel” has not prevented their colleagues in the Hague from imposing their judicial activism on us.

There remains only one way. To declare sovereignty and now.

Between the sea and Jordan there is no room for two conflicting national movements. These temporary solutions have led to a dead end.

The decisive program announced by the chairman of the Religious Zionists, Bezalel Smotrich, will make it possible for the State of Israel to take a stand, and to proceed to organize and strengthen the settlements in our land.

In the words of Winston Churchill, after we have tried everything else, is it not time to do the right thing?

Adv. Simcha Rothman is the founder of Meshilut - The Israeli Movement for Governability and Democracy a candidate on the Religious Zionist Party (Zionut Datit) list for the upcoming Knesset elections.