Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'ar Yisrael Bardugo

Former Likud Minister Gideon Sa'ar spoke out Tuesday at B'Sheva newspaper's 15th annual Jerusalem Conference, calling on the government to apply Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria.

"Applying Israeli law after fifty years is first and foremost the normalization of Israeli life in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley. This is our commitment to our citizens and is required by basic fairness towards them and their families," Sa'ar said.

He noted that "this move will also make it clear that Jewish settlement in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley will always be part of the State of Israel, and the role of our generation is to remove any question about the future of settlement. What does disturb the chances for peace is the same living hatred, deliberately nurtured by our neighbors, another barbaric outburst of which we saw yesterday in Jenin."

The former minister made it clear that there is no desire to apply Israeli sovereignty over the territories of the Palestinian Authority. "There is no intention of annexing Palestinians to Israel, and therefore the propaganda aimed at this move promoting the concept of a bi-national state, is false."

Sa'ar referred to American denial that coordination with Israel over sovereignty exists. "The political field must be realistic, and we should not expect American support for this process, nor did the US support the imposition of sovereignty over Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. However, there are signs that the current administration's concept of peace does not involve uprooting Jewish settlements."

He added that "if we don't present a clear conception of what we want, we may be quickly drawn back to the Oslo outline and the dangers inherent in establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of our country."

The former minister thinks that Israel should conduct itself in a very circumspect manner vis-à-vis the Trump administration. "We should not surprise them, we must present them with our motives and our perceptions, but we needn't expect their consent or public support. Israel is a sovereign state and it will shape its own future by itself.

"In our communities in Judea and Samaria, a third generation has already been established. The settlers paved the way, establishing physical facts on the ground. Now it's the statesmen's turn to establish political facts," Sa'ar concluded.