Rabbi Haim Drukman
Rabbi Haim Drukman Kobi Richter/TPS

Rabbi Haim Drukman, a former lawmaker and senior rabbi in the National-Religious sector, endorsed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan Wednesday, giving the prime minister some much-needed support from the Israeli Right.

In an interview with Kan Moreshet Wednesday morning, Rabbi Drukman said he backed Netanyahu’s bid to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria – even though the plan would leave roughly 70% of Judea and Samaria outside of the area under Israeli law.

“I support sovereignty,” said Rabbi Drukman, “even if it is only for part [of the area] and not everything. That’s how you start. How did the State of Israel start? With Ben Gurion agreeing to partition.”

Rabbi Drukman also criticized opponents of the sovereignty plan, adding that the concessions Israel would make to win US recognition are not “irreversible”.

“We don’t need to do anything bad for us that is irreversible,” said Rabbi Drukman, referring to the US Middle East peace plan’s condition that Israel not build in parts of Judea and Samaria for the next four years.

“There was a protest last Saturday night, during which they said that applying sovereignty would be a disaster. Why a disaster? Because then a Palestinian state can’t be established.”

Rabbi Drukman predicts that, despite criticism from some settlement leaders and the Yamina party of the Trump administration’s peace plan which has been linked to Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan, the Right won’t oppose the move to apply sovereignty over part of Judea and Samaria.

“I’m not speaking on behalf of any party. I have no doubt that anyone with any sense will back this. Sovereignty is a good thing, and we need to be happy that we have reached this moment after 53 years.”