MK Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan (Likud) addressed the controversy which has erupted on the right over the Trump Administration's 'Deal of the Century' and the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.
"This is not annexation because annexation from a legal point of view is over another country's territory. Here, at most, it is a disputed area. We are applying Israeli sovereignty, namely Israeli law and administration," Dayan told Arutz Sheva,
Turning to the infighting on the right and the leaders of the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria over the plan, Dayan said: "There is an argument and I am not in a hurry to attack anyone who doesn't think like me. We are having an argument which is a harmful argument and infighting, because the American left opposes us, as do the Europeans and the Arabs. Also the left in Israel is opposed to it. We know this, but when there is a fight within the right it is not good. This is the mistake the Palestinians committed. The Americans brought the plan to them to tell them, we are offering you a state, but in order for this to happen you have to recognize the Jewish State, disarm Hamas, and other things I don't think the Palestinians will do. In addition, the Americans told them, if you don't want it, you don't have to take it, but we won't make you a better offer. That's the importance of the American proposal. So I say that concerns are real and I understand them, but we have to seize this opportunity with both hands."
On the security implications of the plan, Dayan said: "There are always political and security matters which are at risk, but this time that is not the case. First of all, we have a chance to establish our eastern border on the Jordan, where we crossed the Jordan on the way to the conquest of the land during the time of Joshua. Topographically, this is an important place for us to develop far beyond 6,000 inhabitants. It is an opportunity to set a buffer between Jordan and the Palestinians, and the Jordanians do not need to have the Palestinians on their border. This border gives us strategic depth and the ability to cope with an external enemy and to do so with recognition as we have formal recognition on the Golan."
"As for the dangers, opponents say one thing. They say that if you agree to one thing then you have to agree to everything. That's not true. This was the case when the state was established with the partition and no Jerusalem which was declared international. The approach was to take what we could and then we would add another dunam and another dunam. The approach should be that of Ben Gurion. We want the maximum and they offer us the minimum. That we accept the minimum does not mean that we are giving up on the maximum, and here there are no concessions.
According to Dayan, "We have to do the best we can to get the maximum we can now. I'm not saying I'm willing to pay any price and I understand the concerns there are. We have to go for it together, and it is at times like these that I regret that Yamina is not in the government. By the way, it's not too late. I call on everyone to find a way to increase the size of the right-wing bloc. The differences of opinion are not that big."
MK Dayan believes that it is completely unrealistic to believe that a Palestinian Arab state will be created. and that the Palestinian Authority has proven time and time again that it is "unfit."
"The peace process has become a dead process, and the ones who killed the peace process were the Palestinians, because of their attitude of saying 'no' to everything, and now they're being told that we'll move on without them.
Dayan said that "the maps are not finalized yet. This is still not settled and it is time to take things down a notch. I'm not saying that you have to accept any situation, but in my opinion you can come to the Americans with greater Israeli support and cohesion, and what we're taking would leave us in a much better situation than today, and later it will be possible to enlarge and expand it."
Addressing the fear that communities would become isolated under the current sovereignty maps, Dayan said: "I remind you that until a short while ago everyone who spoke with us saw that they would not be [isolated]at all. It is now possible to recognize our sovereignty over these communities. It does not solve all the problems, but it is necessary to remember that the overall security control remains our own, so we can take certain risks and I say that these gains are not reversible. This is the time to get down to the nitty-gritty, and that's what need to be done in order to get the maximum number of months before November because we don't know what will be with US and what the agenda will be then. So instead of saying 'no' first, lets get the maximum that we can achieve and then we can deal with the difficult decision of whether to agree to this or not. In any case, we have to realize that are not facing the choice of nothing or a Palestinian state. That's not the case."
Addressing claims by left-wing critics that applying sovereignty would lead to the end of the peace treaty with Jordan, Dayan said that he himself was the head of the Security Committee involved in the drafting of the agreement, and he indeed believes that the agreement is good, but it should be understood that it is a strategic asset to both parties. The treaty provides for vital security cooperation with Jordan. "But it is important to understand what the agreement gives the Jordanians. If they endanger the agreement, they endanger the regime. We are the national insurance and security for the Jordan. This was put to the test in 1975 and on other occasions. In addition, the Jordanians cannot even say in the economic aspect that it does not concern them. It is a mature country and the last thing it needs is the Palestinians. Therefore even if they are not satisfied they will not break the tools because these are the tools that keep them in power. They won't say no to the US. King Hussein once told me that they are a small country surrounded by friends and it is much more difficult than to be a small country surrounded by enemies like us. That's why I'm really not afraid of this thing. The Jordanians have much more to lose."