Israeli Hardliner Urges Annexing Over 60% of West Bank Land
by Stephen Lendman
Extremist Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett urges annexation of most West Bank land, saying “(t)he time has come to say Israel is ours to go from strategic defense to a process of initiating the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the territories under Israeli control in Judea and Samaria.”
“We need to mark this as a strategic objective and stop the misunderstood message sent from Israel abroad.”
Earlier in December, he said “(t)he approach that I’m promoting is reasonable, sane. In the Middle East, we don’t have the luxury to indulge in fantasy.”
“If it were up to me, I would not wait. I would start with the Etzion bloc (near Jerusalem), and apply Israeli law and sovereignty on (the area) first.”
“We did this twice before, both times unilaterally: in Jerusalem in 1967 and with the Golan in 1981.” He urges doing it again now.
Seeing no prospect of Israeli/Palestinian peace, Bennett called for “realism” on what’s achievable – regardless of world opinion, international law and fundamental Palestinian rights.
He opposes Palestinian self-determination, wanting occupation harshness maintained. Likudnik communications minister Gilad Erdan called for initiating “prepar(ations) for the annexation of Area C,” comprising around 60% of West Bank land.
Israeli Committee Against House Demolition director Jeff Halper believes a “bi-national, democratic state is the only (viable) option for Israelis and Palestinians” – calling the two-state solution a “defunct” option.
“Why is Israel allowed to keep the (occupied territories), he asked? As long as the international community permits it, “Israel wins.”
A two-state solution failed because nothing was done for decades to prevent Israel from stealing Palestinian land unaccountably. Lip service opposing settlement expansions is meaningless without teeth.
If outrageous Israeli practices are cost-free, they’ll continue unobstructed. If land theft isn’t stopped, Israel will grab all it can until Palestinians are left with isolated pockets of worthless scrubland alone, surrounded by hostile Israeli settlements – mini-open-air prisons along with the world’s largest in blockaded Gaza.
“Israel has expanded onto 85% of historic Palestine,” Halper explained – Palestinians “locked into enclaves on only 10% of the land…lack(ing) all civil, national and human rights.”
Justifiable Palestinian resistance is called “violence” and “terrorism.” Israeli ruthlessness is called “legitimate security measures” and self-defense.
One state for all its people with equal rights is the only viable conflict resolution option. Nothing else can work.
A Final Comment
Opposition Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog urges a national referendum to decide if Israel should or shouldn’t annex most West Bank land unilaterally.
Palestinians comprise one-fifth of Israel’s population so presumably they’d be allowed to vote. Millions of occupied Palestinians aren’t Israeli citizens with no say over regime policy.
Referenda on issues violating international law are illegitimate. Herzog’s scheme is as outrageous as Bennett’s.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.