Danon: If Palestinians act unilaterally, so will we

Likud MK writes in 'NY Times' op-ed that Israel should annex settlements, halt aid if Palestinians change W. Bank, Gaza status unilaterally.

May 19, 2011 07:59
2 minute read.
Danny Danon

Danny Danon (do not publish again). (photo credit: Flash 90)

MK Danny Danon (Likud) wrote on Thursday that if the Palestinian Authority acts unilaterally to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip through the UN this September, then Israel "too, is no longer bound by its contents and is freed to take unilateral action."

In an op-ed piece in The New York Times, Danon explained that if the Palestinian Authority moves to get UN recognition of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders without negotiations with Israel, then Israel would in turn be free to halt aid to the Palestinians, annex the Jewish and uninhabited areas of the West Bank.

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As a first move, Danon said, Israel would stop security and diplomatic assistance to the Palestinians as well as the transfer of tax revenues, "upwards of $1 billion per year" permanently. The Likud MK added that "this alone could threaten the very existence of the Palestinian Authority."

Danon wrote that Israel would also have the freedom to "rectify the mistake we made in 1967," and extend Israeli jurisdiction to all Jewish settlements and uninhabited land in the West Bank.

As for the Palestinian-majority towns that would remain outside of Israeli annexation, Danon said Israel would not longer be responsible for those Palestinian residents, as in Gaza after the 2005 disengagement under former prime minister Ariel Sharon.

Palestinians remaining in "unannexed" towns, Danon explained, would not have the option of Israeli citizenship, thus aiding in alleviating the demographic threat to Israel's Jewish, democratic status by not adding to Israel's Arab population.

Danon defended such moves against international outcry by explaining that it would not be Israel's "first time" making such "controversial decisions." He explained that Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, made a similarly provocative move by moving Israel's capital to Jerusalem in 1949 despite the UN's 1947 partition plan which had turned the city into an international zone.

Danon added that despite the international condemnation, such a move helped create the current reality in which Israel exists. Such "diplomatic storms," Danon said, soon moved out of the diplomatic community's focus and, positively for Israel, improving the Zionist situation and strengthening Israel's situation.

As a word to today's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, Danon said "It would be wise of Mr. Netanyahu to follow in their footsteps," and that Israeli leaders must be ready to exploit such a situation where Palestinian unilateral action allows Israel to take assertive strides towards furthering its own sovereignty and security.

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