MK Danny Danon has renewed his efforts to pass a Knesset bill annexing Jewish
communities in Judea and Samaria, so that Israeli law fully applies to
In light of the stalled Israeli- Palestinian peace process, now is
the time to push forward with the initiative that he began in September, Danon
told The Jerusalem Post.
“This is a historic opportunity to correct an
injustice,” he said on Thursday.
Danon added that he hoped to bring the
matter before the Ministerial Committee on Legislative in a matter of
An Israeli official said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
would block the initiative.
But Danon said the prime minister’s position
on the matter was not so clear.
Netanyahu opened the door for this kind
of proposal already two years ago, when he threatened Israeli unilateral actions
in response to the Palestinians’ unilateral pursuit of statehood, Danon
By refusing to negotiate with Israel, Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas has climbed out on a limb, Danon said. That tree “could
bear fruit for the Zionist enterprise.”
Israel “has to seize this
opportunity with both hands,” he said.
Since December 2008, the
Palestinians have negotiated with Israel for two brief periods, the first in
September 2010 and the second last month.
But at the end of January, the
Palestinians walked away from the fledgling talks in Amman, and no date has been
set to continue them.
The largely frozen peace process has fed a growing
movement among right-wing lawmakers to end military rule in Area C of the West
Bank, where the Israeli settlements are located, and fully apply Israeli law
MK Uri Ariel (National Union) has threatened to amend every
Knesset law so they apply to Area C, thereby de facto annexing it.
than half of the Likud’s 27 MKs have endorsed the idea, including Ministers
Gilad Erdan, Yisrael Katz, Moshe Kahlon and Yuli Edelstein.
Still, it is
unclear if these cabinet ministers would support Danon’s bill, which also calls
for annulling all agreements with the Palestinians.
Edelstein said that
while he agreed with Danon in principle, some of the agreements with the
Palestinians, particularly with regard to security, were
Separate from Danon’s work on the issue, Naftali Bennett, the
co-founder of the right-wing NGO My Israel, has circulated a plan to annex Judea
As a Likud member, he said, he wants to see his party adopt
the plan as part of its platform for the next election.
“The Likud is in
limbo,” he said.
“No one understands its platform. Is it for or is it against a
Palestinian state?” he asked.
Unlike Danon’s plan, Bennett said he would
annex all of Area C. He would offer Israeli citizenship to the 48,000
Palestinians who live in Area C.
Granting citizenship to these
Palestinians would eliminate all talk of Israel as an apartheid state, he
But he added that Palestinian refugees who live outside of Area C
would not be able to move there.
Under his plan, he said, the Palestinian
Authority would remain in control of Areas A and B, where there are no Jewish
“I realize that the world won’t recognize it, but they have
not recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights or the Western Wall,” he
Bennett, who resigned at the end of December from his post as the
director-general of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the
Gaza Strip, said that he realized that annexation of Area C was not a perfect
“But I do not think there is an ultimate solution,” he
The Israelis and the Palestinians are like a married couple who do
not like each other but still have to live together, he said.
question is, ‘How do we spend the next 20 years in the best way possible?’” he