Settler leader, Braverman debate annexing West Bank

Labor MK argues that annexing Judea and Samaria would destroy the basis of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

September 5, 2011 01:46
3 minute read.
Yesha Council chairman Dani Dayan

Dani Dayan 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel should respond to Palestinian unilateral moves at the United Nations by annexing Judea and Samaria, said settler leader Dani Dayan on Sunday night.

“Israel should annex and apply Israeli sovereignty and jurisdiction over the so-called Area C,” said Dayan, who heads the council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

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He spoke at a debate on Palestinian unilateral moves at the United Nations that was hosted in Jerusalem by the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel.

Dayan urged the government to use strong-arm tactics to prevent the Palestinians from its UN maneuver.

Too often in the last decade, he said, Israel has preferred “not to achieve a decisive win.” This has had terrible consequences, and the same will be true here as Israel engages in diplomatic warfare with the Palestinians.

“Israel must even for the sake of peace, decisively win the diplomatic war against the Palestinians,” he said.

Israel, he said, should use the myriad of levers that it has on the Palestinians both militarily and diplomatically. If necessary, he said, it should even apply personal pressure against its leaders, such as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

MK Avishay Braverman (Labor), argued that annexing Judea and Samaria would destroy the basis of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

He said that he doesn’t care if the Palestinians recognize Israel’s Jewish nature or not, what he cares about is that Israel itself refrain from taking steps that would harm the Jewish and Zionist basis of the state.

He warned that Israel would become a pariah nation unless it ended the occupation of the West Bank.

“We are losing all international support and our economy is very fragile,” he said.

Dayan responded that he did not believe that a two-state solution was feasible.

“There is not going to be two states west of the Jordan.

The minimum the Palestinians demand is far from the maximum that Israel can give them,” he said.

“There is no final-status solution to the conflict,” he said and added that one former US president after another has failed to make peace because they have not understood this point.

The deputy European Union representative to Israel John Gatt-Rutter, however, said that he believed a two state solution was possible if the two sides returned to the negotiating table.

“This is a leadership that wants to make peace with Israel. This is a leadership that wants to make concessions with Israel on important things,” he said of the Palestinians.

“The one thing that the EU is particularly worried about is the vacuum, the absence of talks and [the lack of a] relationship between the two leaders,” he said.

Gatt-Rutter said he hoped that a way could be found for the renewal of talks.

He warned Israel against any pressure tactics against the Palestinians that would harm the successful security relationship between both parties; particularly the withholding of funds.

The last thing Israel wants is Palestinian security personnel who have not been paid and who as a result have hungry families at home, he said.

The event was sponsored by Hadar Israel which seeks to promote dialogue between English-speaking Israelis and the international community.

Jerusalem Post military reporter Yaakov Katz moderated the event.

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