US President Barack Obama (L) and Vice President Joe Biden.
(photo credit: OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA)
In an unusual and disturbing departure from the normal and accepted relationship between states, US President Barack Obama has criticized the composition of the new Israeli government. He declared that it disturbs him that many government ministers object to the idea of establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of Israel.
We would expect the leader of the Democratic Party in the United States to honor the democratic results of democratic elections in the only democratic state in the Middle East. Somebody should explain to the president that the Israeli voter has granted a majority to the right-wing camp as a result of clear-headed judgment and in light of several failed attempts to begin implementing the idea of dividing the land.
The Israeli voter has seen the results of the delusional New Middle East to which the present president and his predecessors in the White House have tried to lead him. The Israeli voter has seen the death and the terror that the Oslo Accords and the withdrawal from Gaza have brought upon him. The Israeli voter has seen how much blood the vision of the Left has cost and especially – the Israeli voter has chosen to recover his national pride and return to his culture, to the cradle of the Jewish nation, and to the living connection between himself and his land.See the latest opinion pieces on our Opinion & Blogs Facebook page
That is why the Israeli voter has chosen to place in leadership positions people who present a different vision – the vision of the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Ministers Yisrael Katz, Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel, Ze’ev Elkin, Yariv Levin, Danny Danon, Miri Regev, Tzipi Hotovely and Ofir Akunis, as well as Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, deputy ministers Ayoub Kara and Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan are all quoted in the Sovereignty Journal, published by Women in Green, supporting its campaign for the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
The vision of the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is first and foremost a national one, shared by the people of Israel, who understand that this is our land and the inheritance of our forefathers. This foundational principle precedes all of the other explanations and justifications and is the bedrock upon which they are based. As the late Uri Elitzur, former Netanyahu chief-of-staff, put it: “Judea and Samaria are the backbone of the Land of Israel, the very heart of the Jewish People’s land throughout the generations and we are obliged to make every effort to realize the ownership of the Jewish People and its sovereignty over its land” (“One State and not Binational,” Uri Elitzur, Makor Rishon, June 6, 2013).
Communications Minister Ofir Akunis agrees, and is quoted in the March 2015 issue of Sovereignty as saying: “My objection to a Palestinian state stems primarily from the fact that our right to the land is eternal and irrevocable. The Land of Israel is the property of the Jewish People and there is no people in the world that would surrender its motherland.”
The application of Israeli sovereignty over the Land of Israel is consistent with international law. In 1921, at the Conference of San Remo, the League of Nations recognized the rights of the Jewish People to its land. With this act, the nations turned the Balfour Declaration and the vision of establishing a national home for the Jewish People in the Land of Israel into a principle of international law that is accepted by all nations. And this recognition was further reinforced with the establishment of the United Nations (Article 80 of the UN Charter).
Israeli sovereignty over all of its land is also clearly necessary for security reasons. There is no knowledgeable person in Israel that would like to see the coastal lowland and heavily populated residential centers of Gush Dan, or Ben Gurion Airport, within range of Arab Palestinian gunfire, which would paralyze Israel’s gate of entry and chase away investors, leading to economic collapse and placing a heavy burden on Israel’s defensive capability.
As Education Minister Naftali Bennett said in the March 2015 issue of Sovereignty: “A Palestinian state would cause the Israeli economy to collapse. Ben Gurion airport would be paralyzed, there would be no tourism, no commerce, we would return to the economic collapse of the second intifada and people would flee. The subject of annexation in Judea and Samaria is not a distant vision, but something concrete that is possible to achieve.”
In a controlled and gradual process, after declaring loyalty to the state, the Arabs of Judea and Samaria would be granted the opportunity to make a request for citizenship. Thus, the principle of democracy will be preserved. A stable, consistent and secure government of Israel would enable these Arabs to enjoy the advanced state of medicine, infrastructure, technology, employment, education and stable economy that exist in the State of Israel – which is more than any Arab state can offer.
The opinions stated above are representative of the position of many members of the government of Israel, and the People of Israel has elected them because they had the inner strength to say these things confidently and proudly. Yes, Mr. President; the two-state solution is, finally, dead. Now the people of Israel want to promote the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. As a democrat, we expect the president of the United States to honor this and to accept it, even if the results of the elections in Israel do not suit his personal positions.
The authors are co-chairs of Women in Green, and editors of the Sovereignty Journal.