Liberman pledges sovereignty in West Bank Ma’aleh Adumim settlement

In response to a request for comment, a spokesman for Yisrael Beytenu said, “We do not respond to nonsense.”

By
September 8, 2019 23:14
2 minute read.

Avigdor Liberman speaks in Ma'aleh Adumim, September 8 2019

Avigdor Liberman speaks in Ma'aleh Adumim, September 8 2019

Israel will apply sovereignty during the next government, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman promised on Sunday as he stumped for votes in Ma’aleh Adumim, the third-largest settlement in the West Bank.

“I am sure that in the next term [of the government], we will also be able to apply Israeli sovereignty and resolve all problems, including employment, construction and free passage between the communities and Jerusalem,” he said.

After Liberman’s visit, Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel told The Jerusalem Post that he hopes that after the election “the first step that the prime minister will do immediately is to make Ma’aleh Adumim a city of the State of Israel – this means sovereignty for Ma’aleh Adumim.”

Liberman is the third head of a party to speak on West Bank sovereignty. His words, while vague, follow on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vague words on sovereignty in Elkana last week, and Ayelet Shaked of the Yamina Party, for which sovereignty has been a clear position from the start.

Shaked wants to impose sovereignty on all of Area C, while Netanyahu spoke of Jewish sovereignty over all the settlements, and Liberman stood in Ma’aleh Adumim and used the word “sovereignty.”

He has been adamant about not placing additional Palestinians within sovereign Israeli territory, so its presumed he is talking solely about the settlements, or at least some of them, like Ma’aleh Adumim.

Liberman has in the past spoken of placing settlement blocs, such as greater Ma’aleh Adumim and Ariel, as well as the Gush Etzion region where he lives, within Israel’s sovereign borders.

Liberman is the first politician to hammer Netanyahu on the subject of sovereignty from the political Center, rather than the more extreme Right.

He also chose to utter his statement in Ma’aleh Adumim, a settlement that heavily favored Likud in the last election with 50% of the vote, cast by 10,093 voters. This was followed far behind by the Blue and White Party, which received only 10%.

Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz has not spoken of supporting sovereignty in this campaign, although he has visited the Jordan Valley and Gush Etzion to underscore their importance to the State of Israel.

Liberman arrived in the city at a time when its mayor is angry with Netanyahu for failing to build an access road for Palestinians that would reduce traffic, and for not opening up a fourth lane at the checkpoint into Jerusalem for Israeli cars.

Kashriel, clarified, however, that he remains a strong Likud supporter and that Likud remains the best party to lead the government. Given the political nature of the visit, he did not meet with Liberman during the visit.

Liberman pledged to build a road that would allow for easy passage between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

He also spoke about the importance of the secular, centrist vote in this election.

Netanyahu must not be allowed to establish a radical, Orthodox government, Liberman told reporters.

“It is crucial for us to keep the spirit of Zionism as a liberal-national movement,” he said. “We will try to keep the secular population as a population that has a majority in our government. We will do everything to bring our people to vote, and to achieve at least 11 or 12 seats in the next Knesset.”


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