Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich hopes to use his powers of persuasion, as in this November 2015 photo, to sell a new right-wing diplomatic plan..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
MK Bezalel Smotrich expressed confidence Sunday that he could persuade his colleagues in the National Union Party’s Bayit Yehudi faction and US President Donald Trump’s administration in Washington to adopt his new diplomatic plan to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Smotrich will present the proposal and bring it to a vote at the National Union’s convention in Jerusalem Tuesday night. He has sent it to the MKs in Bayit Yehudi, which allowed the National Union to run on its slate in the last election. Smotrich then intends to visit Washington and sell the plan there.
“I think the administration in Washington can accept and maybe even adopt my plan,” Smotrich told The Jerusalem Post
in an interview Sunday. “I don’t think President Trump will say tomorrow that he accepts the plan of MK Smotrich, but I think I can get him to consider a different paradigm. That’s why I had the plan translated into English.”
The plan, titled “Israel’s decisive plan for a Jewish state and an end to the conflict,” will be circulated by Smotrich and advertised by the National Union in an effort to make it the official plan of the Right.
The proposed plan rules out a Palestinian state and calls for Israel to take immediate steps to prevent a two-state solution
, including annexing all of Judea and Samaria and moving tens of thousands of Jews there, in what Smotrich calls “victory by settlement.”
Arab residents of the West Bank and Arab citizens of Israel would have to forgo their national aspirations. They would be given a choice of remaining in Israel and declaring their loyalty to the Jewish State or receiving aid to emigrate to another country. Those who stay would be given rights but not the right to vote, except for their own local councils.
“I can’t hide that I prefer the option of them emigrating but I can’t force them to go, especially Israeli citizens, who won’t lose their citizenship but are eligible for relocation,” Smotrich said.
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman called the plan “ethnic cleansing, genocide, and incitement to violence and racism.”
Smotrich responded by suggesting that Touma-Sliman, who speaks fluent Hebrew, did not understand the plan.
“I haven’t translated it to Arabic,” he said.
Sources in Bayit Yehudi said Smotrich’s plan was opposed by party leader Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and would not be adopted by Bayit Yehudi. Bennett and Shaked, unlike Smotrich, favor annexing only Area C in the West Bank and allowing the Palestinians to continue governing themselves in Palestinian controlled Areas A and B.
Another source close to Bennett said he did not believe Bennett had read the plan. Bayit Yehudi will have its own conference in two weeks, a sign that the two parties might end up running separately in the next election.