All Likud MKs eyeing reelection, but Netanyahu, favor West Bank annexation

Out of the 30 Likud members who hold Knesset seats, 28 have made statements or signed a declaration in support of the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

February 5, 2019 18:44
3 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plants a tree in the Gush Etzion, January 28th, 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plants a tree in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank, January 28th, 2019,. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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All Likud parliamentarians vying for reelection in the next government, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, support the annexation of the West Bank.

His silence on the issue has placed him on the far left of his party when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Out of the 30 Likud members who hold Knesset seats, 28 have made statements or signed a declaration in support of the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

The only one who has not been vocal on the issue, aside from Netanyahu is Bennie Begin, who has no plans to return to the Knesset in the next government.

Aliya and Integration Minister Yoav Gallant, a Likud member and who was a Knesset member in the last government but has since resigned his seat, also supports annexation. He is running for a Knesset seat in the next government.

Another strong Likud contenders for the next Knesset, Gideon Sa’ar similarly stands behind the sovereignty drive.

On Tuesday, two right-wing groups, the Sovereignty Movement and Nahala, released data on the sovereignty stance of right-wing politicians, which combined show that 31% MKs, which is 38 out of the 120 members of the current Knesset, support some form of West Bank annexation.

This also includes all members of the former Bayit Yehudi Party, as well as MK Michael Oren of Kulanu and MK Yoav Ben Tzur of Shas.

They did so, as the Likud Party held its primary Tuesday to set its list of politicians who would fill the party’s Knesset seats in the next government.

The Sovereignty Movement, co-chaired by Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, called on Likud politicians to make sure to elect people who support sovereignty, explaining that action on this issue in the next Knesset would be the “true test for leadership of the national camp.”

The Likud and the national camp must “prove that it has the power to rule and formulate a historic political plan that not only stops the Left’s ideas but also brings the national concept to fruition,” Katsover and Matar said.

“The political winds in the White House and the international preoccupation with other urgent matters enable a swift transition from theory to practice. The next term of Knesset is the true test for the leadership of the national camp,” they added.

It produced a seven-minute video with statements from politicians, including the Bayit Yehudi Party, that spoke about the support of sovereignty. Their video did not go into the nuanced difference in that stance, between annexing Area C or all of the West Bank.

Separately, the Nahala movement, whose leadership includes former Kedumim council head Daniela Weiss, released a statement about their drive to insist that all right-wing parties must reject the creation of a Palestinian state within their platforms in the next election.

For the last several weeks, they have manned a small tent in front of Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence, so that their members could speak to the Israeli public about the need to undo the 1993 Oslo Accords and support one Jewish state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

“I pledge to work to annul the declaration of two states for two peoples and replace it with a state statement: Israel is one country for a single people,” the Likud declaration read.

Among the politicians who have also signed onto that platform are New Right Party members, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Likud Ministers Israel Katz, Yariv Levin, Ze’ev Elkin, Gilad Erdan, Ofir Akunis, Miri Regev, Tzachi Hanegbi, Gila Gamliel and Ayoub Kara have also signed onto the platform.

Politicians signing the declaration also pledge to support a plan by former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir to create enough housing in Judea and Samaria for two million Israelis.

“We want Netanyahu to put an end to the terrible two-state declaration that he made in Bar-Ilan [in 2009],” Weiss told The Jerusalem Post.

“We want to see all of Judea and Samaria in Jewish hands. The headline that we like most, is one country for one nation, the nation is the people of Israel. The land of Israel for the people of Israel,” she said. “We want Netanyahu to adopt it by declaration and we want Netanyahu to carry out a practical plan of settling two million Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

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