Battle of ideas

Can the Likud hold its own against Mahmoud Abbas?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives to attend the meeting of the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 14, 2018.  (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives to attend the meeting of the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 14, 2018.
In a recent Likud central committee vote, we, the top decision-making body in the party, unanimously called on elected Likud officials “to allow unhindered construction and to extend Israeli law and sovereignty in all areas of liberated settlement in Judea and Samaria.”
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas later slammed us and our vote using name-calling rather than persuasion.
Can the Likud hold its own against this attack by Abbas? It is distasteful for me, like any Israeli, to focus on Abbas at all – a person who we recognize as a person of no conscience and who was responsible for financing the slaughter of Israel’s peaceful athletes in the Munich Olympics.
(The slain men were weight-lifters Joseph Romano, David Berger and Ze’ev Friedman, wrestlers Eliezer Halfin and Mark Slavin, coaches Moshe Weinberg, Amitzur Shapira, Kehat Shorr, and Andre Spitzer, referee Yossef Gutfreund, and weightlifting judge Yakov Springer.) However, Abbas’s ugly allegations against the Likud party left me no choice but to defend Israel’s good name. Abbas is intent on criminalizing Israel, in the classic antisemitic tradition, by referring to “crimes” of the Israeli “occupation.” Abbas refers to “the people of Palestine.”
But we, the Jews, are the indigenous people of this land, Eretz Yisrael, whose temporary Roman name was Palestine. This fact was recognized long ago by the international community.
Abbas’s statement contained allegations that our Jewish communities are illegal.
But we, in the Likud, will not be silent any more in the face of such lies. Israeli sovereignty over all settlements in liberated Judea-Samaria is no violation of international law. To the contrary. The most basic document of international law, the United Nations Charter, grants the right of “close settlement” to us, the Jewish people, for our self-determination.
This inalienable territorial right of the Jewish people applies to at least the tiny Western portion of Eretz Yisrael – including all of Judea-Samaria. The Palestinian Authority’s propaganda machine has hidden this fact from the world. The Likud and its leaders have recently exposed this fact and will continue to do so. All actions of the law-abiding State of Israel are strictly legal.
TURNING NOW to the Palestinian Arabs, they already have all the rights they need. The ancient Arab people has far greater and more numerous lands than other nations of the world. The Arab nation certainly enjoys 100 times more land than we Israelis do.
In the Arab nation’s huge territory, they could easily, if they wanted to, realize the Palestinian Arab’s right to self-determination.
All Palestinian Arabs, including Mr. Abbas, belong to the ancient Arab nation. They share a language, religion and origin with their Arab brethren in the 20-plus Arab League countries.
Palestinian Arabs have no “inalienable right” to yet another country, at tiny Israel’s expense.
Furthermore, any concession Israel has ever made to Palestinian Arabs has only led to even wilder accusations, even more terrorism, even worse diplomatic aggression on the part of the Palestinian Arabs against our people.
Abbas proved this yet again this week, in response to the Likud central committee’s statement of our inalienable rights.
The government of Israel, led by the Likud, does not support the misnamed “two-state solution.”
The only Jewish state in the world would not be viable without its vital Judea-Samaria region. Our government will exercise its inalienable right under international law to all areas of liberated Judea and Samaria for re-settlement of our historical homeland.
We will also continue to extend our hand in peace, even to the likes of Abbas, because peace is another sacred element of our ancient Jewish heritage.
I take this opportunity to wish the entire Arab nation a peaceful, cooperative and forward-looking 2018. I am sure I speak for all proud members of the Likud party and of the Likud’s central committee.
The author is the chairman of Young Likud and a Likud central committee activist and member.