(Image Credit: Government Press Office of Israel)
No “Palestinian state” – that’s what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should have told US President Donald Trump when he visited Jerusalem in late May, according to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party.
In criticizing Netanyahu, Shaked said to Tel Aviv Radio on May 26: “[Netanyahu] should have told the [US] president the truth. A Palestinian state will not arise between the Jordan [River] and the [Mediterranean] Sea. We will not give up on Judea and Samaria.”
It makes for a nice soundbite. But there’s just one problem – despite her vehement call on Netanyahu now, back in 2014 when she was chairperson of the Jewish Home faction of her party, she acknowledged in a TV interview that the party’s national program calls to establish “a Palestinian state” in Judea and Samaria by turning most of the region into “part of Jordan.” She attempted to justify this with the caveat that their government would sit in Amman instead of Ramallah – which somehow in her mind made relinquishing the ancient Jewish land to foreign rule more palatable.
Appearing on Israeli Channel 2’s Eyal Kitzis Show on Sept. 12, 2014 (the interview in Hebrew can be viewed here, the relevant portion is from 4:45 – 7:00), Shaked outlined her party chairman Naftali Bennett’s plan to annex Area C, a number of land blocs in Judea and Samaria designated in the Oslo Accords as being under full Israeli administration. This move would include giving the “70,000-100,000 Arabs” living there full Israeli citizenship.
As for Areas A and B, a myriad of other enclaves which Oslo put under full or partial “Palestinian” administration, Shaked said these large swathes “in another 20 years can even be part of Jordan.”
Explaining herself, she said the “Palestinians” in Areas A and B can “realize their citizenship in Jordan” while remaining where they are. When asked how this would work without territorial continuity with Jordan, she called to “conduct a transfer of territories – you can create territorial continuity.”
“Then that’s basically a Palestinian state, no?” asked the visibly surprised leftist host Eyal Kitzis.
“It’s a Palestinian state, it’s just not in Judea and Samaria overlooking my home,” she replied, in an attempt at verbal gymnastics. Kitzis pressed the point, saying, “According to what you’re saying, that’s really a Palestinian state in our midst, because they’re voting for another place (i.e., the Jordanian government).” Agreeing with him, Shaked said in 20 years “[Areas] A and B need to be a confederation with Jordan.”
Jewish Home’s vision for Judea and Samaria hasn’t changed since 2014, even as the party continues to insist it opposes “two states.” Bennett recently touted that his “Palestinian autonomy on steroids” plan is in fact “identical” to that of the leftist architect of Oslo, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, when he took to Twitter in an attempt to curry favor with leftists protesting for a “two-state solution” in Tel Aviv on May 27.
His tweet included a clip of Rabin from a 1992 election debate against Yitzhak Shamir, in which Rabin said that he opposes a “Palestinian state” between Israel and Jordan, and also opposes Israeli citizenship for the nearly 2 million “Palestinians” living in Judea and Samaria. Bennett termed this a plan for “autonomy,” just like his.
The outcome of that vision of acquiescence to the “Palestinians,” which Bennett aspires to and the extent of which was revealed by Shaked on national TV, is of course a matter of history. Rabin’s Oslo Accords gave the “Palestinians” rifles and international legitimacy by removing the PLO’s status as a recognized terrorist organization, whetted their appetite for more concessions, and led to the Oslo War (commonly known as the Second Intifada) in which over 1,000 Israelis were murdered by Arab terrorists – all this while harming Israel’s claim to its ancestral homeland.