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Outline and contents of my radio interview last Sunday on the topic of annexation

Reader comment on item: A Reply to My Critics

Submitted by DAVID D MEIR-LEVI (United States), May 27, 2020 at 14:34

Outline, Wolf Radio Show, 5/24/2020, "Annexation: More than meets the eye."
Intro: Article 29 of the national unity government agreement between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and Benny Gantz's Blue and White coalition, agreed to on April 20, 2020, opens the door to territorial annexations in the West Bank. The exact wording is: "As of July 1, 2020 the Prime Minister will be able to bring the agreement reached with the United States regarding the application of sovereignty for discussion by the cabinet and the government and for the approval of the government and/or the Knesset."
I. The Israeli Government Declaration.
A. Netanyahu's words
"it is time to apply Israeli law" to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as to the strategic Jordan Valley along Israel's easternmost border. Start time = July 1, when the mapping committee of USA and Israeli planners has finished its job and presents the map of Israeli communities and areas to be included in the new extension of Israeli legal sovereignty.
B. Gantz's dissent despite his original agreement
Ganz and centrists demanded remove "Judea and Samaria" wording from announcement. There are still serious rifts in the coalition.

II. Terminology
A. Occupied Territory Incorrect
1. Legal sovereignty and disputed territory
2. International law: all of "British Mandatory Palestine" west of Jordan = legal homeland of israel per League of Nations, San Remo Conference, United Nations. Since Arabs rejected partition plan of 47,
a. Uti possidetis juris (as you possess under law), the newly formed sovereign state arising from and after that state's having been under the control of a more powerful sovereign, will have the same borders that that state's territory had while ruled by the sovereign. So "Palestine" became Israel in 1948 and Palestine was from the river to the sea. So Israel is from the river to the sea. The fact that Jordan held on to much of it (J&S) was a continued violation of law and did not change the fact that Israel held legal sovereignty over the area that Jordan illegally occupied. The operative International law concept re Jordan's conquest is ex turpi causa non oritor actio. All in the absence of an Arab state in that area.
International law reverts legal sovereignty to Israel.
b. (Avi Bell, Bar Ilan U, prof international law) San Remo Conference, 4/19-26/1920. 4 WWI allies decided to give the Turkish imperial possessions the right to political self-determination and national self-realization. Britain, France, Italy, Japan all said that the peoples controlled by Turkish empire could be independent countries, after a transition period, hence "mandates" to European countries to assist these peoples to develop their own states, with the intent that they would share the political sensibilities and social values of the west. Thus Syria, Iraq became countries whose borders were the same as they were under the Turks. Same re Palestine, as homeland for Jews.
San Remo incorporated the Balfour declaration (1917 hence provisions of Balfour Dec acquire status of international law) into its definition of Palestine, and Palestine, with Iraq and Syria and Arabia, became "class A" mandates under French and English, for gradual development of social and political infrastructure for independence. Palestine then was all of today's Israel including J&S, PLUS all of today's kingdom of Jordan!!
c. 1923 League of Nations incorporated San Remo decisions into international law and declared the mandates for these countries (later confirmed by the Lausanne treaty of 4/23/1923). Thus, international law guaranteed the right of Jews to immigrate to and close settlement in Palestine with the intent that over time they would evolve into an independent JEWISH state. Thus, Jewish immigration to, close settlement in, and ultimately an independent state in Palestine was guaranteed in international law.
Interesting to note that prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia at the time supported the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Conference and the League of Nations, because he felt that a reconstitution of the Jewish people in their homeland would help the Arab world significantly, to modernize and enter into the 20th century. His colleagues demurred.
d. There was no Palestinian people or Palestinian political entity by that name in Palestine at that time. The Jews of Palestine were called Palestinians, and the Arabs were called Arabs. The borders of Palestine for the Jewish people's settlement were the borders of British Mandatory Palestine, modern Israel plus ALL of Jordan.
The fact that Britain violated these new international laws does not make them any less international laws.
e. 1938 Evian conference, what to do with the Jews in light of Germany's anti-Jewish laws and actions. Britain told France and Germany that Britain would not permit even the mention of Palestine as a place to which Jews could be transported to get them out of Germany and get refugees out of other European countries.
Restricted immigration
Restricted settlement
Separated Transjordan from Palestine, Created Hashemite kingdom of Jordan
Opposed creation of Jewish state
Supported Arab terrorist war
The fact that international laws has been violated, ignored, disobeyed, does not make it any less international law.
f. In 1945, The UN incorporated ALL of the league of nations decisions into its foundational documents, and specifically article 80 re Palestine.
g. Re Jordan 1948-1967: ex turpi causa non oritor actio
Re Israel in J&S: 1948-1967: in absence of legal claim, Israel's sovereignty is valid: Uti possidetis juris
(NB re debate about International Law. Anti-Israel debaters are happy to invoke international law when they think it supports their arguments against Israel. When faced with the above, they often respond with: "well, that's just legalize, splitting hairs about abstract and abstruse legal arguments. It has no meaning when real life is the topic." To which I respond: "Well, you are the one who insisted that International Law should be invoked to condemn Israel for being in violation. If you think it is irrelevant, why are you using it as the basis for your argument." Response is usually silence.)

3. 1967 defensive war
a. RE Jordan's claim to J&S Sovereignty, ex injuria ius non oritor (Law does not arise from injustice): Jordan cannot claim legal title or sovereignty to J&S because its invasion and occupation was illegal.
b. Re Israel in J&S 1967-present: ex turpi causa non oritor action and ex injuria ius non oritor. This latter concept applied to Israel's conquests in the 6-day war means that territory conquered in a defensive war cannot be claimed back by the offensive side, because the offensive side was engaged in an illegal act (an invasion) when they invaded the victim country. So, according to international law and 4th Geneva Convention, the disposition of territory conquered in a defensive military action must await the peace treaty formed between the belligerents, the two warring sides and its future will be decided by the terms of that peace treaty. In the absence of such peace treaty, and in light of uti possidetis juris, Israel's sovereignty from the river to the sea is legal.

B. Annexation Incorrect
1. No occupation, only Legal sovereignty, ergo no Annexation.
a. Most of the world states opposition to the annexation of someone else's territory. But you cannot annex territory that has already been designated as yours.
b. The Turkish invasion of Cyprus was an act of aggression. The Russian invasion of Crimea was an act of aggression. Israel in the West Bank is an entirely different story. International law draws a distinction between unlawful territorial change by an aggressor and lawful territorial change in response to an act of aggression.
c. In addition to the designation of these territories as part of the Jewish national home, one must remember that the West Bank was captured by Israel in a war of self-defense in 1967. That makes all the difference. Cf. supra II.A.3.b
2. It would be more correct not to use the terms "annexation" or "sovereignty", but rather "the (legal) application of Israeli (civilian) law to certain limited parts of the West Bank (hitherto under Israeli military law or PA law)."

So no annexation: only legal application of Israeli law, to some limited parts of the west bank over which Israel already has legal sovereignty. Clearly, the term "annexation" is used by Israel's detractors in order to make Israel's actions appear wrong.
III. International Law
A. Internationally binding decisions
1. Balfour Declaration, 11.1917
Not international law at time of proclamation, but its resolutions became international law when its resolutions were incorporated into the San Remo Conference and into the League of Nations bylaws and into the UN bylaws.
2. San Remo Conference, 4.1920, cf. supra II.A.2.b
3. League of Nations, 1923, cf. supra II.A.2.c.
4. United Nations, 1947, cf. supra II.A.2.d & f.
B. England's perfidy
1. Restricted immigration
2. Restricted settlement
3. Created Transjordan, 1922 (NB. British Mandatory Palestine was all of modern-day Israel AND Jordan. So, in terms of international law, Israel in 1947 should have extended to all of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. England, for its own political purposes, lopped off 74% of what the San Remo Conference and the League of Nations and the UN had decided was to be the Jewish homeland and gave it to its Arab allies the Hashemites under emir Abdullah who then became King Abdullah.)
4. Collaborated with Arab terrorists to oppose Jewish State
5. Evian Conference, 1938, cf. supra II.A.2.e

IV. Israeli Rationale for extension of Israeli law.
A. Allon Plan, 1967
The extension of Israeli law to the Jordan Valley is in accordance with former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's strategic tenets (the Allon Plan). Notably, more Israelis view the Jordan Valley as an indispensable defensible border as much as or more so than the Golan Heights.

B. Defensible borders are particularly necessary considering that the threats to Israel's population centers and its strategic installations have increased in the 21st century. Iran hopes to establish a "Shiite Crescent" from the Gulf, via Iraq, Lebanon and Syria to the Mediterranean. Iran's objective is to turn Syria, Lebanon and Iraq into launching pads for missile and terror attacks against Israel.
C. Iran also plans to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and create a land bridge to the Palestinian Authority (close to Israel's heartland) in order to enhance its ability to harm Israel.
D. Jordan river is a natural tank trap.
The Jordan Valley is the only available defensible border on the eastern front, and the closest to Israel's heartland — the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv-Haifa triangle. This area holds 70% of Israel's population and 80% of its economic infrastructure. The distance between the Jordan River and Jerusalem is only 30 kilometers (19 miles).
E. Indispensable defensible border
1. Jordan weak and could fall prey to upheaval and revolt
a. 80% of Jordanian citizens are Palestinians who could support rebellion
b. ISIS and other Jihadists now in Jordan
c. Syrian refugees include anti-Hashemites
2. Iran in Syria, could expand in to Jordan, part of Shi'ite Crescent
F. Control over roads for troop movement
Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley allows control over the very few roads going westward through a mountainous region, enabling a small defending force to easily block an armored invasion of the Land of Israel by placing anti-tank weapons at the entrance of these roads in the valley.
G. The strategic imperative is complemented by demographic realities. Relatively few Arabs live in the unhospitable desert-like valley. Therefore, inclusion of this area into Israel does not burden the Jewish state with a demographic problem

H. Greater reach into East to use pre-emptive military technology.

I. Some analysts claim that Israel no longer needs the Jordan Valley as a shield against aggression from the east. They argue that the peace treaty with Jordan neutralizes the threat of the eastern front and its proximity to Israel's centers of population and economic infrastructure. Moreover, they argue that the demise of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, the weakening of war-torn Syria and the impressive stability of Jordan amid turmoil in the Arab world renders the eastern threat a thing of the past.
J. Yet this perspective ignores the immense potential for political upheaval in the Middle East, as demonstrated during the so-called (and mislabeled) Arab Spring upheavals. The destabilization of Hashemite Jordan and Saudi Arabia and the rise of a radical Syria are not far-fetched scenarios. Moreover, the American disengagement from the Middle East allows greater freedom of action for Islamist elements to take over American allies. The reemergence of the eastern front as a security threat could become a reality.

K. Advocates of turning over the Jordan Valley to the Palestinians discount its topographical importance by referring to current military technology that allows precision strikes from a distance. They argue that the ability to launch defensive strikes from the coast eliminates the strategic need for the Jordan Valley. Yet such an argument overlooks the history of military technology, which shows a clear oscillation between the dominance of offensive or defensive measures over the centuries. The belief that modern technology, which indeed temporarily reduces the importance of topography, will remain unchallenged constitutes a dangerous strategic fallacy. Designing stable defensible borders in accordance with current but transient technology and political factors is strategically foolish.

L. If Israel wants to maintain a defensible border along the Jordan Valley it also needs to secure the highway from the valley to the coast via an undivided Jerusalem and the J&S town of Maaleh Adumim. This is the only west-east axis with a Jewish majority and the only safe route through which Israel can mobilize troops from the coast (where most Jews live) to the Jordan Valley in case of emergency.
Maaleh Adumim (established by Labor in 1976 under Rabin) serves as the linchpin in establishing a line of defense along the Jordan Valley against aggression from the east. Connecting Maaleh Adumim to Jerusalem through construction in E-1 (5 kilometers, or 3 miles, of empty desert land) will secure the road to the Jordan Valley and prevent the division of Jerusalem.

V. The Key Players
1. Obama
Silent so far, but traditionally considered "settlements" as destroying hope for two state solution. So no reason to expect anything but antagonism from him re this issue.
2. Trump
a. Israel is expected to engage in talks with the Palestinians toward the creation of a demilitarized state, should the Palestinians agree to hold such negotiations. But annexation is not contingent upon Palestinian agreement to such talks. Breakthrough: PA no longer has total veto.
b. Trump plan, publicly announced first in Jan 2020 is consistent on this issue. The Jewish communities to be incorporated are already within the 30% of west bank that Israel envisions as territory to be brought under Israeli civilian law.
c. (JP 5/6) US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said two conditions for USA to recognize Israeli sovereignty: a. that Netanyahu must show willingness to negotiate with Abbas, and b. follow directives of trump peace plan, before USA will recognize Israel extension of Israeli civilian law over 30% of west bank.
The first condition for the US to back Israel applying sovereignty to all (Israeli) settlements, biblical sites and the Jordan Valley is the completion of a map by the joint US-Israeli committee, which began working in February, Friedman said. The committee met in recent weeks, he said. It is on track to finish the mapping, pending "judgment calls in Israel's court," by July 1, the date Netanyahu set for annexation in his coalition agreement with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.

The second condition, about which there had been some confusion, is that Netanyahu show he is committed to US President Donald Trump's peace plan and all it entails, including freezing settlement activity outside the 30% of Judea and Samaria delineated by the mapping committee, and express a willingness to negotiate with the Palestinians to form a state in the rest of the West Bank.
d. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman says that Israel is on board for this plan, which he sees as an enormously brave venture. Apparently Prime Minister Netanyahu has made verbal commitments already.
e. In broad terms, as explained by Friedman, the Palestinian Arabs are not remotely in a position to strike an agreement today, and will be given up to four years to do so, without penalty. In the meantime, the area of land that would become their state (including land in Area C) will be held for them. Meanwhile, the PLO/PA has fulfilled NONE of the requirements of the trump peace plan, and has refused numerous times to engage in negotiations with Israel.
This means that for four years Israel will freeze all development in Judea and Samaria beyond the 30% in which sovereignty will be applied. It also means that Israel must agree to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, according to what is laid out in the plan. Netanyahu has already expressed this agreement numerous times.
If Trump maintains his original position in his peace plan, the deal of the century, then he is the first president to see the folly of giving the PA an unlimited veto on all peace plans. If he capitulates to pressures within the government, or changes his mind of his own volition, then he has failed just as all other USA presidents have failed.

3. Pompeo (condemns Iran, critiques EU & ICC, for anti-Israel stuff)
Pompeo recent visit had 4 GENDAS: IRAN, extension of sovereignty, COR0NA VIRUS COOPERATION, CHINA.
Pompeo commented during the visit that Israel's new government "the right and the obligation" to determine how it will apply sovereignty over those areas, which are already under Israeli control and have been since 1967. "I reminded [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz] that, annexation is an Israeli decision," Pompeo said in comments published by Israel Hayom. The Trump administration has said it will support the annexation of communities in Judea and Samaria as long as Israel agrees to enter peace talks with the Palestinians, should the Palestinians agree to hold such talks (i.e., if they don't, Israel must wait 4 years, and then go ahead with its plans without PA interaction.).

4. State department
State Department dissention:
• Until Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Jerusalem on May 13, the Americans said that the decision to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, including the timing and details, was in Israel's hands. However, in the wake of his visit, State Department spokesperson (Ms.) Morgan Ortagus told Israeli journalists, "We really think this should be part of a peace process where Palestinians should have a say."
• For Israel this would mean a very significant change, since an important component of the U.S. peace plan was the removal of the Palestinians' veto over altering the reality on the ground. It seems there are differing approaches on the issue within the U.S. government.
The Palestinians have indeed proclaimed that they reject the American plan, but the United States will keep pressuring them to return to the negotiating table and still hopes that they will.
This change, of course, greatly affects the chances of carrying out the measure. According to the agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, its implementation is conditional on full U.S. consent – and it seems there are differing approaches on the issue within the U.S. government. Nor is it clear whether the American consent will be attained early enough before the U.S. presidential elections.
A possible change in the U.S. position does not reflect a retraction of the view that the Jordan Valley and the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria should be under Israel sovereignty, but perhaps a temporary shelving of the idea that sovereignty can be applied unilaterally, even without Palestinian agreement. But for Israel this would mean a very significant change, since an important component of the plan was the removal of the Palestinians' veto over altering the reality on the ground. If this change is not temporary, it indicates American agreement that the Trump plan's fate will be the same as that of all its predecessors, and that applying sovereignty has, at this stage, been dropped from the agenda. However, a State Department source denied that such a change has occurred when asked by an Israeli journalist.
5. Democratic party: 18 Democratic senators share Biden's condemnation: In letter authored by U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the 18 senators wrote letter (originally drafted by J Street), condemning Israel's "annexation" since it would "destroy hopes for peace" and "prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. The Democrats' letter (watered down version of J Street draft) said that Israel applying sovereignty "would mark a dramatic reversal of decades of shared understandings between the United States, Israel, the Palestinians and the international community, and would have a clear impact on both Israel's future and our vital bilateral and bipartisan relationship."
They further wrote that annexation would "be met with deep concern from our mutual allies and partners, including Jordan and Egypt, and nearly universally viewed as a violation of international law."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) sent a letter earlier this month to Netanyahu, warning him that it "will result in long-term costs to Israel's national security and diplomatic relationships."
6. Biden
As VP he routinely attacked the underpinnings of Jewish self-determination and pushed for failed policies. He seemed to feel that Westerners, more enlighten than Israelis, must guide Israel. Marked paternalism: see 2010 speech at TAU re settlements obstacle to peace. 2009 He supported Obama's funding anti-Netanyahu Israeli competitors for PM and Knesset seats = soft coup. Blamed Israel for terrorism even after 2005 delinkage from Gaza strip. Embraced J-street endorsement for president, works with anti-Israel Muslims in his campaign. Seeks to reinstate Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). He has recently spoken out vociferously against "annexation" while in the same breath re-iterating his support for Israel, not move embassy from Jerusalem, continue trade, continue arms sales.
Israel's "annexation" will "choke off hope of peace."

Biden asserts a moral equivalency between Israeli housing developments and Palestinian terrorism. He has stated that he will re-open the US Consulate in East Jerusalem and the PLO Mission in Washington DC. By accepting the endorsement of J Street and by inviting Sanders' foreign policy advisors into hiss campaign brain trust, Biden has signaled his embrace of the Democratic party's growing anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, pro-socialism left wing. As far back as 1982 as Delaware Senator he threatened to cut off US aid to Israel. In 2010 he led the Obama efforts to condemn Israeli housing unit construction in Ramat Shlomo (suburb of Jerusalem), declaring all "settlements" to be an obstacle to peace. In general, he frequently joins with the most aggressive political attacks on Israel in the contexts of settlements. He is not a reliable friend.

Germany vs EU re Israel, Germany bans Hezbollah (5/4), along with Netherlands, US UK Canada
EU divided on Israel, Hungary and Czechia support Israel
Joseph Borrell foreign policy chief for EU said EU opposes "annexation" but sees Russia's annexation of Crimea to be a much more serious breach. Same EU chief condemns Iran for its threats to Israel: Borrell wrote, "I condemn in the strongest possible terms the call by the Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei to fight Israel. This is a threat to international peace and security. The security of Israel is of paramount importance and the EU will stand at its side." (AFP-Al Arabiya)
Strongest sanctions require unanimous support, so no sanctions likely.
EU for first time ever condemns PA for anti-Israel hate speech and incitement
If the EU retaliates against Israel for implementing the first stage of the Trump peace plan, it will antagonize the White House which will rightly view the move as anti-American. This state of affairs will increase the number of EU member states that will oppose anti-Israel sanctions – or any other anti-Israel response to the sovereignty plan.

C. Jordan
Despite formal statements, Jordan prefers an Israeli permanent presence in the Jordan Valley, fearing a neighboring Palestinian political entity that could develop into another Hamas-controlled Gaza. Since the signing of the peace agreement in 1994, Jordan's dependence on Israel has increased. Israel supplies increasing quantities of water, far beyond its obligations, and also supplies natural gas. In addition, the Israeli lobby in Washington is working overtime to secure US economic aid to Amman. The viability of the Hashemite dynasty depends almost entirely upon Israel. So not likely to go to war over "annexation".
Amman does face domestic opposition to bolstering its relations with Israel. But Jordan weathered the Arab Spring well, so the government can be trusted to manage its affairs and remain in power. Jordan even signed a peace deal with Israel that annexed East Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is considered more important than the Jordan Valley.
King hints that Jerusalem is more important than Jordan valley.
Israel provides water above treaty amount. And natural gas. Israel is bulwark against Arab state or jihadist aggression against Jordan.
The Der Spiegel reporters asked Abdullah if he would suspend Jordan's peace treaty with Israel in retaliation for an Israeli decision to apply its sovereignty to the areas. He responded, "I don't want to make threats and create a loggerheads atmosphere, but we are considering all options." In plain English, that means that he is absolutely not considering suspending the peace deal. He's bloviating. And he has good reason to both keep the peace deal and to bloviate.
Abdullah will not cancel his kingdom's peace deal with Israel because the peace treaty guarantees the survival of his regime. Israel provides Jordan with an economic lifeline by supplying Jordan with water and gas. The U.S. for its part, protects and sustains Abdullah and his kingdom by stationing U.S. forces in the kingdom and by providing Jordan with $1.8 billion in economic assistance annually.
Since Israel's sovereignty plan will be undertaken in the framework of the U.S. peace plan, it is hard to imagine that U.S. support for the kingdom would be unchanged in the event that Jordan abrogated its peace deal in retaliation for Israel's move.
If Jordan did decide to abrogate the treaty, article 29 of the treaty provides the dispute resolution mechanism for doing so peacefully. Nothing in "annexation" provides Jordan with a casus belli.

A source close to the Jordanian monarchy said that King Abdullah's recent warning of a "massive conflict" with Israel if it declares sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria was primarily intended to appease public opinion at home. The majority of Jordan's population is of Palestinian origin.
The Jordanian source said the Jordanian army is happy with its long-time cooperation with the IDF along the countries' shared border and under no circumstances wants to see Palestinian security forces on the border instead. He added that the Jordanian government knows the Palestinians cannot be trusted and in fact welcomes measures that will strengthen Israel at the Palestinian Authority's expense. At the same time, the source said, "To say such things [publicly] is to cross a red line that could end in prison." (Israel Hayom)
Note recent unanimous parliamentary decision to ban any gas deal with Israel. Energy-poor Jordan needs a stable, affordable fuel supply, which the Israeli deal provides. When it was signed in 2016, the Jordanian government said it could save the country $500 million a year—almost 4 percent of Jordan's 2019 budget and more than half its projected deficit for that year (the actual deficit was apparently higher). In short, the deal would let the kingdom redirect significant amounts of money to some of its other crying needs.

But that doesn't interest Jordanian lawmakers. What they care about is that this is "the gas of the enemy," to quote protesters against the deal.

They also don't care that Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty 25 years ago. As last week's vote made clear, every single Jordanian lawmaker still views Israel as an enemy with whom trade is anathema, even if Jordan itself would benefit greatly. That stance is wildly popular: Almost all Jordanians have an unfavorable view of Jews and similar views of the Jewish state.

However, Jordanian Constitutional Court decided that the parliamentary vote was illegal and gas deal cannot be cancelled.

a. No peace dividend here. Didn't work with Arafat & Oslo, does not work here.
b. King and kingdom are at odds over Israel. King could be ousted any time and Jordanian border become a hostile one.

Palestinian opposition to an extension of Israeli law to the valley is irrelevant. The lengthy negotiations (72 years) with the Palestinians have led nowhere and there is Israeli consensus that the Palestinian national movement is not ripe for accepting a historical compromise with the Jewish state. Their procrastination in adopting a realistic compromise with the Zionist movement has left them so far invariably with less territory than had previously been offered to them.
No one in their gov't wants peace, no commitment to negotiate, reject everything, and cannot be relied upon to keep agreements. Pal leaders weak and divided.
PLO threats of 3rd intifada, the mother of all intifadas, are currently reason why IDF is gearing up to handle it, 67% of pals in recent poll favor new intifada to stop trump peace plan. So this activity by IDF means that Netanyahu means business and is preparing for Abbass' "dire consequences". It also means that these threats are not enough to make Netanyahu think twice about his plan.
Hamas threatens: "we will seize entire land". So what, they have been saying that for 40 years.
PLO leaders say no possibility of peace if Israel annexes. So what, no possibility of peace anyway.
BUT Abbas on Friday cut security ties with Israel and no longer shares intelligence with CIA. But high level Palestinian official assured Israel that Abbas did not really mean it. A senior Palestinian official on Thursday conveyed to Israel that, despite the announcement of a severance in ties by PA President Abbas, at least some aspects of security cooperation will continue. Israel's Channel 12 reported that the senior Palestinian official sent messages to Israel saying that the Palestinian security services will continue to do their best to foil terror attacks against Israel. The official vowed that terror groups will not be permitted to act freely in areas under PA control. (Times of Israel)
The Palestinian security forces rely to a large degree on this coordination. Israel has on a number of occasions passed information to the Palestinian forces on plans by Hamas or some other group to take action against the PA, or even to harm its leader.
The PA also needs coordination with Israel in order to ensure freedom of movement in the West Bank for senior officials and forces, and to move weapons or military vehicles around. Without this coordination, the PA security forces will be weakened, and opposition forces will gain strength. Hamas supporters in J&S would overthrow Abbas tomorrow if Israeli security cooperation ended.
PA security forces have been extensively involved in thwarting terror attacks in recent years, and are generally credited with stopping 1/3 to 1/4 of attempted attacks. (Times of Israel)

E. Arab Israelis
Joint List promises uprising (within Israel's Arab population) only a matter of time. When asked what would happen if Israel applied its law to parts of Judea and Samaria, and the Jordan Valley, Ayman Odeh, head of joint Arab list, responded: "There have been warnings for several years about taking further steps [in this direction], the question is when will it finally reach its tipping point. It's a matter of time."
Violence, said Odeh, was "a natural response to any occupation. What can you do? These are the laws of nature."
(this attitude is secret behind why there is no peace in middle east: violence is just their nature)

F. Syria and Iraq irrelevant, due to war and internal strife
G. Arab "transactional allies"
Most Arab states are unlikely to make a fuss about the Israeli move. Faced with the threat from Iran and the possibility of the United States pulling troops from the region, Israel remains a regional bulwark against Iran's aspirations to achieve regional hegemony.
Saudis: in Arabia's strategic interests to have good relations with Israel
Journalists write good stuff about Israel, new Saudi tv program (Umm Haroun)
On Sunday, 5/10/2020, Saudi journalist Abdelhameed Al-Ghoban gave an interview to the BBC in Arabic. His remarks, which were translated by MEMRI, were devoid of nuance.
"Today, the public is informed. There is a deluge [of opinions] against the Palestinian cause. It is no longer just public support for normalization and building ties with Israel. [Our] public has turned against the Palestinians in general. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have lost. The Palestinians have not contributed anything. We can say that they are emotional people whose behavior is governed by their feelings."
Al-Ghoban added, "It is in our strategic interest, and in keeping with our future economic interests, to maintain real relations with Israel. Israel is an advanced country and we can benefit from it."
Al-Ghoban's remarks are not a lone voice in the wilderness. During the Ramadan Muslim holy month, Saudi television networks broadcast two series that portray Jews and Israelis in a positive light.
H. China
Israel's 2nd largest trading partner (USA = 1, EU = 3, India = 4)
Haifa Port, Ashdod port, and other infrastructure partnerships vs. US pressure for Israel to end Chinese partnership. But so far China silent on this issue.
I. MSM: all the usual suspects strongly support Palestinians: NYTimes: "Abbas has always opposed violence."

VI. "The Sky is Falling" Objections to action and why they are false
A. Arab street will explode (Arabs are only people who have a street)
B. International community, court of public opinion, will never allow it
C. UN will oppose it
D. Palestinian street will explode into Intifada 3
E. Arab "transactional Allies" will withdraw their tepid support for Israel
F. Biden will win in 11/2020
G. Weaken support for Israel among USA Democrats
H. Israel's left wing will agitate to change government
I. "Annexation" will create citizenship for Palestinian Arabs and tip demographic balance.

All of the "sky is falling" histrionic pronouncements share the same talking points, the same errors, the same Palestinian propaganda mendacious narrative, and the same threats. They are all using "annexation" as merely another, new, excuse to attack Israel, bash Israel, accuse Israel of endless crimes, and to attack Trump and his plan. This is a manufactured outrage with all the usual suspects pilling up on Israel.
USA Dems and anti-Israel Jews and some pro-Israel Jews, some "liberal" and some just ignorant, and the "progressives": "do not do it." As though the sky is falling if Israel does it. Great irony that Arab states formerly committed to the destruction of Israel, even the most extremist Wahhabi Saudi Arabs, are now more friendly toward Israel and supportive of its exercising its rights under international law than are Jews in the USA.
1.) Who manufactured this outrage? Very suspicious that they are all reading from the same script.
2.) This is not our first rodeo: Similar warnings were aired by think tanks and left-wing politicians with respect to previous Israeli initiatives, such as applying Israeli sovereignty to the Golan Heights (1981), uniting Jerusalem (1967), and even declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel (1949) and moving the government's ministries to Jerusalem (1951). As David Ben-Gurion said in 1955, "Our future doesn't depend on what the Gentiles will say, but on what the Jews will do."
3.) Does Morgan Ortagus reflect dissent (inappropriate, perhaps illegal) within the State department, or a shift in Trump's attitude?
Bottom Line: unless Ortagus reflects a Trump Shift, Israel should act now to extend its law over the designated parts of the West Bank per its plan. Moreover, if Israel capitulated to this manufactured outrage, it will encourage its enemies to engage in more of the same re anything else that Israel ever does.
Compromise: declare it, but implement it in stages.
a. Make the declaration now
b. extend Israeli civil law over only those Israeli communities closest to the "green line."
c. The status of the very few Palestinian villages in the Jordan valley remains unchanged
d. maintain an increased military presence along the Jordan river.
e. Increase vociferous encouragement of PA to enter into negotiations because if they don't, they will lose even more territory
f. And if they wait more than 4 years, they will lose all possibility of independent state and become an independent enclave with internal freedoms but ruled over by Israel.


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Mark my comment as a response to Outline and contents of my radio interview last Sunday on the topic of annexation by DAVID D MEIR-LEVI

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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