Rising Chorus Backs Israeli Annexation of West Bank

Extreme Option Is Openly Floated in Ruling Party Ranks

Extreme No More: Jewish settlers march in the West Bank city of Hebron. Once an extremist option, annexation of the occupied territory is now gaining support on Israel’s right wing.
getty images
Extreme No More: Jewish settlers march in the West Bank city of Hebron. Once an extremist option, annexation of the occupied territory is now gaining support on Israel’s right wing.

By Nathan Jeffay

Published January 21, 2013, issue of January 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Women in Green co-chair Nadia Matar said that the annexation discussion is important because for too long, the right failed to give clear answers on its alternative to negotiations. “Everybody understands that the two-state solution is national suicide, but we can’t leave a vacuum,” she claimed in an interview with the Forward. “What we are calling to do was done 45 years ago in Jerusalem, when everyone said the skies were going to fall in — and they didn’t.”

Advocates of annexation vary in their view of Palestinian rights once the West Bank becomes part of Israel. During a panel discussion at the conference the opinions ranged from granting full citizenship to granting only permanent residency. The settlement activist Elyakim Haetzni advocated allowing Palestinian autonomy, and Otzma Yisrael party candidate Arye Eldad suggested giving residency, but demanding national voting rights for Palestinians in Jordan. Edelstein and Elkin did not take part in this discussion, and therefore did not outline their views on the subject, but they said nothing during their speeches to suggest that they saw West Bank annexation differently to annexation in Jerusalem, where Palestinians are able to apply for citizenship.

With little if any movement in the electorate between the left-wing bloc of parties and the heavily favored right-wing party blocs, the election campaign has focused mainly on electioneering within the blocs. And the main battle has become that between the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu alliance and the Jewish Home Party to its right.

This has put annexation — only a theoretical possibility for the future — firmly on the agenda, while there has been hardly any discussion of what to do regarding the successful bid to upgrade the Palestinian’s status at the United Nations.

It is the Jewish Home that has been the most vocal about annexation, by enshrining it in limited form in its platform. The Oslo Accords divided the West Bank into three districts. The so-called Area C covers almost two-thirds of the West Bank and contains all the settlements, but it has a very small Palestinian population, and as such, Jewish Home wants to annex the area and grant citizenship to its Palestinian residents.

The Likud ultra-rightist Moshe Feiglin has also ramped up interest in annexation. Feiglin, Netanyahu’s nemesis inside the party who for the first time looks likely to win a Knesset seat, wants to pay Palestinians cash incentives to emigrate, and for the whole West Bank to become part of Israel. Both Feiglin and Jewish Home candidate Eli Ben-Dahan also addressed the Women in Green conference.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.