Stared Down by the PA, Netanyahu Blinks

For over a decade, Regavim has been at the forefront of the legal battle to protect the Adumim Region and to evacuate the illegal outpost known a Khan al Ahmar. This embattled Bedouin encampment, abutting Israel’s Highway #1 and only a few miles outside of Jerusalem, was created by the Palestinian Authority as the flagship enterprise of the Fayyad Plan to create a Palestinian State in Area C – without negotiation or compromise, and in violation of the Oslo Accords.

In five separate rounds of Supreme Court hearings, the specious claims of the Bedouin’s PA-funded lawyers were rejected. Nonetheless, Israel, at the expense of Israeli taxpayers, has created a legal, modern alternative settlement for the residents of Khan al Ahmar — but the PA and its European bank-rollers have rejected all compromise.

Last night (Saturday), the prime minister announced his decision to postpone the evacuation of Khan al Ahmar indefinitely. In his words, more time is needed to explore compromise solutions.

Regavim has another name for this “consideration:” shameful capitulation.

For years, Prime Minister Netanyahu has implemented a policy of selective law enforcement against Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. This recent decision reeks of cowardice and makes a laughingstock of Israel’s sovereignty and commitment to law and order.

Whereas court decisions regarding Amona and Ofra, in Beit El and in Netiv HaAvot, were implemented to the letter, and the State of Israel acted in a manner befitting a sovereign, democratic, law-abiding state –in the case of the Palestinian Authority’s flagship outpost, Netanyahu has cold feet.

If, in fact, Netanyahu allows the PA to dictate the “compromise” that has been floated in the press to relocate this outpost a few hundred meters north of its current location, the Prime Minister of Israel will pave the way for the creation of a hostile state in Area C with his own two hands. Granting official sanction to a Palestinian settlement in this strategically critical area will undermine the Oslo Accords, create irreversible facts on the ground, and erode Israel’s control of one of the most important links in the chain of territorial contiguity. The blame for this stinging defeat in the battle for Area C will be Netanyahu’s lasting legacy of shame. The Prime Minister cannot shift the blame in the direction of the Supreme Court; he will have no one to blame but himself.

About the Author
Originally from NY, I have spent more than half my life in Israel - and the percentages keep getting better. I studied at NYU and Bar Ilan University, and have been involved in academia and publication, writing, editing and translating, journalism and research.