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December 30, 2013 12:44 pm

Israeli Minister Bennett: Handing Over Jordan Valley to PA Would be Suicidal

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Economy Minister Naftali Bennett during his "hair days" hiking with wife Gilat on a trip to Sartaba, in the Jordan River Valley. Photo: Screenshot / Naftali Bennett / Facebook.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett during his "hair days" hiking with wife Gilat on a trip to Sartaba, in the Jordan River Valley. Photo: Screenshot / Naftali Bennett / Facebook.

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday stood firm by the cabinet’s symbolic vote to annex the Jordan River Valley.

In a Facebook entry entitled “My Jordan Valley,” Bennett,  leader of the Jewish Home party, showed an old photo (from his “hair days”) hiking with his wife through Sartaba, while listing the names of the 27 communal farms and other ventures created by Jews living in the region west of the Jordan river.

He described them as “the defensive line that protects those of us in the center of the country.”

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“Even the argument of ‘ruling over another nation’ is not valid there,” Bennett said, as their actual population is almost exclusively Jewish.

He quoted fallen Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, from his last political speech in the Knesset, on October 5th, 1995, a month before his assassination: “The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.”

Bennett said, “In short, the Jordan Valley is a beautiful place, and it is too important to attempt suicide by handing it over. And, most importantly, it is ours. So forget it.”

The defiant tone came after political opposition and voices from within the government’s coalition, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, objected to or distanced themselves from Sunday’s vote by the cabinet because of their uncertainty as to how it might impact ongoing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority led by the U.S. which is eager to reach a land-for-peace deal in the coming months.

The bill was proposed by MK Miri Regev, of Netanyahu’s Likud Party. In Sunday’s vote, eight ministers supported the bill, while three opposed, including Netanyahu, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, of Hatnua and Israeli’s negotiator with the PA, and Science Minister Yaakov Peri of Yesh Atid.

After the vote, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, of Likud, said, “There is no distinction between settlement and security, and the Jordan Valley is a consensus among Israeli civilians,” according to The Times of Israel.

The measure would place the region under Israeli civil law, similar to the 1981 Golan Heights Bill that applied Israeli civil law to annex the Syrian border region to Israel. While the international community refused to recognize the move, under Israeli law, the Golan is treated as sovereign Israeli territory.

The current status of the Jordan River Valley under Israeli law is of a captured territory administered by the IDF, according to The Times of Israel.

Regev also supported the bill on her Facebook page: “It is no secret that the settlements in the valley have a strategic, security, and political importance of the first order.”

Recent reports suggest that the U.S.-drafted security proposals for a peace agreement with the PA would allow for an Israeli military presence in the area, but require the removal of all Jewish residents there. According to leaks from the negotiations that have been reported by Israeli media, Jerusalem insists on maintaining the area as a militarized buffer, while Ramallah would oppose any Israeli troops on land that would be under PA control.

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  • This appears like its for me and my husband! Hope I could make the most in the near future.

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud (goldie)

    I am not going to bother to study this article in detail. Israel are you planning to commit National suicide? The Jordan valley MUST NOT – cannot be given to arabs. Israel face the reality. 2014 is time for serious strategy to remove Arabs from Israel. Walls won’t stop them, the more they are given the more they want. Israel your survival is not only for Israel but to the rest of humanity. Israel must refute all demands from Arabs, deal vehemently with adverse propaganda against Israel. The US administration is weak, wanting a quick fix to a long problem. The only fix is confrontation and it is time. For the sake of the people of Israel and those families who’ve been massacred by Terrorists. The latest case the Fogel family. Stand Israel and take on the fight and forget about public opinion. Israel’s survival is more important have courage and go. There are enough brilliant Generals in the Israeli forces capable of mounting a successful campaign. Refuse any further overtures from the States.

  • Mel

    Obama wants Land for Peace? Will he donate Honolulu?
    Kerry wants Land for Peace? Will he donate Boston?
    Hagel wants Land for Peace? Will he donate Omaha? Reid wants Land for Peace? Will he donate Las Vegas? Pelosi wants Land for Peace? Will she donate Los Angeles?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Dump Nixon didn’t fly ’til Republicans had too much Dick. Dump Clinton didn’t fly ’til Damnocrats had too much Bill. Dump Obama won’t fly while Obama Media holds Bird-in-Hand.

  • Kris Kristian

    G-D said





    • Vivienne Leijonhufvud (goldie)

      Much as I respect you quotation by G-d. G-d gave man the brain to act as and when necessary. Israel has superb defense forces led by brilliant generals. 2014 must bring an end to Arabs occupying Israel. No one can reason with people whose inherent nature is of violence, amoral teachings and greed, this sums up the Arabs in three words. War for the right reason is not wrong but a cleansing and new beginning the sooner we fight the sooner it is over and yes some of us will die but not in vain.

  • Chris Moyler

    Thank you for fighting for the Jordan valley. It is an integral part of Israel. As a Gentile who loves Israel, I am saddened and sickened at the pressure being put upon her by the nations to give away her ancient land.

    Israel, go back to your Prophetic scriptures and drink them in!!
    Joel 3:2 says that God will bring into judgement the nations “that divided up My land.”
    Before the land was Abrahams, it was God’s land. There is nowhere across the whole face of the earth that God describes as “my land”,only the land of Israel.
    Those who honour the God of Israel, honour the land of Israel.

  • Stephen Logan

    Good to see Israel’s leadership acknowledging publicly that the Jordan Valley cannot be under PA control. The area is strategic and must not be given up.

  • pnina

    Were there many Jews living in the Jordan Valley before 1948?

    • Dr.Zhivago

      Were there many Europeans living in America before 1600s? This is called “facts on the ground”! Deal with it! And certainly Jews were living there well before Arabs. Also, Arabs should not have started wars. Now, this is a price to pay for their stupidity!