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January 31, 2014 5:05 pm

Kerry’s Forthcoming Peace Plan Draws Criticism for Judea and Samaria Withdrawal

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PA Negotiator Erekat Addresses Reporters With Secretary Kerry. Photo: State Depatment.

JNS.orgU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s soon-to-be-revealed framework for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is drawing significant criticism for its rumored proposals concerning Israel’s withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

In a conversation with Jewish leaders, Martin Indyk, the top U.S. envoy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict talks, confirmed that Kerry’s plan would be presented within weeks and would not include any surprises. Indyk added that approximately 75-80 percent of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would be able to remain in Israel through land swaps. But Dani Dayan—the head of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria—questioned that idea.

“Martin Indyk’s vision for the Jews of Judea and Samaria is extremely misleading,” Dayan said in a statement. “When Indyk speaks of 80 percent of our communities remaining under Israeli rule, he is including eastern Jerusalem, which would mean the forceful uprooting and eviction of up to 150,000 Israelis from their homes.”

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Retired ambassador Yoram Ettinger—the former minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington, DC—believes it may be in Israel’s best interest to reject Kerry’s plan because by ceding the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, the plan would reduce Israel to a “sliver along the Mediterranean.”

“Accepting the Kerry Plan requires the subordination of long-term vision and security to short-term convenience… Rejecting the Kerry Plan might create short-term tension, but no long-term rift. On a rainy day, the U.S. prefers a defiant, rather than a submissive, ally,” Ettinger wrote in an op-ed for Israel Hayom.

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