So it is July 1st. The sky was supposed to fall today. The world was to come against today. And yet, nothing. True, there has been no statement about extending Israel’s sovereignty – either way, but we all know it’s coming. We all know that some sort of announcement will be made. Ultimately, the question is – it is July 1st where is sovereignty?
The answer appears to be in the above map that is now being circulated. The push back against creating isolated enclaves has been enormous. In Trump’s plan there were meant to be 15 of them. These enclaves would rest within “Palestine” and would accessible by their residents with help from the IDF. Jews would never hold out and eventually leave. This was the same thing that eventually did Gush Katif (and those other isolated communities in the belt) in.
No one wants to create another situation where a future government would use a situation where we created isolation in order to remove these communities.
In the above map, the green areas are the areas that the government wants to see added onto the map. The yellow areas are those places that will be handed to a future “Palestinian Arab” entity, if they accept. This map seems to correct the lack of access Jews would have from Hebron and south directly to Jerusalem.
In fact the discussions appear to be centered around correcting the above mentioned problems.
Minister Hotovely who is on the mapping team said the following in an interview with Arutz 7:
“The Americans regard the issue of the Jordan Valley as being particularly sensitive, because of the peace treaty with Jordan. As someone who wants to see Eli, Shiloh, and Beit El under Israeli sovereignty, I can say that the central value of sovereignty is in places that for years were not in the consensus; places from which we derive our right to the Land of Israel, like Elon Moreh and Beit El. Part of the struggle right now is to ensure that sovereignty isn’t applied only to the settlement blocs.”
“The important thing is that the Israeli government never agree to Palestinian statehood of any kind as part of a deal to apply sovereignty.”
Those criticizing this for being one sided in Israel’s favor miss the point. One just has to look carefully and see that each “Palestinian Arab” section is connected by over passes. Many of these over passes exist today. No matter what, they will have contiguity as well as the Jews.
None of this is final and there are many dissenting voices on the right that remain even after these changes. The positive side of this is that Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to be willing to ensure that there are no isolated enclaves, even when comes to fledgling communities like Avigail in the south and those in the Northern Shomron region. Interesting enough, the above map appears to fix the issue of access to Kever Yosef, revered by Jews, and meant to be part of Israel according to the Oslo accords.
There are still more challenges though. Anyone, who has been to these areas knows there are Jewish farms that buttress most communities and guard against land theft committed by European backed Arabs. Will those farms be included? Many of them lie on empty hills. The question would remain no matter what map, why does the Palestinian Authority deserve to receive any empty land? After all, the land is historically Jewish and by ensuring it remains so would support the objectively correct historic narrative.
With July 1st passing calmly and discussion continuing, expect major announcements soon. If Netanyahu does press sovereignty, he appears ready to do a lot more than rumors have alleged. After all, if Israel is going to take the heat, it might as well go for as much as the Trump administration allows.
Of course as I have personally advocated, the far easier solution would be to extend sovereignty across all of Judea and Samaria and even offer those Arabs living there the option to become citizens in a careful and staged process. Most will accept. Israel will still have a comfortable majority and everyone would be able to travel freely. For now that option is not on the table, but if the Trump plan falters then it very well may be.