Israeli ministers committee votes to annex Jordan Valley

Israel/Palestine
on 19 Comments
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MK Miri Regev (Photo:IsraelNationalNew/Flash 90)

In a move that would thwart the reported “security arrangements” in John Kerry’s draft peace proposal, a committee of Israeli government ministers today approved new legislation to annex the occupied Jordan Valley.

Kerry’s proposal is said to include plans to imprison Palestinians behind another wall on the border with Jordan and  provide Israel control of the border with Jordan for a few years before switching to a coordinated arrangement with Palestinians. And then gradually, with Israel’s approval, Palestinians would assume control, 10 to 15 years down the road. Mahmoud Abbas has already rejected this idea.

But many Israeli ministers in Netanyahu’s cabinet believe even this loose arrangement affords too much leeway for Netanyahu to make concessions during the negotiations so as to get a deal. The new legislation is intended to hand-tie Netanyahu in consideration of the upcoming American proposal. It was first proposed last week by Miri Regev (a member of Knesset from Likud) and then approved today by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, by an 8 to 2 vote.

If the legislation becomes law it prevents Netanyahu from agreeing to any plan leading to eventual Palestinian control over the Jordan Valley or the border with Jordan.

Jerusalem Post, Ministers vote to annex Jordan Valley:

If the bill becomes law, Netanyahu would be unable to accept the American offer to put the Jordan Valley and border crossings into Jordan under Palestinian control, with IDF soldiers posted at the border and the US providing additional security.

“The ministerial committee’s approval of this bill now, when there are talks with the Palestinians, is a clear statement by the government that the towns in the Jordan Valley are a strategic and security asset of the State of Israel that must stay in our hands,” Regev said.

According to Regev, the Jordan Valley is the “safety belt” on the eastern border.

Eight ministers on the committee, all from the Likud, Yisrael Beytenu or Bayit Yehudi, voted in favor of the bill, while Hatnua and Yesh Atid ministers opposed.

Livni, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Health Minister Yael German said they would submit an appeal of the vote.

Israel National News:

“It’s no secret that the towns in the Jordan Valley have tremendous importance in terms of defense and strategy…Ultimately, we have a responsibility to the citizens of Israel,” Regev declared.

“Not every round of negotiations has to end with land concessions and forcibly evacuating Israeli towns,” she added. “If this continues, eventually we’ll end up with just central Tel Aviv.”

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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19 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    December 29, 2013, 1:17 pm

    And tommorow they will apparently accept more settlements..

    Just another day in the colonialist regime called Israel.

  2. Hostage
    December 29, 2013, 1:53 pm

    “The ministerial committee’s approval of this bill now, when there are talks with the Palestinians, is a clear statement by the government that the towns in the Jordan Valley are a strategic and security asset of the State of Israel that must stay in our hands,” Regev said.

    The Jewish civilian prescence in the Jordan Valley is actually a security problem for the IDF, not an asset. No one with any military training wants to defend an isolated enclave in the middle of another state with vulnerable lines of communications. It’s an-age old recipe for disaster. The goal is to continue to occupy and control all of the surrounding Palestinian territory.

    Anyone who has seen the video of Netanyahu bragging about killing the Oslo process knows this “security zone” or “military site” label was adopted for purely political, not military purposes:

    Narrator: The Oslo Accords stated at the time that Israel would gradually hand over territories to the Palestinians in three different pulses, unless the territories in question had settlements or military sites. This is where Netanyahu found a loophole.

    Netanyahu: No one said what defined military sites. Defined military sites, I said, were security zones. As far as I’m concerned, the Jordan Valley is a defined military site.

    Woman: Right [laughs]…The Beit She’an Valley.

    Netanyahu: How can you tell. How can you tell? But then the question came up of just who would define what Defined Military Sites were. I received a letter — to me and to Arafat, at the same time — which said that Israel, and only Israel, would be the one to define what those are, the location of those military sites and their size. Now, they did not want to give me that letter, so I did not give the Hebron Agreement. I stopped the government meeting, I said: “I’m not signing.” Only when the letter came, in the course of the meeting, to me and to Arafat, only then did I sign the Hebron Agreement. Or rather, ratify it, it had already been signed. Why does this matter? Because at that moment I actually stopped the Oslo Accord.

    link to youtube.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 29, 2013, 4:33 pm

      RE: “Anyone who has seen the video of Netanyahu bragging about killing the Oslo process knows this ‘security zone’ or ‘military site’ label was adopted for purely political, not military purposes . . .” ~ Hostage

      ALSO SEE: “Land Theft in the Jordan Valley”, by Uri Avnery, CounterPunch.org, 12/06/13

      [EXCERPTS] So here comes John Kerry again, for the umpteenth time (but who is counting?) to make peace between us and the Palestinians.
      It is a highly laudable effort. Unfortunately, it is based on a false premise. To wit: that the Israeli government wants peace based on the two-state solution.
      . . . Unwilling – or unable – to recognize this simple truth, Kerry looks for a way around. . .
      . . . So here he comes with a new idea: to start by solving Israel’s security problems and doing away with its worries.
      Let’s not talk for now about the other “core problems”, he says. Let’s look at your concerns and see how to meet them. I have brought with me an honest-to-goodness combat general with an honest-to-goodness security plan. Have a look at it!
      This approach is based on the false premise – the offspring of the overall premise – that the “security concerns” cited by our government are genuine. Kerry is expressing the basic American belief that if reasonable people sit around a table and analyze a problem, they will find a solution. . .
      . . . The following account is simplified, but not far removed from what actually happened.
      Immediately after the June 1967 war, when all the Palestinian lands had fallen into Israel’s hands, groups of agricultural experts swarmed over the West Bank to see what could be exploited.
      Most of the West Bank consists of stony hills
      , very picturesque but hardly suited to modern agricultural methods. Every inch of arable land was used by the Palestinian villages, using terraces and other ancient methods. No good for new kibbutzim. Except the Jordan valley.
      This valley, part of the huge Syrian-African rift, is flat. Lodged between the river and the central Palestinian mountain ridge, it also has ample water. For the trained eye of a kibbutznik, it was ideal for agricultural machinery. It was also sparsely populated.
      Almost all important Israeli leaders at the time had an agricultural background. . . The Minister of Labor, Yigal Allon, was not only a renowned general of the 1948 war but also a leader of the largest kibbutz movement. . .
      . . . It was Allon who provided the military pretext for keeping possession of the Jordan valley.
      He devised a security plan for the post-1967 Israel. Its central plank was the annexation of the valley.
      Known as the “Allon Plan”, it had – and still has – a strong hold on Israeli political thinking.
      It was never officially adopted by the Israeli government. Nor does there exist an authorized map of the plan. But it has been endlessly discussed. . .

      SOURCE – link to counterpunch.org

      • Hostage
        December 29, 2013, 5:31 pm

        The correct answer is to tell Israel that this is no longer “an interim agreement” and that the final settlement cannot be used to rubber stamp the acquisition of territory by war.

  3. Blownaway
    December 29, 2013, 2:36 pm

    In the big scheme of things these are good moves. It makes it hard for Israel’s enablers to hide behind the farce of two states. It shows the true face of Israel. How many times do you get a finger in your face before you realize your bring disrespected enough to slap it down…the interesting thing is even if the governments of the world continue to enable (mostly the US and Canada) the people of those countries care. I was in Costco and overheard a lady (white middle aged) take a pass on Sabra hummus because of the boycot…small but hopeful sign

    • seafoid
      December 29, 2013, 4:10 pm

      Blows such a big hole below the waterline of the argument that Israelis want peace. Regev is not going to make it to retirement spouting hasbara. The bullshit won’t make it. And what a slimy lying turd he is too.

    • peterfeld
      December 29, 2013, 8:23 pm

      I gather from other sources Netanyahu will block this?
      link to timesofisrael.com

      • Hostage
        December 30, 2013, 3:56 am

        I gather from other sources Netanyahu will block this?
        link to timesofisrael.com

        Let’s be honest, Israel has already applied it’s municipal laws (in personam) to all of the Israeli citizens living in the Jordan Valley. The WZO Settlement Division of the Prime Ministers office and the other ministries look after their infrastructure and other needs. So the territory they inhabit has already been annexed for all practical purposes and this is just a dog and pony show.

      • peterfeld
        December 30, 2013, 8:49 am

        the territory they inhabit has already been annexed for all practical purposes and this is just a dog and pony show.

        Certainly that’s true, but this law if passed would have an explosive international impact, with an excellent chance of collapsing the Kerry talks and Israel blamed. So I’d hate to see Netanyahu louse that up.

      • amigo
        December 30, 2013, 12:38 pm

        “Certainly that’s true, but this law if passed would have an explosive international impact, with an excellent chance of collapsing the Kerry talks and Israel blamed. So I’d hate to see Netanyahu louse that up.”peterfeld

        Au contraire , I would love to see him louse it up.

      • peterfeld
        December 30, 2013, 1:07 pm

        Au contraire , I would love to see him louse it up.

        Well but, this is a very dangerous time. Within days, Kerry is about to try to bludgeon the Palestinians into a terrible deal, kill the right of return and extend the occupation indefinitely, and some here think it’s already a done deal. Something has to happen quickly to collapse these talks without the Palestinians being blamed, and a blunder by Israel such as annexation would be just the thing to rescue the situation. Annexation (which only acknowledges reality anyway) could be a real tipping point with the EU and UN as well, kill the 2ss and point Palestinians toward an international campaign for equal rights on a scale with the anti-apartheid movement of the 80s.

  4. rensanceman
    December 29, 2013, 2:57 pm

    Thank you Hostage for your fact laden posts which adds facts to support our outrage at the Supreme Evil which is the Zionist monster called Israel. Netanyahu is of the same breed of deceitful, duplicitous Prime Ministers who have guided this pariah state to where it is today. Those of us in the MW community must continue to educate the populace until finally It has had enough and Moral America will demand an end to this perversion with a cessation of funding and the U.S. Congress asserts itself.

  5. amigo
    December 29, 2013, 4:49 pm

    Should the headline read ,”Ministers vote to steal The Jordan Valley”.

    Hopefully we will see regev and co in the Hague sometime soon.

  6. Shuki
    December 29, 2013, 7:48 pm

    Annie – Mazel Tov on writing a headline that wasn’t misleading.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 30, 2013, 1:39 pm

      i very generally don’t write my own headlines shuki. phil and adam reserve the right to headline every MW article and frankly i appreciate it (i also mention that to all our contributors so they don’t get shocked by an alternate title, like this). when i submit my drafts i generally use the subject line as an identifier and sometimes leave a note that says ‘needs hot title’.

      so if you think MW headlines are generally misleading you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    • Woody Tanaka
      December 30, 2013, 1:47 pm

      “Annie – Mazel Tov on writing a headline that wasn’t misleading.”

      Shame on your parents for not teaching you manners, or on you for not learning if they did.

  7. Talkback
    December 29, 2013, 10:04 pm

    But it was, Shuki. Annie ommited the word “Apartheid” before “ministers” and “illegaly” before “annex”.

  8. Ramzi Jaber
    December 30, 2013, 9:50 am

    more criminal acts (and infantile stupidities) by th criminal zionists.

    time for the pa to go to the un/icc/icj. time for president abbas to formally and actively support bds everywhere. enough talk about going to the un and joining 63 orgs. time to act.

    as a palestinian i ask my leaders that were NOT elected….
    – president abbas, where is your courage? your dignity?
    – dr. erekat, where is your courage? your dignity?
    – plo executive committee, where is your courage? your dignity?

  9. SQ Debris
    December 30, 2013, 1:30 pm

    They sold their courage and dignity for a pass at the checkpoints. It’s such a farce that Kerry even talks to Abbas. It’s like going into negotiations with Musharraf. By all rights Abbas would, like Musharraf, be on trial for treason.

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