Nationalists, who believe that the land from the River to the Sea belongs to Israel, have been significantly buoyed by this turn of events and are strongly motivated to continue the quest for the fulfillment of their goals. A host of initiatives are at work. For example, it is the stated intention of Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) to introduce a bill into the Knesset declaring the findings of the report binding on the government. She says she will persist until she succeeds. There is, as well, talk about annexing Area C of Judea and Samaria – the part under full Israeli control – without undue delay. Today, that is not yet a possibility, politically. But the talk grows.
The point here is that we are witnessing a process. And a process takes time. Yet, it is possible now to see the future, as it seems to be coming down the road.
Prime Minister Netanyahu may well not be at the forefront of this process. There is in fact good reason to assume he will not be, for he is bound by a number of constraints. For example: a primary concern of his, with valid reason, is the nuclear advancement of Iran. His interest in securing the cooperation of the U.S. in dealing with Iran may make it necessary for him to continue to assume the politically correct “two-state” stance.
In light of this situation, perhaps it is time for Republican leaders to understand that it may be in Israel’s best interest – and their own political best interest – to endorse a position with regard to Israel that moves beyond the constraints that bind the prime minister.
It may be time for them to work more seriously with members of the Knesset, including several from Likud, who are advancing a nationalist agenda. In point of fact, these Knesset members are eager to secure the attention of Republicans in Congress and those who will be setting policy for the party.
For the other half of the equation here is that the U.S. is in an election year. This makes it a time for rethinking old attitudes and setting new policies. A statement by the Republican Party that acknowledges the rights of Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria would be vastly appreciated in many quarters in Israel.
A letter that provides an explanation of the Levy Report has already gone from members of the Knesset to certain members of Congress. And, as this is being written, Member of Knesset Danny Danon (Likud) is in Washington. With a full English translation of the report in hand, he will be meeting with potentially supportive members of Congress.
Hopefully this will be the beginning of a constructive relationship.
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