August 14, 2020
by Sondra Oster Baras
A Deal Whose Outcome Is Still Unknown
Yesterday, we were all surprised to learn that the United Arab Emirates, a key Gulf State, is planning on signing a peace treaty with Israel to include full normalization of relationships. The White House was very involved in the process and announced that in exchange for this recognition by the UAE, Israel had agreed to suspend any moves towards applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.
For months now, I have been advocating the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria at least to the extent that President Trump had expressed willingness to recognize it in January. Since then both Israel and the US issued conflicting statements, indicating on the one hand continued support for sovereignty while on the other putting the brakes on any immediate actions. To make it worse, the ongoing inability of Netanyahu to form a right-wing government coupled with the lack of unity within the right as to the wisdom of moving forward with sovereignty under the Trump vision, created cracks in what had initially seemed a done deal.
I applaud this newest agreement with the UAE but I am very concerned with what this will mean for the future of Judea and Samaria. There is debate as to whether Trump is calling for a permanent halt or merely a temporary suspension of the sovereignty process. If this UAE deal is the start of a movement towards a 2 State solution I am clearly opposed. But if it is the start of a movement towards broader Gulf-State cooperation with Israel, marginalizing Qatar, Syria and Iran and ultimately side-stepping the Palestinians, I am all in favor.
In the meantime I hope that Israel does the following:
- Continues to create the maps and draft the laws that will enable the application of sovereignty when the time is right.
- Effectively exercises its current jurisdiction in Area C in Judea and Samaria to prevent Arab land grabs and illegal building
- Continues to expand communities in Judea and Samaria
- Promotes the Jewish right to the land in international forums
Those of you who are American citizens, now is the time to write to your congressman, senators and to the President with this message:
- Commend the Administration for its strong support of Israel and involvement in securing peace partners for Israel
- Assert that only Israel is the rightful owner of Judea and Samaria
- While the suspension of the sovereignty process to further Israel’s long-term interests is fair, in no way should Israel be expected to abandon the sovereignty process
- True peace in the Middle East will only be obtained if Israel remains in control of all of the Land of Israel west of the Jordan. While limited Palestinian autonomy can be a positive development, only the State of Israel can ensure freedom and prosperity for all the peoples of the region.
- Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, coupled with expanded cooperation between Israel and the moderate Muslim nations, is the only way to achieve stability in the Middle East.
Now is the time to communicate with your political leaders and assure them that you not only support Israel but you support Judea and Samaria, in your publicly asserted opinions, in your prayers, and in your charity.
May G-d bless you for speaking out at this critical time.