Ariel mayor resigns from Judea, Samaria council over its rejection of Trump plan

Eli Shaviro says the Council acted too hastily in rejecting the Trump peace plan and doesn’t represent his views anymore.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The mayor of Ariel announced his resignation on Monday from the organization representing the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria over his support for the Trump peace plan.

“As a supporter of the Deal of the Century due to [its support of recognition of Israeli] sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the communities of Judea and Samaria, I feel that the council does not represent the views of many council heads, my city and myself. Therefore I am announcing my resignation from the YESHA Council,” Eli Shaviro said.

The YESHA Council rejected the proposal the night before it was unveiled last week because of its support for the creation of a Palestinian state in Israel’s heartland. Shaviro said that applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and Judean and Samarian communities is a great step, “even at the price of a declaration of a Palestinian state on 70 percent of the land.”

He also predicted that the Palestinian Authority would nix the idea anyway, which President Mahmoud Abbas did right after President Donald Trump formally unveiled the plan last Tuesday.

Shaviro decided to concentrate on the positive parts of the proposal after its publication, such as its parallel recognition of Israel’s historic claim to the territory and the offer that Israel should annex 30 percent of it outright. He told The Times of Israel last week that several other mayors, mainly those of cities next to the supposed “Green Line,” were also quiet supporters of the plan.

The Yesha Council leadership has meanwhile walked back its rejection somewhat after hearing Saturday night from its representatives who had flown to Washington for the unveiling of the plan and after speaking with Israeli and American officials.

“At the conclusion of the meeting, it was decided to continue discussions on the matter in the coming days and to follow the developments closely,” their statement read.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said that he hoped Shaviro would retract his decision, calling this period “turbulent” and saying, “This is the time for discussion, not resignations.”